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McDonnell Douglas FA-18 Hornet (16-4203)

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** My most very sincere Thanks go to Todd, Maggie, and Robert for the wonderful assistance that made it possible for me to capture the arrival of my former high school student. **

United States Marine Corps Major Lorne "Yardsale" Christopher comes into view in the rear seat as the cockpit canopy of this VMFAT-101 (Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101) "Sharpshooters" F/A-18D Hornet (164203) opens and Maj. Christopher, an instructor pilot stationed at MCAS Miramar, makes his first-ever arrival at KRNO as pilot of an F/A-18 Hornet. Back in the late 1990s, I was "Yardsale's" 9th, 10th, and 11th grade Language Arts teacher at a small high school in Gerlach, Nevada, on the edge of the Black Rock Desert. The last time he and I saw each other was on the day he was sworn in to the USMC on the quad at the University of Nevada, Reno. This is a moment I will always, always remember ...

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Greg Byington
Very cool!
cliff731
Gary, thanks for sharing this one with us... and especially the "back story" too!!!
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Greg and Cliff .. Hi, guys. TY for the comps. I should have worked on this shot instead of just cropping and then uploading the digicard original, but in this instance I'm going to make an exception to my usual rule of only posting one pic of a specific a/c so since I'll be posting a couple more of this Bug, the next ones will have been edited a bit. This was a super special afternoon. Lorne was in my LA class for all but one of his HS years. He had called to tell me he would be coming into Reno at noon from Seattle (in all those years, his first-ever return back to here in an F-18). I can't truly describe my feelings when the flight of two came directly overhead and then broke left ... exactly at noon. And then to see him in the two-seater ... as instructor! ... a wonderful sight!! Then, when the two Hornets had parked and shut down, he came over and his first words were, "Hi, Mr. S." Here he is ... a Major in the Marine Corps, an F/A-18 pilot, and a warbird instructor at Miramar ... and he is still calling me "Mr.". I had quite a chuckle over that. I told him those days were long ago ... it's first names now. Gotta say, guys ... I've snapped hundreds and hundreds of military metal aircraft, but getting captures of 164203 with Lorne up front is the BEST military warbird snap I'll ever take. (Wave)
cliff731
Gary, we can only imagine the pride you felt and how this event has printed a truly significant "once in a lifetime" moment upon you!!!

Perhaps words are totally inadequate in any ability to convey it all... and likely so, our friend, those images just might be the most treasured "aircraft spotting" photographs you'll ever capture!

My congrats to You... and my kudos to the Major!!!

My "formal" salute to him... and a sincere tip of my hat to you!

Certainly, a job well done to you both!!!
Tom Vance
Gman................!!! You outdid yourself on this one! Goose bump time reading this! The "Sharpshooters" were in RDD early May 2017 with 4 ships but didn't see ship 255. I need to know what "Yardsale" is...I love the cockpit nicknames as I can see "DJ LAchasse -Squirrel" LOL...! But can you find out why "yardsale'? I have photos of long ago friend "Grinch" I'll dig out later and post. 5 on the 5 on this one.
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Cliff ... Thank you again, my friend.

Alien ... Hey Tom, I'm seeing him again soon (he will be flying a T-34C) and I'll ask him the story behind the "Yardsale" moniker. I'll be posting a couple more snaps of this Bug when he visited here last weekend; however, the sun was straight up and pretty harsh (and the on-airport-grounds temp was right near 100 F) so the shots aren't the very best (rather "heat hammered" and "sun stroked"). Normally, I wouldn't put 'em up but this occasion was so special for me that I'm going to get them into my FA folder anyhow. And Thanx for the compli, Tom.
sam kuminecz
awesome shot gary, sorry haven't been around, catching up on everyones pics.
My congrats to You... Its wery cool !!!
Hi Gary. Very nice and interesting photo with a neat personal story.
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