20190124 airshows Aviation News Breaking Feature General Aviation

A new airshow takes off

A new airshow takes off

On the central coast of California, north of Santa Barbara, lies the town of Santa Maria. Whereas residents are accustomed to the occasional rocket launches from neighboring Vandenberg Air Drive Base, they have been clearly happy for the launch of a new native airshow.

The inaugural two-day Central Coast Airfest went off pretty easily on the Santa Maria Airport (KSMX), drawing hundreds of airshow followers.

Formally referred to as the Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the Snowbirds soar overhead within the Vulcan formation.

Held Oct. 12-13, 2018, this was the area’s first airshow since 2015, when the annual “Thunder Over the Valley,” organized by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, went on hiatus after greater than 20 years.

The freshman airshow began robust, securing the Canadian Forces Snowbirds because the headliner for the present. This was the Snowbirds solely California look of their 10 scheduled U.S. performances. In addition to the Snowbirds, the Royal Canadian Air Pressure additionally introduced considered one of its Lockheed CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol plane for static show.

Flying began off with an indication by a Hawaii-based P-3C Orion from VPU-2 “The Wizards.”

The primary flight demonstration begins with the takeoff of this Hawaii-based (VPU-2) P-3C Orion. With a prime velocity of 473 mph, the Orion is quicker than most World Conflict II warbirds.

John Collver was subsequent, flying an aerial tribute to veterans in his SNJ-5 Texan “War Dog.”

John Collver in his North American SNJ-5, Texan, Struggle Canine. Sporting an El Toro livery, the WD tail code stands for Walt Disney, who designed the El Toro base mascot.

Company pilot Eric Tucker introduced his Technique Seven J-Three Cub to the AirFest, beginning with an indication of the Cub’s deadstick dealing with. Eric would return to the air later to land on prime of a shifting car.

For the primary time in entrance of an airshow crowd, Eric Tucker touches down on prime of this van together with his Piper J-3C Cub.

If Eric’s identify appears acquainted, it might be the truth that he’s the son of airshow legend Sean Tucker. Eric is enamored with airshow comedy acts and was thrilled to lastly carry out certainly one of his personal.

Sammy Mason put his Pitts S-1S Particular by means of its paces. Observe the inverted lettering on the starboard aspect of the fuselage.

Southern California pilot Sammy Mason was subsequent in his high-energy Scheyden Pitts Particular routine. Sammy additionally received to pit his Pitts towards the 10,000-hp Coinforce JetCar — good factor they weren’t racing for pink slips.

With 6,000 kilos of thrust, the Coinforce JetCar makes use of an engine from a North American T-2A Buckeye.

Jon Melby rounded out the aerobatics with a dynamic show in his Hangar 24 Aviat Pitts.

An airshow pilot since 2002, that is Jon Melby’s second yr of performing with the 300+hp Aviat Pitts Particular S1-11B.

Warbird followers acquired a very good dose of excessive efficiency flight beginning with a late-model Spitfire Mk XIV and F8F Bearcat from the Commemorative Air Drive, adopted by a P-38 Lightning and P-40 Warhawk from the Planes of Fame.

The Planes of Fame’s Lockheed P-38F Lightning and Curtiss P-40N Warhawk cross in evaluate on the Central Coast AirFest.

The Snowbirds capped off the AirFest with their elegant nine-ship workforce, though a quickly encroaching marine layer would terminate their efficiency minutes after it started. Sunday attendees have been rewarded with a full routine.

This Boeing F/A-18F Tremendous Hornet, VFA-122 Flying Eagles, flew in from close by NAS Lemoore. The US Navy is transitioning to an all Tremendous Hornet fleet.

There was a pleasant number of static plane to see up shut. Principally present army varieties, corresponding to an F/A-18 Tremendous Hornet together with its electronics warfare cousin, the E/A-18 Growler. A pair of F-5N Aggressor plane from Fallon Naval Air Station, an A-10 Thunderbolt II, and a stealthy T-38 Talon rounded out the lively obligation shows.

These two USAF U-2 pilots pose with their Northrop T-38 Talon. Serving with the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron, the T-38 is used for proficiency flying and chase duties.

A few civil company plane have been on show, together with a UH-1 Huey from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and a Turbo Stationair from the California Freeway Patrol.

In addition to the warbirds on the recent ramp, there was a trio of immaculate T-6/SNJ-6 Texans, a lovely DC-Three in postwar Chinese language Civil Air Transport livery, and a really cool, privately owned Soviet period MiG-21 fighter jet. A very distinctive Givans Predator gyroplane additionally flew in for the present.

Vance Breese flew his one-of-kind 1999 Givans Predator gyroplane to the Airfest.

The AirFest paid homage to Santa Maria’s aviation historical past with the flight demonstration by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Through the conflict, Santa Maria Military Air Subject, situated on the website of the present airport, was the house for lots of of P-38 Lightning pilots present process ultimate coaching earlier than heading to their abroad fight assignments.

One among 10 flyable examples within the U.S., the Planes of Fame Lockheed P-38F Lightning attracted a good quantity of consideration.

This was an airshow with a pleasant small city vibe punctuated with a prime tier jet staff. I had fun and hope the present materializes into an annual occasion for West coast airshow followers.

Extra Pictures from Central Coast Airfest

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