I was sitting in the engine warm-up area at the end of Gillespie Field's runway 27R at 10 a.m. on February 26, getting ready for takeoff on a flight to Camarillo. Four other planes were waiting on the other side, and no one was moving!
As I pulled up to the waiting line, I discovered why no one was cleared for takeoff. Two USMC V-22 Osprey — the tilt-rotor aircraft recently assigned to various bases, including Miramar MCAS — were conducting a practice approach and proceeded down the length of the runway 100 feet off the ground.
Gillespie Field is often the loitering point for foxes, coyotes, and rabbits, as well as many different birds of prey, but this is the first time we'd seen two Osprey flying in formation visit our field.