MCAS Yuma Airshow 2012

The MCAS Yuma played out a little different from the original way I was planning on doing the show. The weather people in San Diego had been predicting a large winter storm to hit Southern California with lots of rain, snow, and major winds, on the weekend for the schedule Yuma 2012 Airshow. I started to think that the show may be affected by the approaching storm.

I had planned on driving into Yuma early on Saturday morning from San Diego, and meeting with the Public Affairs Officer, along with the other Media types to shoot the show, but while at the NAF El Centro 2012 Airshow, the weekend before, I learned that the Marines were having an unofficial Media day on the Friday before the show. With the weather coming and my thinking that it might interfere with the actual show, I contacted the PAO office at MCAS Yuma, and got put on the Media list immediately for the Friday practice show. I have to say, this PAO office was one of the best that I’ve dealt with, a big thank you to Captain Reidinger, Gunnery Sergeant Dunk, Corporals Bopp and Diamante.

Arriving Friday morning, I met with approximately 15 other photographers and news crews. The photographers came from as far as Europe, and as close as Yuma, itself.
The day was beautiful with no clouds in the sky, temps in the low 80’s and a cooling breeze sometimes blowing through. It was a perfect day, and the Marines gave us full access to the flight line. Most of the static displays were not in place yet, but that was okay, because we were able to walk up and touch the US Air Force Thunderbirds F-16’s, and the Marines Aggressor Squadron’s F-5 II’s. Performances from Tora, Tora, Tora and CAF groups were awesome, and to see these old war birds still flying, they just hold one’s attention, when you see a P-51 Mustang in a steep dive or a F4U Corsair streaking by just above your head.

The Navy’s F/A 18 Demo Team is never boring, nor are the Marine’s AV-8B with it’s noise and hovering abilities. The Marines F-5’s put on what appeared to be extended fly-bys, and what a joy it was to see as each plane, painted in different camouflaged colors.

It was finally late afternoon and time for the Thunderbirds to fly. The paint scheme on those F-16’s alone make it a great time for watching them fly, as they pull off maneuver after maneuver, and after having just seen the US Navy Blue Angels the weekend before, it was just amazing few days out in America’s southwest deserts.

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Douglas Aguillard

Douglas (Doug) Aguillard is a Freelance Photojournalist who specializes in the Military & Aviation fields. Based in San Diego, CA, he is a Marine veteran., He currently is a photojournalist for the Military Press Newspaper, the Historical / Archival Dept. photographer for the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at MCAS Miramar, and a very proud member of Photo Recon, and has been published in various magazines and books such as "Combat Aircraft Monthly" magazine, "Vertical " magazine, "Wings of Gold" magazine, Sikorsky Frontlines newsletter, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum's Book: "Celebrating the San Diego Air & Space Museum: A History of the Museum and it's collections".

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