Category Archives: Airshows

Creeping Back To Normal At CAF SoCal

It’s been a long sixteen months at the CAF SoCal hangar in Camarillo (remember, I’m still on Staff there for the 8th year as Finance Officer) but we’re slowly creeping back to normal.

Our planes were all mothballed and our museum closed. We got a lot of maintenance work done, on both the facilities and the aircraft, but it’s time to get back to our mission.

The museum is open three days a week instead of six, but we’re getting some decent visitor traffic on those three days as word spreads of our soft re-opening.

We’ve had our first aircraft rides and have more being booked for the near future.

The Camarillo Wings Association will be moving ahead with the Wings Over Camarillo airshow on August 21st and 22nd. We’ll be flying our PBJ bomber, F6F Hellcat, Spitfire, and Zero. Plus all of our other aircraft and museum and PX (and the beer garden) will be on static display down at our hangars at the west end of the ramp, along with the STEM pavilion being in our “new” hangars.

(Clickenate to embiggenate!)

From left to right: The aforementioned “new” hangars, PBJ (gray bomber), F6F Hellcat (dark blue fighter), someone’s Cessna (white plane behind the F6F), YAK-3 (gray/blue camouflage fighter), AN-2 (huge yellow biplane), C-46 (silver cargo plane), MIG-17 (red jet), SNJ (yellow trainer), jeep & trailer.

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Random Old Photos – March 23rd

Mr. Peabody, set the WayBack Machine to April, 2006, a bit less than fifteen years ago. I was in my MBA program at Pepperdine and I remember being out in the Riverside area for something. It just so happened that there was an airshow at March ARB out there that weekend, so I stayed the extra day and went to see the Thunderbirds and all of the other planes.

My photography skills weren’t quite up to snuff at the time (I think I had just gotten the telephoto lens and was deep into the learning curve of how to use it) but if you take 1100+ pictures in a day, a few of them probably won’t suck.

It’s odd to see some of our current CAF SoCal aircraft there, although it’s before the name change, and I don’t recognize the pilots. (It was about seven years before I got involved with the local Wing, but I might have been a member by that time.)

It’s also odd in today’s world to see tens of thousands of people packed together in the shade under a B-52 or up against the flight line fence when the jets are flying, and not a single face mask in sight.

The face masks may linger in the future, and it’s not impossible that they’ll become the norm in crowds just because the world has changed, but I am looking forward to at least getting together with 100,000 of my closest friends to watch aircraft fly for the day. Maybe later this year, more likely next year – most of the local airshows are either canceling or on the brink for 2021.

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Wings Over Camarillo – Panorama Three

Once the airshow’s over things get back to normal. The airspace is released from its FAA waiver and regular flights resume. The warbirds are still lined up, but the crowds take off quickly to try to beat the traffic out. So it’s easy to get right up to the flight line and take a big, wide picture.

(Click on it, make it big, so you can see what I’m talking about.)

From left to right:

  • the Beech Staggerwing I’ve been gushing about
  • a tiny bit of the red nose of the CAF F-24
  • a tiny bit of the blue and yellow nose of one of our PT-19s
  • across the runway, our yellow SNJ
  • our blue F6F Bearcat
  • our blue F8F Hellcat
  • a P-51, checkered nose, not ours, not sure which one
  • a T-6, I believe it’s War Bird
  • the oddity of it all, a Cessna 172 that was taxiing to the left while I was scanning to the right (!!)
  • our P-51
  • our blue PBJ bomber
  • above, a helicopter giving rides now that the airspace is open
  • a green & yellow B-25 owned by the AAF
  • our Zero
  • the MIG-17 owned by one of our pilots
  • a lot of other warbirds off in the distance

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Wings Over Camarillo – Panorama Two

If you get there right after the gates open you can stake out your claim to a spot right up on the flight line.

Of course, what most people don’t realize is that some of those planes in front of you might have to get in back of you after flying some time during the day, and some of the planes in back of you might have to get out in front of you to go fly some time during the day. We work hard to set things up so that’s kept to a minimum, but when it happens, you’ve got to get out of the way.

But it’s a great set to have if you can hold onto it all day!

