Chino Airshow and spins

Earlier this month, I got to attend my first airshow. It was hosted by the Planes of Fame museum at the Chino airport. I got to see a lot of historical planes (mainly WWII era) as well as some aerobatics!

Here is a shot of multiple planes, centered on a Lockheed P-38J Lightning (WWII):

Lockheed P-38J Lightning

Next we were treated to some loops and dives by Rob Harrison, the “Tumbling Bear”:

Aerobatics - upside down

Aerobatics - loop

And later in the day we saw even more impressive aerobatics by Sean Tucker in a biplane. Here I captured the end of his 9-rotation spin and resulting dive (not yet recovered!):

Aerobatics - spin

I was thrilled to see a spin in person! Spins used to be a normal part of a pilot’s repertoire — at the very least, pilots learned how to recover from an accidental spin entry. But the FAA found that more student pilots (and instructors) were being killed doing spin training than were being killed by accidental spins. So today, pilot trainees are not allowed to do them, even to learn how to recover, and so they are surrounded by a thick aura of mystique and danger. See this fascinating article for more details: The Spin Debate. My instructor, however, encourages me to go sign up for an aerobatic lesson from a flight school that is certified to teach them. I’d love to do that after I manage my first solo flight!

A floral rainbow, annotated by Google

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking to the library and I was struck by so many beautiful flowers along the way in people’s yards and gardens. I decided to collect a few and share them here. (Click for bigger versions of each.)

Then I thought I would try out Google image search on each one to see if it could identify each flower by finding a match within the first 10 hits (in some cases I looked through many more than that, hoping to find a match, but it seems that if it isn’t in the first 10 then it isn’t going to find it).

Red passion flower. Google: failure (not found in the top 10 hits).

California poppy. Google: hit #5. Success!

Orange lily. Google: hit #1!

Probably some kind of daisy. Google: could not find an exact match.

Google: failure. Closest match is a “balloon flower” which has pointy petals (these are rounded).

Google: failure. I think their image search is only looking at color distributions rather than shape features. Object identification is hard! (Does anyone know what this is?)

Cape mallow (or some other kind of mallow). Google: hit #10. Barely snuck it in there!

Google score: 4 of 7. I guess we still need flower identification handbooks. And humans! :)