Anyway, my brother, in his usual style, flaked on us. It was his loss really because I think he would have enjoyed it. Other than the hot, muggy weather, my dad and I had a good time at the show. We walked around the static displays of antique, experimental and military aircraft, snapping pictures at every turn. (I took 76 photos, for real. I included an edited collection below for your viewing pleasure.) While my dad was pretty familiar with all the jets, bombers, fighters, transports and trainers (Oh, my!) and could tell me all about them, I mostly just paid attention to the design. The colors. The patterns. The scantily-clad pinups on some of the planes' noses. The monikers pilots gave their winged-beauties; gals like "Suzy-Q" and "Louise" were among the bunch.
After walking the grounds, we grabbed a bite to eat from one of the vendor booths. We both got Philly steak sandwiches with onions and peppers (no cheese, for me) and ice-cold lemonades to wash it down. We then made our way over to the runway to watch the main event, the narrated flying exhibition. I think we both agreed that our favorite part of the show was watching a man, who is an experienced airman, pilot a small—by comparison to the other planes taxiing down the runway—but powerful red model airplane. It was fast and sleek and sexy and could do cool tricks that the other planes weren't doing.
Another favorite moment was an orange plane (again, I don't remember what type) that can fly so slowly it looks as if it is just floating; like it's hanging in the air. It's crazy! At one point, the pilot turned off the engine and glided in for a landing. What's more, the plane can take off and stop on a dime. And that's really not much of an exaggeration.
Also neat was watching planes fly over in formation. They did three pass-overs: one in a V-shape, one in the "missing man" formation and one in . . . I don't remember! That one is below.
Rivaling the model airplane for "best air show moment" was watching a pilot do a solo flight performance, set to the soundtrack of the movie Pearl Harbor. The "air ballet," as the announcer called it, was in honor of all veterans, young and old. It was pretty moving and pretty amazing. The pilot would come in close to where the spectators were lined up watching, eyes to the sky, and turn his smoke on—which made for some great shots.
Though the show was three hours long, we only stayed for two hours. After standing that long our backs and feet were starting to hurt (note to self: bring chairs next time) and my dad was worried about my skin, which was quickly turning bright red. (I put on sunblock upon arrival but I—get this—ran out of lotion for my chest. Yep, I look like a lobster today. Yep, it hurts.) My dad was a little bummed he didn't get to see the P-38s fly (that's the only plane I remember!) but all in all we had a fun afternoon of father-daughter bonding.
Poster via Wings Over Camarillo