Category Archives: CAF

No Worldcon For Us – Again

My calendar reminds me that right about now is when I was supposed to be finishing a long drive from LA to San Jose and checking into our hotel for this year’s World Science Fiction Convention (aka “Worldcon”).

That’s not happening. I’m not thrilled.

About six or seven weeks ago we cancelled our reservations and told friends that we weren’t going to be there. The Wings Over Camarillo airshow is this weekend and as the Finance Officer for the Wing it’s sort of critical that I be there. Last year I wasn’t (it was the total solar eclipse!) and for that I made the trip. And then had to work twice as hard for quite a while to get caught up. It was worth it (TOTAL FREAKIN’ SOLAR ECLIPSE!!) but as much as I love going to Worldcon, I have to do the responsible, “adulting” thing this year. There will be another one next year.

But as I saw the posts of friends from all over the country and even all over the world heading to San Jose, I got to thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve been to Worldcon. Then I got really depressed.

Nine years.

The last time we went was 2009 in Montreal. Which was great, because we had gotten to Denver in 2008. And the family got to LA in 2006. (I didn’t since I was doing my MBA program at Pepperdine and had class that entire weekend.) And we all went to Toronto in 2003 and San Jose in 2002! And from 1978 (my first con of any kind) in Phoenix through 1984 in Los Angeles I went for seven years in a row!

But since Montreal I’ve missed Melbourne, Reno, Chicago, San Antonio, London, Spokane, Kansas City, and Helsinki. Fine, London when I was unemployed for a while might have been a reasonable, responsible call. And Kansas City was fairly soon after I started my current job and I probably didn’t have any vacation time accrued yet. But what’s up with that Reno, Chicago, and San Antonio stretch? What was the excuse then?

I’m sure it was something along the lines of, “There will be another one next year.”

So next year it’s Dublin. And in 2020 it will be New Zealand. (Okay, the 2020 site selection voting is going on this weekend, but no one else has a bid, so…) And likely to be (only one current bid) Washington DC in 2021 , Chicago in 2022, and Minneapolis in 2073.

Too early to start planning my excuse/reason for missing it next year?

I’ll watch the Hugo awards and masquerade online… Wait, it just hit me. No, I won’t. They’ll be on at times when I’m tied up with my job at the air show.

Y’all have fun in San Jose. Say hello to fandom for me. I’ll be over here being adult, boring, mundane, and contemplating the similarities between a rut and a grave.

(Wow, THAT escalated quickly!)

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Filed under CAF, Fandom, Paul

Bearcat Closeups

When you get up close and personal with an F8-F Bearcat, it’s all nut, bolts, wires, metal, grease, and rivets – designed to tear through the sky like a bat out of Hell! It’s a beautiful thing.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography

A Packed Ramp Pano

With three hangers in use for parties today (it’s one of our key revenue sources, a GREAT place for a wedding, birthday party, bar/bat mitzvah, quinceanera, retirement party, movie shoot – seriously, it’s the biggest venue in Ventura County) a lot of the planes were parked out on the ramp. It was a good time to go stand out among them and take a nice, wide panoramic view:

(Click to blow it up to full size)

Most are CAF aircraft, some are owned by CAF SoCal members, some are AAF aircraft.

From left to right (more or less):

  • T-34 Mentor (orange, black, and white)
  • PT-19 Stearman (blue, yellow, red & white rudder, over by the corner of the hangar)
  • PBJ (grey, the big bomber)
  • A-2 Alon (white & red, in the foreground)
  • L-29C (silver jet)
  • A6M3 Zero (dark green with red dot, way off behind the L-29C)
  • Spitfire (dark brown, behind the tail of the L-29C)
  • C-46 Commando (Silver, huge cargo plane in the background)
  • P-51 Mustang (silver, red nose)
  • F-6F Hellcat (dark blue, big white star, in between the C-46 and P-51)
  • UH-1 Iroquois (dark green helicopter with a red cross on the side)
  • B-25 (dark green bomber facing away from us, a cousin to our PBJ)
  • L-17 Navion (silver, in foreground)
  • T-6 Texan (yellow, behind the Navion)
  • C-47 Dakota (brown & khaki camouflage, behind the SNJ)

The majority of these aircraft are flying. The C-47 is being restored by the AAF, our C-46 hasn’t flown in a few years and would need some work to be airworthy again, and the UH-1 helicopter has actually been converted into to a fancy & stylish promotional beer wagon. The other twelve? All have flown recently, and at least four of these aircraft were flying today.

If you’re in the Southern California area, you should come out and visit us some time. Visit on a Saturday and I’ll probably be there, I would be glad to show you around.

Better yet, come out in three weeks for the Wings Over Camarillo airshow. Not only can you see all of these aircraft, you’ll see a ton more, with many of them (including just about anything we can put into the air) flying and performing aerobatics. Bring sunscreen, we’ll sell you the beer, soda, margaritas, other folks will sell you the food, it will be a great time!

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Filed under CAF, Panorama, Photography

Bombers & Transports On The Ramp

(click on image to see full-sized)

Okay, it’s not ONLY bombers and transports on the ramp – the F-24 is over there on the far left, and our F6-F Hellcat’s stashed over next to China Doll.

But by both weight and volume, it’s bombers & transports on the ramp this afternoon!!

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Filed under CAF, Panorama, Photography

The Ramp This Morning

I’m giving you the full resolution copy so you can blow it up big on your monitor!

This morning’s line up as three of our aircraft got ready to go do a flyover, from left to right:

  • P-51 Mustang fighter (red tail, silver body)
  • PBJ/B-25 bomber
  • F8F Bearcat fighter (blue)
  • SNJ-5 trainer (yellow)
  • C-46 transport


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Filed under CAF, Panorama, Photography

Inbound To CMA

A thousand thanks to the fellow CAF SoCal Staff member who took me up for a bit of flying today!!! (I generally don’t ID people without their permission if they’re not public figures, so we’ll leave him unnamed for now out of respect for his privacy.)

It had been a while since I had been up in a small plane and the day was just about perfect for a trip around Ventura County.

In this brief clip we’re inbound to CMA (Camarillo Airport) runway 26, over Thousand Oaks and just coming over the Canejo Grade on the 101 Freeway (lower left). You can see the coast off in the distance, with a number of the Channel Islands offshore in the haze. Most of the bright patches out in the distance aren’t lakes or other bodies of water – they’re fields covered in plastic.

The wavering black band in the middle is the propeller. This is a common effect seen in cell phone videos and propeller aircraft, the “bending” effect of the prop coming from the image on the cell phone’s camera CCD being recorded as a series of horizontal scans while the propeller is moving at high speed, being in a slightly different position as each line is scanned.

The runway is there in the haze almost directly in the center of the picture, to the left of the freeway winding through Camarillo, just beyond that somewhat “L-shaped” silver patch of strawberry fields.

After a long, hard week (one of way too many) it was wonderful to get out of the office and up in the air!

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Video

Noisy Visitor (Video)

Yesterday we had a Navy/Marine T-45 visiting. I mentioned it was noisy. Mind you, some of our WWII planes can get a bit loud, but this is a whole new level.

I set my phone on the ground about twenty feet behind the jet. Note the spray of debris at the 0:30 mark.

Five minutes or so later the jet was waiting for clearance to take off. While they were waiting, someone in a Cessna 172 pulled up behind them to wait their turn next, a position that I thought might be ill advised. You’ll see after the cut, about four minutes later in real time (there were a lot of other planes landing), someone in the tower must have suggested a different course of action.

I love the sound of Jet-A being turned into noise!

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Video