Wings Over Gillespie Airshow 2013
It’s year Eighteen for the Annual Wings Over Gillespie Airshow, nestled in the valley between El Cajon and Santee, California, it’s on site of a former WWII United States Marine Airfield and Parachutist School.
This is a small show, only flying for around 3 hours, but well worth the cost of admission, as you can explore the many many planes that were along the Static line.
The is made up of a series of WWII fighters and bombers, a WWII re-enactment, and a stunt show and formation flying group. This is a great family type of airshow, with smaller crowds and cooler weather than the Miramar Airshow, which has huge crowds and questionable weather in late September or early October, where you never know if the sun will out and the temps in the extreme hot range or raining and cold.
This year, the show started with 3 Buckers, a bi-plane made in Germany taking off and doing a few laps over the Airfield.Then a DC-3 takes to the the sky to have parachutist jump out of the plane for the opening ceremony.
From here on out, it’s constant action with planes constantly taking off, flying several laps around the field, and then landing. Two older Ryan monoplanes flew along side the WWII planes. These WWII planes consisted of several North American T-6 Texans, a Vultee Valiant, a Curtiss P-36 King Cobra, 2 North American P-51 Mustang’s, the “Man O War” and “Lady Alice”., a Vought F4U Corsair, two Grumman F4 Wildcat’s and a F8 Bearcat, a rare Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, a configured B-24 Liberator. Also a Consolidated PBY Catalina flew, and this was the plane of the show.
Rescued in South Africa, where she had flown for the Royal South African Navy during the second World War, she did duty for a Oil company after the war, and then was left to rot at an air field in Johannsberg. San Diegean James Slattery, a very well know collector of Naval and Marine aircraft bought the plane, had it refurbished and then flown through Western Africa, over the Atlantic to Brazil, and then north to San Diego.
Entertainment was provided by John Collver and his Texan T-6 “Wardog” John has been doing his show for what seems to be forever and is usually present at most Southern California airshows, showing his precision flying in a very graceful exhibition of the Texan’s capabilities.
There was also the Silver Wings – wing walking performance team, and the Red Eagles Formation flyers, who were flying in Yak 52’s. The Best plane of the Static line was the Douglas A2D Skyshark, the last one in the world.