I used to see intercepts occuring all the time where I'm located. I usually heard them more than saw them, but I knew what was going on by the manner
in which they flew (If you're familiar with Military Craft, you know the distinct sound of Afterburners).
I've seen plenty of awesome flight displays in my time. I could most likely write a book on them, but one of the most random was two F-16's on
Afterburners flying overhead at night, they cut-back and slowed down, then alternatively cut their running lights off, lit back up and re-engaged
afterburners taking off on a common FLT Path nearby. I was just getting out of my car after parking it in front of my house, when I heard the Jets on
Afterburners. I looked up knowing I'd see them, and then all of that occured. It had to be one of the most random but most awesome encounters at the
same time. I always get hype seeing Fighter Jets performing manuevers overhead, it's one of my favorite spectacles to witness. As all ground pounders
in the Military say, they are the "Angels Overhead", and you truly feel a sense of awe and protection when witnessing such displays.
I guess I could say I'm like the OP in the sheer fact that I just happen to experience a lot of this cool stuff randomly. Some of it is because I've
purposely been to see these craft, others when I was near an AirBase but just by chance came across flight displays, and some were seen just while
chilling near my house (No, I don't live near a base).
Also, to reply to a few of the issues on this thread:
No, B2 Bombers are not scrambled for intercepts, only Fighter Craft are. The B2 would be about as useful as a Mid-Air Ram, unless of course it was
armed with an Air-to-Air Missile that as of yet remains Classified. Simply put though, I've never seen a B2 Scrambled for anything but bomb runs.
As far as Bomb runs, the B2 has changed since the F-117 of the First Gulf War. It now hits ground targets from 60 + Miles out, so the overflight of
targets is not a necessity anymore. They can still Carpet Bomb, but that is only done from High Altitude.
ShatteredSkies, as for the 500 FT ALT rule, that would apply to all Airplanes under normal circumstances. If a Passenger Jet for instance became
crippled and couldn't meet that criteria, or a Mil. Jet found it necessary to hit the deck, then of course all rules are out the window. It seems
like you've done your HW though
I once witnessed an F-117 flyover my High School Football game at night. No one else seemed to notice it, but I saw it due to the glow produced from
the field lights. I don't remember hearing it, but then again it was a loud game. It was flying only a few hundred feet off the deck, but it didn't
frighten me as I've seen quite a bit.
If anything SoLaR513, I would chalk the entire experience up to an amazing opportunity to see what many will never witness. You should feel lucky.
[edit on 2-13-2008 by TheAgentNineteen]