Tuesday June 23 - Finish round 2 and visit Hatzerim Airbase
(small report now, more pictures to come)
A usual start today, with a salty dip. It seems to preserve the flesh...
The morning was a busy morning in the tent, the scores needed to be processed, and with about a hour between finish of the flying and the departure of the busses for the airshow. With help of Shira Horesh (Head of security) and Dave Burns (Australia representative). Yes, stil waiting for the official assigned assistents... ;-)

At 13.00 the buses where scheduled to leave, so I decided to follow the convoi by car. Upon arrival we where rushed through the museum exibition. Many older airplanes are on display, but also the newer F-15, A-4 and also a two-seater Lavi. Due to the tight schedule, we had about 20 minutes.
Then back in the busses to see a presentation with the base commander. There was a very nice video presentation. After that we moved to the tarmac, where they do their ceremonies. From the flight academy, the oldest class received their rank andf acedemical degree, Thursday they have another ceremony that will give them their wings. It was an impressive ceremony, although we could not follow the Hebrew commentary.

After this an airshow was performed, and in en hour they showed pretty much the full arsenal. There was a formation team with the Fouga Magister that flew very tight formation.
The show had a high pace, it just was one spectacular demo after the other. Spitfire, later in formation with a F-16I, f-15I' 3 in formation, one hanging on a 707 tanker, a Sikorski HH-53 refueled from a hercules, immediately changing demo to a landing and dropping ground troops, followed my a hoist demo.
Pairs of Blackhawks coming to pick up those troops again, while protected by Cobra's, who started by shooting rockets at target in the desert. Before, 2 Apache's had already 'secured' the area, or 'softened the target' by shooting up 2 targets with their 30mm canon. That gun is LOUD!

There where solo demo's with F-16I, an beefed up F-16 specific for Israel, it has Conformal Fuel Tanks on the fusalage, it is almost square now, not pretty, and it kills performance, and also with an F-15I, which gave a very spectacular performance, lots of afterburner, and lots of flares. The show was fast, spectacular, but most important, aimed to please the public, something that european airshows lack since the last 10-15 years. The demo's where nice close to the public, flying all around. It was a great show, and combined with the ceremony, it was a proof of the pride that the israeli people have in the defence forces.

After the drive home, with Avi Ambar and Achim Keufner, we arrived close to 22.00, and went straight for the hotel. Any plans to go to sleep early failed, yet again it was after 01.00...