After our morning excursion to the balloon fiesta I was debating on whether or not to hike on the mountain and decided that I'd just work on some of the hundreds of images that I had taken over the weekend. I figured that there would be too long of a wait at the tram to ride down so computer time won out over hiking time. Sooner or later images do have to get processed.

I think that as we walked into the fiesta grounds that there was an announcement that the Air Force base / airport would be open all day for static displays and then there would be a performance by the Thunderbirds in the late afternoon.

I had forgotten all about the air show until all of sudden the silence was broken by the roar of a jets screaming over our house.

Instantly I knew that it was a fighter and then I jumped up and yelled out "Air show" and ran for my camera. After grabbing it I noticed that I had left the memory card in the computer and had to run back and grab the card. Another dash found me in the garage looking for my monopod since I wanted to try and have something to steady the lens.

Everyone ran up to the balcony from which I then gained access to the roof and started firing away.

Although we didn't have front row seats for the fly-by's, we did have a unique perspective from our perch that overlooks the airport. Where we were standing was about 650 feet above the airport so some of the maneuvers were performed at our eye level - as seen through my long lens. We are also somewhere between three and four miles from the airport. (Nikon 70-200 vr with a 2x extender making it equivalent to a 600mm on a 35mm camera)

The winds were calm and I suspect that there was a strong odor of burnt oil over the airport.

But by the time the group came around our place they had turned off the smoke.

The group is just above eye level, but later a solo pilot began a diving left turn back toward the airport.

I loved seeing the vapor trails off of the wingtips.

And finally, I guess one can clearly see why the Airforce group is called the Thunderbirds.

In the 6 years we have lived in Albuquerque this is the first time that we have seen an airshow. It is possible that we have missed previous ones due to travel, but I know that there has not been another one at the time of the balloon fiesta since we have lived here.