Yesterday Miss D. and I went to the Guardians of Freedom Air Show at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls. It was a lot of fun, with a surprisingly good range of aircraft for a training base, including the F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation combat aircraft. There was a decent-size crowd, too.
While we were walking from the parking lot to the entrance to the display area, our attention was caught by a silver dart-like aircraft zooming low over the runway, quite close to us. I don’t know what I looked like to my wife, but I could feel the tension right away as I recognized it. I must have showed that somehow, because she stopped in her tracks and said, “What is it?”
She burst out laughing. “Why do I think you’re itching to get your hands on a ground-to-air missile right now?”
I was. In fact, the last time I saw a MiG-17, in the 1980’s, it was through the sights of a former Soviet ZPU 14.5mm anti-aircraft gun, a captured weapon that we were using for local air defense in the African bush. (I missed.)
Seeing an old enemy flying the peaceful skies near my home, with nobody shooting at it . . . for a long moment, that was a truly weird sensation!