2019 Naval Air Station Lemoore Air Show
September 21, 2019 Naval Air Station Lemoore, Ca
After several years without an air show, Naval Air Station Lemoore brought a big event back to to the Central Valley on September 21st and 22nd. The 2019 Central Valley Air Show took place over two days, featuring the United States Navy’s Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. This event attracted visitors from all over California, and beyond. Crowds were estimated to be more then 80,000 spectators for both days.
Opening the show was the Budweiser Clydesdale Parade, along with Precision Exotics Showcase of their high performance cars.
The ﬁrst ﬂying act of the day was Skyhawk 518. Piloted by Jerod Flohr, the privately owned A-4 Skyhawk has quite a history. After its last assignment with VMA-124 Checkerboards, the jet was placed in storage in 1976. Sold to the Malaysian Air Force in 1983, the jet made its way back to the desert in 1986. From there it became what we now know as N518TA “Skyhawk 518”… and it is wowing airshow fans across the country.
Following the A-4 Skyhawk Demo, Kent Peitsch and his Jelly Belly comedy act took to the sky for a short demonstration. Veteran Airshow performer Vicky Benzing and her 1940 Boeing Stearman bi-plane were up next for a graceful aerobatic showcase performance.
Native Californian Greg Colyer, call sign “Wired”, took to the sky in his T-33 Shooting Star (aka “Ace Maker”). Next, the Commemorative Air Force’s WW II battle re-enactment featured the F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, PBJ-1 Bomber and the A6M Zero.
The United States Navy F/A-18 Fleet Air Power demo featured several squadrons based at NAS Lemoore. In addition, the F-18 was joined by an F-35C for a Fleet Flyover and several solo passes for the crowd. The Patriots Jet Team then took to the skies during the mid afternoon. The team features former US Navy Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbird pilots, and ﬂew a sleek demonstration – warming up the crowd for the Blue Angels.
The Lemoore Search and Rescue Team gave the crowd a stellar performance showing how the team effects a rescue during an emergency situation. The demonstration featured the capabilities of the rescue helicopter as well as the skill of the pilots and crew who are assigned to the team.
Last but not least was the United States Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. Led by Blue Angel #1 Captain Eric Doyle aka “Boss”, the team performed its ﬂight demonstration closing the air show on both days. The Central Valley Airshow was just one of a few west coast stops in California for the Blue Angels, before they returned to their home base in Pensacola, Florida.
The Central Valley Airshow was at the top of the list, being one of best airshows of the year on the West Coast. We will be looking forward to NAS Lemoore being back in the airshow circuit. The unofﬁcial word is the will be alternating air show years with NAS Pt. Mugu.