Category Archives: Airshows

Wings Over Camarillo 2021 – Day Two

Today, before it got too busy and crazed for me, I went and visited the STEM Pavilion being hosted in one of our hangars.

There were a lot of neat things going on. Needless to say, I would have killed to have things like this to do when I was ten or fifteen years old!

DRONES?! They will let me play with drones? Well, actually no. They’re more than happy to let kids play with drones. Adults, who presumably have their own disposable income as well as the ability to manage their own lives, are not allowed. 😫 No matter how big the temper tantrum.

Again while it was calm, before the crowds got there (and we had a nice sized crowd again today) I got up close and personal with another favorite of mine, the P-38 Lightning.

Have I ever told the story of my flight training on the way to John Wayne / Santa Ana airport… No, I don’t think I did. I’ll put that one on the list.

The obligatory picture of two of the CAF SoCal aircraft, our Zero and our Hellcat.

And a quick, cellphone picture of yesterday’s favorite, the Corsair, in flight. Most of today I was shooting cell phone and video with the good video camera. Busy, busy day for the finance dude, a.k.a., me.

Speaking of video, here’s how the show ended for the weekend. We had a fair amount of “pyro” late in the show and I hadn’t seen any of it yesterday being busy, and almost missed everything today. But I made sure to get out for the big “wall of fire” finale just as the show closed.

Sweet! Nothing and nobody got bent or broken, the crowds were good, the beer, PX, and ride sales were excellent, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year. Or you can come out and see us at the museum on any open day (see our website to check the current schedule, we’re not open every day but are gradually ramping up as we recover from the COVID lockdowns) or book a ride for another time.

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Wings Over Camarillo 2021 – Day One

Wow, that was a long day…

I had figured the show could go either way in terms of crowd size, and relatedly, the financial success or failure for both the Camarillo Wings Association and all of the different sponsors, including the CAF SoCal Wing. First, we could have a huge crowd because all of the airshows for the last 18 months have been canceled along with a HUGE chunk of everything else, so folks will be desperate to attend a relatively safe, outdoor event with minimal close contact with strangers. OR, folks would still be really nervous about the resurgence of the COVID Delta variant and it would be something of a ghost town.

The air show fans of SoCal voted with their dollars – today at least had the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at a Camarillo air show.

In between my duties as the CAF SoCal Finance Officer (so I was hoppin’ all day!) I managed to capture a few pictures to share. (Huh! Go figure!)

Out in front before the gates opened there was a long line of fighters and warbirds. You’ve seen pictures of the CAF SoCal planes dozens of time on this page (search for the “CAF” category tag) so I was drooling over this gorgeous Corsair. A favorite plane (ever watch “Ba Ba Black Sheep”?) we don’t have one (yet) so I don’t get to see one up close or flying that often.

There were military aircraft on static display, but not nearly as many as most years. This AWACS, a couple of helicopters, and that was about it. In particular no huge cargo plane like a C-17, C-5, or even a C-130. They said something during the show about them being “in use overseas,” so I wonder if all of a sudden they’re all busy over in the Afghanistan evacuations.

Lots of old bi-planes and privately owned warbirds, particularly a lot of trainers like PT-19s, Stearmans, and T-34s. This 1929 Travel Air D-4-D was particularly gorgeous.

Usually the fast military fighters close the show, but today they started. It might have been to wake everyone up (like, everyone between Encino and Santa Barbara!!) or it might have been because of the cloud cover that hadn’t lifted quite yet. Either way, it definitely made an impression on the crowd, as well as every car with an alarm for blocks around.

You’ve seen this MIG before, it’s owned by our CAF SoCal Wing Leader, Jason Somes. But I’m not sure I’ve shown it to you in flight yet. Here you go!

Should you happen to be in SoCal and not have other plans for tomorrow, we’ll do it all over again. Gates open at 9:00. If you make it out, swing by the CAF ramp to see our planes, the STEM Pavilion in our hangars, the Beer & Margarita Garden in our other hangars, and maybe even ask someone where I am. Say howdy!

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Wings Over Camarillo 2021 – Arrival Day

This site has a metric ton of pictures from previous years’ Wings Over Camarillo airshows – just “Search.” Last year we didn’t have a show due to COVID-19. For the longest time I didn’t think we would have one this year, but sort of at the last minute (meaning four or five months ago, instead of the usual 9-12 months of planning and preparation) they decided to go for it and have it anyway. We’ll see how that works out…

The CAF SoCal Wing is one of the big sponsors and participants of the WOC show, so naturally we’re throwing everything we can at it. Again, given that we’re just coming out of 18 months of shutdown, including pickling all of our aircraft to preserve them while they’re not flying, and then working frantically for the past month or so to un-pickle them, this has been hectic. There are a few things that we normally do which we didn’t have the time or staff to do this year (lots of our docents and members are still staying away due to COVID and the Delta variant, which is 100% understandable) but hopefully it won’t be too many things that folks will be disappointed to do without.

The big question will be how many people will show up? We’ll know tomorrow.

Meanwhile, today I was out at the hangar getting all of the finance stuff prepped. It was also “arrival day,” when most of the planes from other airports fly in and get positioned.

I took a few quick photos. (Hey, the Chiefs were playing their Week Two pre-season game at 17:00 – priorities!)

Our ramp is littered with aircraft – a good thing! How many can you identify? (Click to see the full sized photo.)

These speakers are set up along the flight line about every 50 feet – I keep hearing the M*A*S*H announcer’s voice – “Attention. Attention. All personnel. Our movie tonight will be ‘My Darling, Clementine’ in the mess tent at Oh Nineteen Hundred hours…”

Jason’s MIG, one of our SNJ’s, and China Doll. Off in the distance, tents and booths as far as the eye can see…

And a video of a fast mover:

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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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