Wings Over Camarillo 2.0
A new format to the Wings over Camarillo Airshow was rolled out this year at the Camarillo Airport, which is also the headquarters for the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. A increased area for the STEM exhibit, a larger car show, more modern military displays, and even a live concert Saturday night featuring the band ‘The Spazmatics’.
Before and after the show each day, Orbic helicopters was selling discounted helicopter rides once again, providing aerial views of the airshow as well as breathtaking views of the the coastline. I have to tell you, if you haven’t taken advantage of that before, do yourself a favor and take a ride next year, or you can take an even longer ride before then. Visit www.orbichelicopters.com for more information. If you wanted to go for a more expensive ride, the Army Aviation Heritage Foundations’s AH-1 Cobra was open for rides as well. Also available for rides were the CAF’s P-51D Mustang, B-25 Mitchell, and the only flying authentic PBJ-1J Bomber.
There was a wide variety of entertainment both in the sky and on the ground for all show fans in attendance. In addition to the military displays on the ground, one F/A-18F Super Hornet kicked off the show each morning with a formation flyover with the CAF’s F8F Bearcat and F6F Hellcat. Before landing, the Super Hornet, from VFA-122 Flying Eagles, performed a few solo high speed passes that really woke up the crowd. Being near the beach has a lot of advantages for this show. Beautiful weather, amazing temperatures, and plenty of opportunity for vapor!
The LA City Fire Department brought a pair of their AW-139 water dropping helicopters by the crowd in a tribute to all firefighters for their hard work on recent local wildfires and everything they do to keep us safe. Our recent wildfires, along with the subsequent mudslides, claimed several lives, including one firefighter, and left many families homeless, but without their tireless efforts, it would’ve been even worse.
Aerobatic demonstrations were provided by Judy Phelps, John Collver, Sammy Mason, Vicky Benzing, and the West Coast Ravens. An assortment of WWII trainers did individual flybys and 4 T-34 Mentors and 3 Navions made several formation passes. The EAA and ‘Turbo flight’ also did solo passes in several experimental aircraft. The WWII Airborne Demonstration Team jumped out of the C-47 ‘D-DAY Doll both mornings simulating the drops done over Normandy on D-Day.
Jerry Conley brought his de Havilland Vampire jet which flew in formation with the CAF’s Spitfire Saturday, and then on Sunday with first, the Plane’s of Fame’s P-38 Lightning, and then the CAF’s L-29. The Vampire was the second British jet fighter and first British single engine fighter. A rare treat indeed! Many additional WWII fighters and bombers took to the skies both days making incredible low level passes in front of the crowd.
These gorgeous aircraft included a P-47 Thunderbolt, F4U Corsair, P-63 King Cobra, 3 P-51 Mustangs, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, A6M Zero, PBJ, and B-25 Mitchell. A 4 ship of AT-6 Texans, the ‘Condor Squadron’, closed out the show each day with several passes, and concluded with a missing man formation.
This is a show that is definitely on my calendar every year and I’m looking forward to see what they have in store for next year!
I want to thank Linda Erlich, the Camarillo Airport staff, and all the wonderful people at the CAF for their hospitality, and for providing us with such great access to such a great show. Id also like to thank Ken Obi and Orbic Helicopters for an amazing flight and providing a unique look of the show. We’ll see you all next year!