Category Archives: Airshows

Shameless CAF SoCal Plug

Go look here to see some great pictures from our CAF SoCal Wing.

We were out at El Centro, CA last week for the first big airshow of the season. The Blue Angels were there.

The Blue Angels currently fly F-18’s. When they formed after WWII they first flew F8F Bearcats and F6F Hellcats.

We have a F8F Bearcat. We have an F6F Hellcat.

On the evening before the airshow, at sunset we went up with our F8F, our F6F, one of their F18s, and some photographers in our PBJ-1/B-25 as a photo platform. The pictures are pretty stinking spectacular.

Check them out on our website and also on our Instagram or Twitter feeds!

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The Airshow Working Me

As much as I might be in (serious, world-class, overwhelming, all-encompassing) denial about getting older, I might be getting too old for this shit.

Another lovely day, albeit another 13 hour plus day. First thing tomorrow, starting the week a half lap or more behind on sleep, the new week starts.

How was your weekend?

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Working The Airshow

Working the airshow is not quite as much fun as just going to an airshow. But it was a good day, even if I did have a 15 hour day there.

 Tomorrow will probably be another 12+ hour day, so if you’re in SoCal, feel free to come out and say howdy!

Gates ooen at 10:00, flying starts at noon and goes until about 16:30. If you’re there, wander by the CAF hangars & chat. Don’t sweat finding me – just ask anyone working at any of the CAF booths there and they’ll track me down.

See you there, maybe?

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Out Of The Frying Pan

You may have noticed that The Long-Suffering Wife and I were on vacation in New York City for the last eight days. It was pretty much a “go, Go, GO!!” trip, trying to hit as many first-time tourist spots as possible in one of the largest tourist traps on the planet.

All good things must end. Today it was back to the real world, the office, and everything that had occurred back at the office during those eight days. The good news is that I have a fantastic team there (great job, Esther and Hazel!) and while today was a bit frantic, there weren’t any crises to speak of.

One might think that I would be grateful for a “short week” since I was off in the Big Apple on Monday and Tuesday. But that’s not to be. As busy (and occasionally exhausting) as the road days were, this upcoming weekend will be as frantic or more so.

It’s time for this year’s “Wings Over Camarillo” airshow! (Previous years’ pictures here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

With the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force being both a major sponsor of the show as well as one of the lead performing groups (at last check we’ll be flying the PT-19, the SNJ-5, the Hellcat, the Bearcat, the Zero, the Spitfire, and the PBJ (flying at her first airshow). The Mustang is currently down for repairs, but will be there to gawk at, sans engine.

With my volunteer role as Finance Officer for the CAF SoCal Wing, I’ll be extremely busy all weekend.

So much for the theory which says, “I’ll catch up on my sleep when I get back from vacation.” Somehow “I’ll catch up on my sleep ten days or so after I get back from vacation, put in long hours at the office, and then put in eighteen-hour days all weekend” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the same way.

Don’t worry. I’ll take lots of pictures to share. Sometime after I get caught up on my sleep.

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Filed under Habitat For Humanity, Flying, Travel, CAF, Airshows

Point Mugu Airshow – Part 7 – Even More Blue Angels

All good things must end, and so it is with an airshow. It was a long day, an extremely good and fun day, and I’ve shared pictures of  flying CAF SoCal aircraftstatic CAF aircraft, static civilian aircraft, two batches of static military aircraft, and a first batch of Blue Angels pictures. Oh, and there were also pictures of some of the feathered flyers at Point Mugu that day. With today’s pictures, I’ll wrap up coverage of this air show, but don’t worry. You can bet that there will be more air shows to follow.

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Point Mugu Airshow – Part 6 – The Blue Angels

Dessert gets served last in order to heighten the anticipation. Ditto for airshows.

Following pictures of  flying CAF SoCal aircraftstatic CAF aircraft, and static civilian aircraft, plus two batches of static military aircraft, it’s time for dessert.

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Aircraft #1 through #6 normally perform the Blue Angels’ show. Aircraft #7 is ready to go as a spare if there’s a mechanical problem. I’ve seen a show where someone landed, got into #7, took off, and the show resumed in maybe five minutes. You think NASCAR can do a bitchin’ pit stop?

Aircraft #7 is also a two-seater, so when you see one of those excellent videos of some celebrity or newscaster blacking out in a 9G turn on a PR flight, this is where they’re sitting.

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“Fat Albert” is the C-130 support aircraft that hauls around parts, team members, luggage, and so on. Remember, these women and men are on the road about 2/3 of every year bringing these shows to you. And Fat Albert does get to its part of the show as well.

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The precision flying on display is almost beyond belief.

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These pilots truly are the best of the best.

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If you are bothered by loud noises, bring ear plugs or a set of foam ear muffs.

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If you absolutely LOVE the loud noises these jets bring and the feeling of a wall of sound beating against you as sixteen tons of machine turn Jet A into megadecibels as it does a 200 knot, 9G, minimum radius turn in front of you, just wallow in it. (Two guesses which camp I’m in…)

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The mountain to the east of Point Mugu is covered with radar and equipment that tracks ballistic launches out of Vandenberg AFB as well as the weapons test that Point Mugu has done for decades. I realized at one point that the whole team had joined up and would be flying right over it behind us.

For whatever reason, this is one of my favorite pictures from this airshow.

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After landing, the team taxis back…

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…to be met by a fleet of tankers full of the aforementioned Jet A.

 

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Point Mugu Airshow – Part 5 – Even More Static Military Aircraft

Following pictures of  flying CAF SoCal aircraftstatic CAF aircraft, and static civilian aircraft, plus a first batch of static military aircraft, it’s time for one more batch before we get to the main course.

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Perhaps not strictly military in this iteration, this is the Breitling Jet Team prior to their takeoff. They put on an exceptionally good show.

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A C-130 cargo plane with four big turboprop engines.

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The front of a helicopter, with a big camera platform hanging off the nose.

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That same helicopter from the side, with one of the propeller blade coming at us like a cheezy 3-D movie. I’m about 99% sure this is a Blackhawk, but if I’m a member of the 1%, someone will correct me, I’m sure. (That’s one of the reasons the Internet was invented.)

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An A-6 Intruder.

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Again, perhaps not strictly military at the moment, this MK-58 Hawker Hunter is one of many owned by a company called ATAC. They fly these as targets in military training flights, among other things.

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Another C-130 variant?

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A C-17 cargo jet. These things are freakin’ huge. Not quite as freakin’ huge as a C-5 Galaxy, but there’s huge and then there’s huger, if you know what I mean.

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It’s a treat to watch a C-17 demonstration. Even with a full load these things can take off in an obscenely short distance, even on an unpaved runway or remote site. Better yet, they can land on that unpaved runway or remote site in the first place, then stop on a dime and give you nine cents change.

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