It was going to be a busy weekend, and it’s gotten busier. The Blue Angels and a very large airshow are at Pt. Mugu this weekend. Our Camarillo airshow gets approximately 40,000 people over two days – a show with military demonstrations and the Blue Angels (or Thunderbirds or Red Arrows) will pull in 250,000+ over two days.
I wasn’t going to go today, but Camarillo and the CAF hangars are only about seven miles from Pt. Mugu, and there was an opportunity to hop over there for lunch and a quick look-around. Better yet, we weren’t going to go out into the crowd, but onto the ramp where our planes were sitting between performances. How could I say no?
After flying a twenty-minute performance at noon, here (from left to right) are our F8F Bearcat, P-51 Mustang, A6N3 Zero, F6F Hellcat, and Spitfire. The monstrously huge tail sticking up behind the Hellcat is C-17.
After our first set (there was another about 14:20) we had the Breitling Jet Team, a private group from France flying seven L39-C Albatross jets. They’re pretty spectacular.
The Pt. Mugu airshow continues tomorrow. If you’re in the Los Angeles or Ventura County area, come on out. Parking and admission are free, but get there early and expect crowds. Bring lawn chairs and cameras (but not coolers or other prohibited items) and plenty of sunblock. The flying starts at about 11:30 but there are a ton of planes to look at up close, and even a few to tour inside. As mentioned, our planes go up at noon and 14:20 – cheer extra loud for them!
Finally, the Blue Angels go up from 15:00 to 16:00. If you’ve never seen them, I can’t say anything other than it’s a life-changing experience for folks like me.
After you’re done with the airshow…
You’ve no doubt heard all about the “SUPERMOON!!!!” eclipse tomorrow night. It’s a normal lunar eclipse (like this one and this one and this one) but this particular eclipse happens to occur when the moon’s at a point in its orbit when it’s almost at its closest point to Earth. That makes it appear about 5% bigger and brighter, which 99% of us wouldn’t notice if it weren’t for all of the hysterical news reports and headlines.
If you’re in Europe, North America east of the Mississippi, South America, or western Africa, you’ll see the whole thing. If you’re on the North American west coast, you’ll see the moon rising in the east already partially or fully eclipsed. For Los Angeles, moonrise is at 18:31, the totality phase starts at 19:11 and ends at 20:23.
The short version – if you’re not in Asia or Australia, look for the moon. It’s totally safe, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not really anything any more or less spectacular than any other total lunar eclipse. Then again, I think a “regular” total lunar eclipse is pretty cool, so YMMV.
Relax and enjoy the celestial show!
Diagram from GreatAmericanEclipse.com