Category Archives: Airshows

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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AOPA Weekend At CMA

This last weekend at Camarillo Airport (CMA) there were some big crowds as the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) had one of their regional “fly-ins” at our site. (There’s a nice mention of the CAF presence there in the fifth paragraph – but you read this site so you already knew about that, didn’t you?)

The AOPA and all of its volunteers (many of whom are also CAF members and volunteers) did a great job of marshaling hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of planes into an airport that normally holds a hundred or so. The heavy winds on Friday and Saturday probably did a job on keeping the number of aircraft down – it seemed there were a fair number of pilots who chose to drive out from the LA environs and Southern California rather than risk the 15-20 knot crosswinds.

Nonetheless, when it was all over, the volunteers got to marshal all of those planes back out. If you think it’s crowded getting out of the parking lot at Dodger Stadium after a big game, or onto the train outside Busch Stadium after a Cardinals game, try putting hundreds of planes into the Los Angeles airspace in just a couple of hours!

On a nice weekend day CMA often will have five or six aircraft lined up to take their turns at take off. This weekend…

Click on this to see it full sized and start counting the planes. I see at least ten here and there were a couple more over to the left.

The other things to note are: a) the aforementioned volunteers out there marshaling traffic – you’ll NEVER see anyone out there on a normal day, at least not without the cops chasing them; b) look at the US flag and how those winds have it straight out. Fortunately, by this time it had shifted around to be blowing straight down the runway. The problem was that about 50 feet up it was apparently blowing in a much different direction (it happens) which meant that transitioning into or out of the ground winds was “exciting.”

Everyone was safe, a good time was had by all, and everyone made it home. All in all, an excellent job by AOPA and the CMA staff!

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The Next Two Weeks

If you’re local and you’re interested in some interesting and unique aircraft, you’ll have some great opportunities to see some gems in the next two weeks.

If you’re me and you’re still trying to get your annual audit and corporate tax returns done on top of having two major events going on at Camarillo Airport (CMA), you’ll have some great opportunities to have a nervous breakdown in the next two weeks. Consider this a heads up that there may be multiple days when a couple of pictures might be all I’ve got time or energy for. The good news is that they could be really good pictures!

Fifi is the CAF’s B-29. She visited us for a week two years ago and she’ll be back for a week starting tomorrow (weather permitting, of course).

Two years ago I spent every day of that week out in Camarillo, not just to see Fifi but to help out with all of the activity that will be surrounding her visit. With a (great!) day job now (and that audit etc) that won’t be an option. Which probably means that something like every other day I’ll be going out to the hangar after work in the evening.

The following weekend, April 28-29, there’s an AOPA Fly-in at CMA. Again, I won’t be able to be out there on Friday, but the rest of the weekend will be spent out there.

Oh, and did I mention that this weekend I’ll be running a 5K and going to the Angels’ game in Anaheim, as well as seeing my daughter and sister(s) and family?

“No pressure – no diamonds”

Yeah, that’s it. If I make it to May with the audit done, my blood pressure under control, and my sanity intact (or at least not any worse off than it is now) it will be time for a vacation. Which I won’t get until August.

It’s gonna be a slice!

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