Saturday, June 1, 2013

Another Great Planes of Fame Airshow and PRS Preview

Ignoring the naysayers, Planes of Fame goes right ahead and puts on an amazing Airshow – again. Nearly 40,000 people were in attendance to witness history and a terrific show.

Missing Man Formation
Thank you - Bruce Croft - 20W

This year, the Airshow celebrated the history of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. There are only seven airworthy P-38s in the world today, and five of them were in the skies over the Chino Airport. Another P-38 on display, a photo-recon variant, made up the sixth P-38 at the show that weekend.

The formation of five was breathtaking. I don’t think we’ll ever see something like that again, sadly.

Five P38s - great shot Rob "Phred" Miller - thank you! 

The rest of the Airshow was also very exciting. Aerobatic performance from the great Sean D. Tucker was another highlight. Other aerobatic displays included Rob Harrison, John Collver, Clay Lacy’s Learjet routine and Margi Stiver’s terrific wingwalking with Lee Oman at the wheel.

Sean D. Tucker - The Happiest Man in Aviation

Another crowd favorite, the N9M Flying Wing – the only one of its kind in the world – is also exciting to watch. Three B-25s, two C-47s flying in formation and a beautiful PBY really added something to the show this year.

The Flying Wing - one of a kind!

As always, the aircraft are not the only stars of the day; the Airshow also honored several veterans’ groups during the event. Listening to them tell their tales of service is a great way to remember why they are The Greatest Generation.

Pilots and crew from the National P-38 Association, the 80th Fighter Group, the 91st Bomber Group, the 506th Fighter Group, and veterans sponsored by the Veterans History Project: John Knapp 44th Infantry, Celso Jaquez 6th Marines, Geoff Blackman VP-23 Navy, and Muriel Engelman Army Nurse were among the group sharing their stories.

P-38 Noses - Lined up at dawn
Thank you - Bruce Croft - 20W

Even with losing one of their largest sponsors this year, Planes of Fame put on another terrific event. I have already circled the first weekend in May 2014 and will be there again next year!

If you cannot attend their show, consider becoming a member and supporting their efforts. Go to their website and click on the JOIN button.

Reno Updates - PRS

It’s still too early to know who will be in attendance at the 50th Races. However, we do know that there are  RECORD number of Rookies attending the Pylon Racing Seminar (Rookie School) this year. Again, this is a very positive sign for the event that so many of us love. You should stay tuned for more information on what to expect.

We have heard that Breitling has increased their sponsorship of the Air Races – which is great news. They are also bringing Yves Rossy – the Breitling “Jetman”. This is something all of us want to see! Can you imagine a man with a jet pack flying the pylons? YES!

Other performers include The Patriots Jet Team, another crowd favorite. David Martin, Michael Goulian, Jim Pietz and the amazing antics of Kent Pietsch will round out the show.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? We will see you in September to celebrate the Reno Air Races 50th Anniversary. I can’t wait!

Thanks again to my wonderful photographer friends, this month Bruce Croft and Rob Miller were kind enough to donate their artwork for us to share. This column would not be the same without friends.