2017’s Wings Over Camarillo Air Show

Every August, a wonderful air show takes place at the Camarillo Airport in Camarillo, California. With beautiful blue skies, moderate temperatures, a nice cool sea breeze, and sunlight that stays behind you the entire show, this air show draws tens of thousands of aviation fans from around the world.

Camarillo Airport is home to many tenants including the Ventura County Sherriff’s Department, EAA Chapter 723, and the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The CAF, with their wide assortment of flyable World War II aircraft, have the unique ability to showcase these warbirds that America’s greatest generation flew to victory seven decades ago.

Dubbed, ‘Wings over Camarillo’, this show continues to be an amazing event year after year. From a kid’s zone to a car show, from WWII prop driven aircraft to modern day fighter jets, the show provides something for everyone. Once again, before and after the show, there were very affordable helicopter rides provided by Orbic Helicopters, where you could take your entire family up to see the beautiful fields and coastline of Oxnard and Camarillo. This year the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation was also selling rides for $350.00 per person to sit in the front seat of their AH-1 Cobra. Other aircraft selling rides were the Commemorative Air Force’s own T-6, PT-22, B-25, PBJ, and P-51.

Once the show started, Vicky Benzing, John Collver, Sammy Mason, and Judy Phelps kept the crowd entertained with intense breathtaking aerobatic maneuvers. The Commemorative Air Force, the Planes of Fame Air Museum, the Palm Springs Air Museum, and the Condor Squadron provided several warbirds that performed formations flyovers and high-speed passes at various times throughout the show. There was also a parachute demonstration provided by the World War II Demonstration Team, a water drop from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department’s UH-1 Huey, and several civilian experimental planes.

Along with the action in the air, there was a classic car show that paraded in front of the show goers each day. This was the most classic cars I have personally witnessed at this event to date. The line of cars went all the way down from one end of the show line to the other, and then wrapped back on itself. Car show participants also had the unique chance to have their vehicles photo taken in front of one of the CAF’s warbirds each morning prior to the festivities. The modern military participation was also larger this year than at past shows. They included a pair of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, two F/A-18E Super Hornets, a C-17 Globemaster III, a C-130J Hercules, a E-2 Hawkeye, a AH-1Z Viper and a UH-1Y Venom.

Camarillo is a show that I circle on my calendar every year, and I’m already counting down the time until next year’s incredible show!

I’d like to thank the Commemorative Air Force for their incredible hospitality throughout the weekend, and a special thank you to Linda Erlich, Todd McNamee, and Orbic Helicopter’s Ken Obi, for assisting me in bringing this article to you from the many angles I was able to.




Steve Lewis

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

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