Wings Over Gillespie 2012
This is San Diego County’s #2 Air show, and while the County’s #1 Miramar Air show is considered one of the best in the World, “Wings Over Gillespie” is a very well performed and organized show put on by the San Diego-based Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), over a two day period.
This year’s weather was perfect, bright sunshine and temps staying in the 80’s by mid-day. While there is allot more planes on the static line, than in the air, the show has a very friendly family atmosphere about it, with lots of vendors, and things for kids to do. Even a D-Day of Normandy reenactment battle between German and U.S./English Army infantry took place in the middle of show center, with a .50 caliber machine gun blazing away from the top of a US Army Jeep, reminding me of the old 1960’s show “Rat Patrol”.
The actual air show began with some lady fliers doing several laps around the air field, and the Northrop Flying Wing from the Plane of Fame group in Chino, CA. that eventually led up to the well known pilot John Collver in his U.S. Marine version of a SNJ-5 Texan. John always puts on a very graceful show, and is a mainstay at almost every air show in Southern California in his plane known as “War dog” and then several aircraft from WWII flew, including a P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, F4F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, DC-53 Skytrooper, TBM-3 Avenger, and several British planes such as the Fairey Firefly and a Spitfire, The plane of the show was a Vought F2G-1 Super Corsair, a racing version of the F4U Corsair. Bright Red with white stripes and a single white blade in the propellers.
After the show ended, rides were offered for a fee to the general public onboard a CAF B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-25 Mitchell. Again, while it’s a smaller, more local of a show, it still delights the thousands of aviation fans and families that show up every year for this annual event.