Watch CBS News

Magnificent flying machines soar above San Francisco, delighting crowd

Panoply of advanced flying machines delights, inspires Fleet Week crowds
Panoply of advanced flying machines delights, inspires Fleet Week crowds 03:06

SAN FRANCISCO -- Fleet Week Saturdays are all about the air show and thousands of people showed up to view the magnificent machines. There was also a touching, human tribute for the person responsible for starting it all.

Once again, San Francisco's Marina Green was filled with people who came to marvel at some of man's most amazing inventions. The air show kicked off with several low-level passes of a United 777 airliner, the most advanced aircraft in the fleet. But, when the smaller planes took over, the moves got a lot fancier. At least that's how 11-year-old Timmy saw it as he stared into an imposing pair of binoculars.

WATCH: Fleet Week Spectacular Friday Blue Angels Air Show

"To see planes flying that fast, and so low and making such amazing stunts is just really cool," he said.

Ánother highlight was an appearance by an F-35, the most advanced -- and most expensive -- airplane in the world. At about $135 million each, the jet can do anything others do but also has the ability take off and land vertically and hover like a helicopter.

Watching proudly from the crowd was Air Force veteran Fernando Cruz. His son was one of the designers of the aircraft's cutting-edge avionics.

"Everything he has done in his life, he has accomplished and I feel very proud," he said.

Also in the crowd were former Navy Corpsman Hector Vargas and his wife, Clara Lainhart. They traveled from Lodi for a glimpse of the technology.

"Years ago, when I was in the service, was a different time," Hector said. "So you can definitely see the advancements, in all aspects."

"Some of the things that they can create for the military out there are amazing. These machines are incredible," Lainhart added.

The show took a human turn when the Patriot Jet Team began their aerobatics. The private precision flying unit, based in Byron, got a special honor. They were asked to perform a "missing woman formation" in honor of Fleet Week's founder, the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the team's narrator, Jon "Jughead" Counsell. "It's not something you do all the time, and so when they approached us and said, 'Hey, can you do that?'  And they asked us to do it, not some other performer --absolutely! Your Patriot jet team from right here in the Bay Area is very proud to do it."

Proud to watch it was former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who viewed the "missing woman formation" display standing beside Feinstein's granddaughter.

"It was so beautiful in response of people here in appreciation of Dianne's love of aviation, love of the Navy, love of Fleet Week and love of the Blue Angels," Pelosi said.

The Fleet Week air show is a display of how limitless the possibilities are when people work together in a unified way and Jacob Uribes, a veteran from Fremont, thought there was a lesson in that for the nation.

"There's going to be valleys and there's going to be peaks," Uribes said. "But as long as we keep on trying  -- and if we're not failing, we're not trying. So, we're going to keep on going to get it done."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.