Hornet Ball 2013 video: the best footage from all the West coast naval Hornet squadrons

“Wingnut” is a Hornet pilot who produced the following video for the 2013 Hornet Ball.

The Hornet Ball (Strike Fighter Ball Pacific) is an annual event consisting of all the West coast Naval F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons, their pilots and guests.

The event each year features a video compiled from all the squadrons’ last year of flying in both combat and training missions: in the 2013 footage you can see everything, from low level flying, to Hornets flying with RMAF Su-30 Flankers, to a High Value Air Asset Escort of a B-52 Stratofortress over a U.S. aircraft carrier, to catapult launches, trap landings, aerobatics, dogfighting and missile firing.


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • Agreed. In-air aviation shots speak for themselves and stand great on their own. Whoever did this vid was flexing their media/special-effects degree too much. OK, i’ll give them credit by making it fit the beat of the music. The problem lies in that the nice aircraft footage is ruined by being utterly chopped to pieces. It assumes that the audience has the attention-span of an average MTV viewer, which is insulting. I couldn’t get through half of it.

      As for the song that starts at 4:30: every skydiving and extreme sports video produced this year has that lame song in the soundtrack. Find something else, you poser!!

      • So what you are saying is that the average MTV viewer has a longer attention span than you do… Got it.

        • No, I’m just a person who values their time. I’m not going to watch a full 13-minute video when the first 5 minutes and some change just ain’t working. You’re lashing out at me like it’s my fault the video is totally over-edited.

          Good video and a well-chosen soundtrack speaks for itself, it doesn’t need you out pimping it and trashing people who see it for the hot mess that it is.

    • Mark & Foil,

      This video was made not for the common YouTube viewer at all. It was made specifically for the F-18 fighter pilots who attended this year’s Hornet Ball. Pilots who live and breathe this job and see these sights every day. Pilots who are tired of the same old mash up of clips put to rock music. It is meant to be a visual stimuli tied with the beats of the music, and seeing as the music is dubstep, the edits are perfect. It was made to deliver an abstract feel of what it is actually like to be launched off the deck of a carrier and do things like dog fight, low level, etc. More akin to the effect of watching a music visualizer on iTunes while still showing beautiful clips of these amazing machines and their pilots. Having personally been to the ball, for these skilled men and women who fly these jets, it was perfect. Again, it was not made for you, the average viewer. Finally, as someone who knows Wignut personally (married to a co worker of his), he has no media/FX degree or training what so ever. He taught himself video editing and 3D animation while crammed in the back of his stateroom at night on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf while flying combat missions over Afghanistan during the day. What do you do? In fact this is maybe the second video he ever made! So that you would think he has a degree in this field speaks worlds to his natural talents and abilities. So Foil, you’ll give him credit for more than just “making it fit to the beat of the music”.

      Enough said.

      Thanks for the best Hornet Ball video we have ever seen Wick! See you soon.

  1. “Hornet Ball” bwah, hah, hah, ha. If you want to see some good stuff go check out “Fighter Fling” on youtube.

  2. Nice footage, thanks to Wingnut for making this home movie, but this pilot shouldn’t quit his day job. Way way way over-edited. To the point of distraction.

  3. Anyone that complains about this video is out of touch. The editing on this video was nothing short of amazing. Wingnut is clearly a highly talented individual, and the bar is set very high for 2014.

    The video is to be showcased during the ball. If you thought that it would have been better without music or editing, plain and simple you just do not get the point.

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