The Unexpected

My 2017 air show season is complete.

Words and Photographs by James Woodard

After attending my first Oceana Air Show back in 2015, I knew this was something I wanted more of. The sights were tremendous, the sounds even more so; hearing and feeling the power of all those jet engines as they powered the amazing flying machines around the crowd left me in awe. What could I do to feed this newly found addiction? 


I started looking at the upcoming schedules, trying to figure out how I could attend more shows, but sadly was only able to attend a measly four shows in 2016. That was not good enough. I had to do better in 2017! While looking at the schedules in the off season and with the blessings of my wife,  I knew that I could really make my rounds and see quite a bit. I exceeded my 2017 plans and traveled over 3,000 miles to 13 different aviation events for a total of 17 days of airshow magic. 


While one would think that for this photographer the best part of the year would be all the images captured, this is not the case. Going into this year, I couldn't imagine anything would've been better, but what made this year such an amazing experience, without question, was the people.  It seemed like every show I attended this year I met someone new; some of whom I followed on social media, others who were complete strangers to me. The shared passion of aviation made it quite easy for this quiet, shy, introverted avgeek to come out of his shell and befriend new people. It all came full circle towards the end of the this season, back at Oceana. Two years ago I never would have seen myself hanging out with such a great group of people who happen to be great photographers as well, but here is to a great airshow season and hoping for bigger and better things next year!