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Wings Over Camarillo – Panorama One

Yep, out of the frying pan… So few hours for sleep…

Think of good thoughts, happy memories. Like last Saturday, on the ramp before the crowds got too big…

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Wings Over Camarillo – Sunday

It was a really good airshow. No one got hurt. No metal got bent. The crowds were good and they went home happy.

I tried several times to do a FaceBook Live, but that pretty much was a bust. I got one video posted on a delayed basis on Saturday and a brief one live this morning, but the really great one from late this afternoon that the little indicator said was live apparently went straight into the Twilight Zone instead. (Standing about ten feet away from an F-18 as it does its engine start… REALLY FREAKIN’ LOUD!!) The good news is that I had my good video camera rolling at the same time, so we’ll see how that comes out.

Then, as everyone was packing up and bugging out and those of us hosting the show were cleaning up and wrapping up loose ends we got a cotton candy sunset.

And now, out of the frying fan, into the fire. Take care of yourselves this week, friends!

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Wings Over Camarillo – Saturday

Well, that was fun!

Nothing bad happening here, by the way.

In the many years I’ve been going to our local airshow we’ve never had any pyrotechnics. In an area where we have brush fires on a regular basis, things that go “BOOM!!” can freak out the locals.

They’ve been warning folks for weeks:

It will be interesting to hear how many calls there were to 9-1-1 anyway.

But it was a fun show. And I like the booms.

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Staring Into The Fridge

After a couple of weeks of 10+ hour days at work, this weekend at the airshow, while a lot of fun that I’m looking forward to, will also be 12+ hour days. And with the reality-show related event going into overdrive on Monday at work, it looks like just one long, long day after another for at least a couple of weeks.

So you may have days in there when the best I have the energy to post here will be a handful of pictures from the WordPress phone app just as “proof of life.”

How run down and tired am I?

Tonight I caught myself after probably a full minute or more with the door to the refrigerator hanging open as I leaned on and stared in. It was dinner time, that was fine. the problem is that I had come into the kitchen because I had just zapped some leftovers in the microwave, which is next to the refrigerator.

I could have stared in that fridge all night long – the hot food was still going to be in the microwave.

Oh.

Yeah.

See you at the airshow, probably way too damn early tomorrow.

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Hellcat In The Sun

An F-6 Hellcat.

Getting all cleaned up for next weekend, the Wings Over Camarillo airshow.

If you’re in the LA/SoCal area, maybe come and see us. I’ll probably be running around somewhere in the CAF SoCal hangars, down at the west end of the ramp. Stop by and say hello.

This plane, along with our F8 Bearcat, PBJ, P-51, Spitfire, Zero, PT-19s and SNJs and F-24 will all be flying, along with dozens if not hundreds of other aircraft.

On Saturday, the Camarillo animal shelter (on the airport, just down the block from our hangars) will also be holding a “Clear the Shelter” event.

For more information, see wingsovercamarillo.com.

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Birthday Present For FedEx

I wasn’t privvy to many details, but from what I heard there was some sort of anniversary or birthday party that FedEx was throwing for itself down at their LAX facility. That facility sits atop what was once one of the primary North American Aviation factories during World War II, back when LAX was known as Mines Field.

We happen to have two magnificent examples of that particular North American factory, our P-51 Mustang and our PBJ bomber.

They asked if we might be able to send those two aircraft down for the party. To the best of my knowledge we’ve never had our planes at LAX before, nor are there many that ever go in there with the big aluminium tubes from the airlines. So we went.

It was a nice day for flying in SoCal. (Not that I got to leave the ground – someone had to pay the bills today.)

It’s great to have our P-51 flying again after being down over a year with a complete engine rebuild, and the PBJ is going strong and hitting her stride after her first flight last year following a 23-year full restoration.

Coming soon to an airshow near you, especially if you’re on the West Coast or in SoCal. If nothing else if you’re in SoCal, the 2017 Wings Over Camarillo airshow will be at our home base on August 19th and 20th. Come out and see our facilities and planes! (I will not be there for the first time in years – it’s a total solar eclipse weekend for me.)

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