A growing drone of propeller planes came in from the east over Lake MacBride last Thursday, near North Liberty, Iowa. Then three WWII-era looking fighters roared westward. These didn't look like any planes from around the area. At first the planes resembled Japanese Zeros but the red star on the tail and slim fuselage didn't add up.
Turns out these are Soviet Yak 52TWs. The Yakovlev Yak-52 is a Soviet primary trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1976 and is still being produced in Romania. Since the early 1990s many Yak 52s have been exported to the west. The question is where did these planes go on Thursday? Perhaps to Ottumwa for the upcoming antique airplane show or maybe to Omaha's SAC base for last weekend's airshow. Or maybe they were testing Iowa air defense radar. If so, we failed to detect and intercept these fast moving aircraft.