Superbowl LVI Heritage Flight

Plane Spotting
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Every year the Superbowl never grabs my attention. I never care about who plays or who wins. During Superbowl, I try to be usually somewhere else, as the streets are empty as everyone is watching the event. But this year was different. Superbowl was held at the brand-new Sofi Stadium near LAX and I was heading down that way as well for work. But why would I care about the Superbowl? Well, this one was special as a five-plane heritage flight was arranged to fly over the stadium. 

Five planes are very uncommon for a heritage flight. Usually, you see two or maybe three but not five. I have never seen a five-plane heritage flight at all before this one.

My plan was to head over near the stadium somewhere and to park somewhere close really quick to take the photos and leave.

All the little sidestreets allowed only residents to do street parking. I am sure many people didn’t care. But what was even crazier, was that pretty much every second house was renting out their driveways as a parking lot. Some of them even offered shuttle service to and from the arena. It was crazy. Same for the prices they wanted. The most expensive one I saw was $400 dollars to park in someone’s driveway for the event but with no shuttle service. It’s also funny how the prices were structured. Some charged $200, the person next door $100, and across the street was $400. I wonder how many of them made money. Some of the people even had signs out that they accept credit cards, PayPal, Venmo,… It was insane. 

I pivoted my parking plan to park at the nearby gas station and McDonald’s on Praire Ave. However, people even rented out some of the business spaces as event parking, and others probably just parked illegally there and rather paid the ticket than $400 for a driveway. 😉 

As time was running out, I decided to give up my plan to get any pictures close to the stadium. I headed down to San Pedro and was hoping that I could see the planes from the Lookout Point Park in San Pedro. This point overlooks the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor and ocean. It was elevated and had a good view of the area. Now I just hoped that they will fly by anywhere close to this point as this was the route used during a practice flight.

Just as I finished mounting my telephoto lens onto my camera, I heard the roar of the engines in the air. I couldn’t see them first as they were coming from the direction of the sun. Just as they passed over the park I was able to grab a few photos before they disappeared again in the distance.

When the planes flew over Lookout Point Park, they have been already completed their stadium flyover and were heading back to Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos.

Line Up

  • F-35 Lightning from Hill Air Force Base in Utah
  • P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, Chino, California
  • A-10C Thunderbolt II from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
  • F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina
  • F-22A Raptor from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia

Photos

Superbowl LVI Heritage Flight
Superbowl LVI Heritage Flight
Superbowl LVI Heritage Flight

I was the only photographer at that spot. Everyone else was just surprised when they saw the planes overhead. While talking to a guy, the cruise ship “Grand Princess” left the port and I snapped a few pictures of the ship as well.

Grand Princess passing Angels Gate Lighthosue

Who else watched the planes?

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