Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Mighty 8th at Planes of Fame

This year’s Planes of Fame Air Show focused around The Mighty 8th Air force. The 8AF was established in February 1944 by re-designation of the 8th Bomber Command.  Considered to be the Greatest Air Armada in History under the leadership of the likes of Jimmy Doolittle, at the height of WW2, there were more than 200,000 people assigned to the 8th with the ability to launch more than 2000 four engine bombers and over 1000 fighters on a single mission. To honor this fine organization, Planes of Fame focused on their accomplishments.

One of the highlights of the show was the opportunity for the public to meet and honor our beloved Veterans. Christina Olds, author and daughter of famous Pilot Ace Robin Olds, moderated the Veteran's Panel during the show. Hundreds of guests, friends, pilots and children were able to meet these fine gentlemen and shake hands with some of our heroes.

Nearly a dozen P-51s from A to D lined up ready to start the show

It was especially touching to see the F/A-22 pilots and crew shake hands with C.E. Bud Anderson, WW2 Triple Ace and quite a character. It’s good to see the next generation appreciate the Greatest Generation.

The array of aircraft to join us in Chino each year is always breathtaking. Three DC-3s (C-47s), 2 B-17s, 3 B-25s, 4 P-47s, nearly a dozen P-51s – from A to D, a couple P-40s, P-38, Dauntless, Val, Zero, Hellcat, Wildcat, Tigercat, Spitfire Mk.XIV (Griffon-powered) along with the N9 Flying Wing.

For Aerobatics, we were thrilled to have Sean D. Tucker return in his Oracle Challenger. If you haven’t seen Sean fly, you’re missing something. And, if you haven’t met Sean – well. He is 100% enthusiasm and intensity.

Sean D. Tucker doing what he does best
The highlight of the show for many of us was the superb flying of the Bremont Horsemen Flight Team. Steve Hinton, Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley flew their aerial ballet - first in the P-51s and later in the F-86s, to the James Horner composed piece called “Write Your Soul”. Many of you may recognize the name James Horner as the man behind the music of Titanic, Deep Impact and Perfect Storm among others. He was so touched by the Horsemen; he offered to write them their own theme music. And it is perfect.

The Bremont Horsemen in their 3-ship F-86s

The Horsemen also had some VIPs in attendance, including actor Matt Damon, model Cindy Crawford and her husband. While it was interesting to have some Hollywood Stars in attendance, at Chino – the Pilots and the Airplanes are the real stars!

Circle your calendars for the first weekend in May for the 2015 Planes of Fame Airshow. You don’t want to miss it.

PRS Update

Looks like a record number of attendees for the Pylon Racing Seminar this year.  Latest information shows 40 Rookies and returning Racers in the Sport Class alone. If all goes well, we could have an amazing Race in September. Get your tickets, hotels, flights planned and don’t forget to tell the boss you’ll be away the 2nd weekend in September – every year.

Saying Goodbye

Eddie Andreini was the first Airshow Performer I met when I was volunteering for the Hiller Aviation Museum – BEFORE I started flying. He was always someone you could call to ask a question – whether it be about flying, ICAS, ACE Program, Airshows, or Life. He was arguably the most loved man in the business. We lost him the same weekend as the Chino show – while he was performing at the Travis Airshow.

 Eddie Andreini in his beloved Stearman

I will never forget his kindness, his quick laugh and the sparkle in his eyes.

Special thanks to my dear friend, Anthony Taylor for the use of his photography again this month.

See you at the airport!
Marilyn Dash