Category Archives: CAF

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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Filed under Photography, CAF, Airshows, Panorama

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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Filed under Photography, CAF, Airshows, Panorama

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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Filed under Photography, CAF, Airshows

Shedding Load

Even though I don’t have an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) certification on my pilot’s license (in other words, I haven’t been trained to fly by instruments alone in clouds and lousy weather, so it’s Visible Flight Rules and relatively clear skies only for me right now), I do enjoy subscribing to an online series by PilotWorkshops.com that gives IFR scenarios and asks you to think through how you would handle them.

The current one talks about someone flying IFR when the alternator dies and they’re on batteries, which won’t last long enough to get to where they need to go. The need to start shutting down systems and instruments (“shedding load”) in order to stretch the batteries as far as they can go, while not turning off anything that they absolutely need.

If you’ve ever seen the excellent “Apollo 13” movie from Ron Howard, you might recognize a similar issue there. The fuel cells exploded, so the CM (Command Module) was shut down while they lived off of the LM (Lunar Module) systems. But the LM doesn’t have a heat shield and can’t survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Only the CM could do that. But its batteries were so drained and limited that turning systems on just before re-entry would overload them and shut everything down, leaving the crew to die in an out of control re-entry. The backup crews on the ground had to find just the perfect sequence of systems to turn on that would let them function without tripping the system into overload.

I know the feeling. It seems it’s been month after month after month at work where it’s been one crisis after another, and now we have a new project coming at us like a freight train. (You can see a bit about it here.) It should be great for the organization, but we’re trying to do months worth of work in just a couple of weeks, and it’s exhausting.

Add in the fact that my work at the CAF SoCal hangar has been “exciting” all year. THEN add in the fact that this weekend is our annual airshow at Camarillo, so I’ll be putting in a lot of hours all weekend.

And on Monday, after that long (but hopefully fun!) weekend, the work event goes into overdrive, ramping up to a week where I’ll pretty much be working 12+ hour shifts every day for about seven to nine days.

So…

I’m looking to do some load shedding.

What am I doing that’s expendable, or can be delayed or put onto a back burner?

And when I’ve done that and I’m still like the Apollo 13 simulations where I’m tripping the system into overload on every try, what is there that can still be done away with? And then, what next that I was sure I absolutely can’t do without but maybe need to reconsider and be viscous about prioritizing?

It’s not a matter of cutting fat but sparing bone – it’s more like, “How much bone can we truly afford to lose? And can we actually afford to lose 10% more than that? 20%?”

Damn, that Labor Day weekend’s looking pretty nice right now! But the only way out is through.

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Filed under CAF, Homes4Families, Paul

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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Filed under Airshows, CAF, Flying, Photography

T34s

While we don’t own one ourselves at the CAF SoCal Wing, a number of our members personally own T-34 “Mentor” trainers.

They often fly with us in formation, such as when we use our PBJ bomber to do a flyover of a UCLA or USC or Rams football game.

I think they were practicing formation flight yesterday. Whatever it was, there were three of them lined up on our ramp and looking great.

The T-34 was built in the 1950’s to train our military pilots and used through the 1960’s.

It’s a nice plane.

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