Midnight Sun Airshow 2008 - Finland
Lentajien Juhannus 2008 : white nights over Kauhava.
Episode two : Vulcan's steel forge ' as sung by a Flanker '.
Really every year, Midsummer Night is a special day in Finland, rock stars sing on a podium put on the tarmac behind the static line, while you are photographnig the same participants you could see in the afternoon's show. Pople go to bed later than usual to celebrate the year's longest day. Here in Hauhava they do with airplanes. But now it is 7-00 PM, but sunny and it will be untill midnight. Then a reddish sky will be hidden by clouds for the first time for long in the history of Midnight Sun airshows .
No need to say that the Russian Knights filled the whole evening display alone at around 12-00 PM. When the five Sukhoi jets face you they extend gears and open lights. But each time they are passing faster they make good profit of the low midnight sun light to ignite afterburners. The tradition is that four of the ships land before Katchenko completes the show with a solo routine. But he was just like Vulcan's forge. As the sky became darker and darker due to the unexpected grey clouds, the engines became reddish. So were the spectators ears. Possibly it was the most spectacular and noisiest jet solo display I ever attended.
My Nikon D300 camera could record the dark display at 800 ISO and higher. As the Russian guys parked people rushed from all the airfield to sheer the pilots. It seemed that the russian did not expect to be so much applaused, and once down from their cockpits, they just came a few minutes towards the barriers to shake a few public hands. Then they went close to their airplanes and accomplished a raw debriefing altogether. Yes it differed quite much from the North American national teams rockstars spending long times to meet their public and sign autographs, that I only saw eight days before, but the whole russian display was bloody impressive and profesionnal. And how many times before Kauhava 2008, have I seen a national team displaying three times in less than 12 hours ?
New Nikon D300 D-Lighting system corrected all dusk time pictures showing the russian happy guys back from a flight. As experienced at Kauhava, under difficult weather conditions Nikon D300 D-Lighting system is a leap forward to perform fine aviation photography.
Then it was already two AM in the first 2008 summer morning, engines had stopped and it was a white night. Locals took profit of the funfair while others were rushing to car parks. Pop stars were defintely killing us with guitars on. Finnish and Military guys were starting to feel tired, as the Midnight Hawks were flanking a Hornet flaring the clowds. It was a pity that the difficult weather conditions prevented evryone from seeing the flare candles from this traditional conclusion of a Midnight Sun airshow. Feeling tired with no night behind myself, I jumped in my car to drive back to Vaasa. A first white night for me, having deaf ears and the strange feeling to be like one happy little boy out from a big candies store with the hands full of Flanker steel. The roads are wide and going straight ahead to Vaasa, and you must take care not to bump into the famous finnish reindeer that could cross your road as you may find yourself a little bit asleep..., on your road again..., and going straight ahead through scandinavian white nights.
' Suffice to say that each of the five Su-27 Flanker did cost me no less than 280,00 Euros for shooting it (...) I would do it again '.