Author Topic: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019  (Read 354 times)

FrankB

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Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« on: May 12, 2019, 09:31:37 PM »
I spent a few hours on Thursday at Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley. We didn't see very many planes in the canyon, apparently there was some sort of operation going on further north.  There was a fair amount of moisture in the air, and the sky was kind of hazy.  Just like the last time I was there I didn't really have the right camera, since this was not the main point of my trip, but it was still a lot of fun to hang out there and watch for aircraft. 

First thing we saw was a B-1B bomber.  He didn't drop below the rim of the canyon, but it was still impressive.





Later an F-35 showed up. He dropped well down into the canyon.  There was enough moisture in the air to create vapor trails off the wingtips.











Here's the last one, as he shoots out over the Panamint Valley.



For anyone who is not familiar with this spot, it is marked on National Park Service maps as Painted Canyon and the Father Crowley Overlook.  There is a paved parking area with a Park Service vault toilet; and there is also a graded dirt road that runs from the edge of the parking lot out to a point that overlooks the the Panamint Valley.  The spot is on CA 190, about 10 miles west of Panamint Springs (so about 40 miles from US 395 at Lone Pine).  Very easy to get to.  Coming from Lone Pine there is also an unpaved area about 1/4 mile before (west of) the paved lot, where you'll often see people parked.  From there you can walk up a hill (there is a clear path) to a very good viewing spot.  I took these pictures from the opposite end of the canyon, at the end of the graded dirt road to the valley overlook.  Sorry for the mediocre picture quality, I did not have the right camera for this type of photography with me, because of all the other stuff we were doing.

JFanaselle

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 10:29:56 AM »
Awesome stuff Frank

RBduffer

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 11:03:53 AM »
Thanks for sharing Frank.  Next time I want to see the nose hair on the pilots 8)
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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 11:25:58 PM »
Badass
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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 07:35:07 PM »
 Frank those are some great pics! Maybe we can get the Duffman to post the pics he took when the Kitty Hawk took flight.
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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 01:40:24 PM »
Frank,

Were you out there today?  Apparently an FA-18 didn't negotiate the corner and impacted right below the viewing area parking lot.  Pilot is deceased.  Seven spectators with light injuries.   :(
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FrankB

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 05:05:39 PM »
Frank,

Were you out there today?  Apparently an FA-18 didn't negotiate the corner and impacted right below the viewing area parking lot.  Pilot is deceased.  Seven spectators with light injuries.   :(

Very sorry to hear that happened, and especially sad to hear that the pilot was lost.   

No, I was not out there.  The only people in Death Valley this time of year are foreign tourists I think.  Usually Europeans.  In fact, it sounded like the seven people injured were French tourists.

JFanaselle

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 12:16:08 PM »
Incredibly sad news. Obviously, the most concerning part is the loss of the pilot's life, and the injuries to the 7 spectators. Their injuries were reported as "minor," but I saw an interview with Dr. Grossman where he said they all had some pretty serious burns, and every single one of them will require some surgery and skin grafts to recover. Sounds like they were peppered with molten hot debris during the impact and explosion.

I wonder what this will mean for the future of this spot (both public access, and the military's use of it). Obviously crowds of people lining the canyon walls present quite a danger to the public.

FrankB

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 01:45:22 PM »
I saw a photo showing where the plane impacted - it was on the same side of the canyon and not too far from where I was standing the last time I was out there.

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Re: Death Valley - Star Wars Canyon - May 2019
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 01:40:15 PM »

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