2014 Wings Over Camarillo Airshow

“Wings Over Camarillo” was held at the Commemorative Air Force’s Southern California Wing Headquarters from August 23rd through August 24th. With a great back drop, excellent lighting, and outstanding weather, Camarillo’s annual airshow is a must for aviation photographers. Cool temperatures and and low clouds in the morning gave way both days to beautiful blue skies and temps in the high 70s.

“Each year, volunteers from the Southern California Wing, EAA Chapter 723 and the Ventura County Ninety-Nines team up with the Wings Over Camarillo, the non-profit organization which sponsors the event, to stage two full days of fun and entertainment for the whole family.” said Linda Ehrlich, Marketing Director of this years show.

With a wide variety of acts and entertainment, there was something for everyone at this years show. Each morning I started out with the Ventura County Ninety-Nines annual pancake breakfast, which for as large as the pancakes are, is a steal for only a dollar an item. On the ground there was a wide variety of civilian and military aircraft, a play area for the little ones, a vintage car show, and several vendors selling everything from t-shirts and airshow memorabilia to brand new cars. Orbic Helicopters was giving very generously discounted rides both in the morning and after the show each day, and would fly you out over Camarillo’s farmlands on an eight minute flight before returning to the airport. It was an outstanding flight, and whether you’ve been on a helicopter before or not, I highly recommend you take advantage at next year’s show. You can go much sooner though, and can find out more information if you are like me and don’t want to wait another year @ www.orbichelicopters.com. (I ended up taking the entire family flying with me.)

There were several warbirds on display as well as 2 Hawker Hunter’s and a L-39 flown over from NBVC Pt Mugu, that are owned and operated by ATAC for a wide array of testing with the military. The CAF also had their C-46 ‘China Doll’ on display, and towed out their authentic PBJ, which is a favorite of mine at Camarillo, and said it should hopefully be flying in the next six months.

By noon the Air Boss, Bill Thomas, said the airspace was clear, gave the go ahead, and the aerial portion of the show started. Soon after, the sound of aircraft firing up dominated your senses and the afternoon of flying began. Air show announcers Ron Fleishman and Greg Andrews manned the microphones and kept the crowd entertained and informed with their vast knowledge of the aviation history.

Aerobatic demonstrations were performed by:

Chuck Aaron in his Red Bull Helicopter
Judy Phelps in her Pitts
Vicky Benzing in her Extra 300S
Clay Lacy in his Pilatus Porter
Dr D. in his 1946 Taylorcraft
3 parachute jumps from: a C-47 ‘What’s up Doc’, 3 jumper’s with wing suits from Chuck Aaron’s Red Bull Helicopter, and a static line jump from 1500 feet by 10 United States Marines from Bell, Ca. jumping from the C-53 ‘D-Day Doll’

Additional demonstrations and flybys were done by:

P-51 Mustangs
F6F Hellcat
F8F Bearcat
A6M Zero
P-47 Thunderbolt
SBD Dauntless
P-40 Warhawk
P-63 Kingcobra
B-25 Mitchell(Executive Sweet)
Northrop N9MB Flying Wing
Super Tacano
PT-22s and a variety of additional biplanes and trainers
and Ventura County Sheriff’s H-1 performed a water drop

The show wrapped up each day with the CAF’s own warbird’s taking to the skies for some speed runs down the flight line. Camarillo is and always has been a show that I go to and will rearrange my plans if something else comes up that weekend. I am already counting down to next year’s show and crossing my fingers that the PBJ will be flying along side their B-25 ‘Executive Sweet’.

I want to thank Linda Ehrlich for inviting Photorecon and granting us special access, the CAF for their ever present hospitality, and Ken Obi from Orbic Helicopters for once again providing me a helicopter for some aerial photography.

Steve Lewis

Steve is a Southern California based photographer living in the Los Angeles area.

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