Wednesday, August 23, 2006


About the Air show:

The Air Show at Camarillo is a nice two day event, not a major air show but it does attract quite a variety of vintage and experimental Aircraft on static and flying displays. The event this year was inaugurated by the famous pilot Dick Rutan who flew the Voyager Aircraft non stop around the World in 1986 thus setting a new World record.

The Camarillo Air Show is well organized and featured a new act this year in the form of a German helicopter stunt flying including performing loops, yup, in a helicopter and a Soviet MiG-17 aerobatic display, for the first time ever. The MiG-17 is operated by Red Bull (yup, the drinks company). What makes it interesting is that many of the Aircraft on display are based locally.
PT Ryans next to us engines running --->

<-- Fire Department Helicopter

There was a beautifully resorted United Airlines liveried DC-3, many types of experimental Aircraft including microlights and other GA Aircraft that had brought in visitors. There was formation flying of PT Ryans pictured below, B-25 Bomber pursued by a P-51 Mustangs and a F6F Hellcat. There were other types such as the Yaks and Texans too.

The Air Show flight displays started with an American Flag towed by an banner plane. Soon after that the sounds of the many airplanes starting their engines to perform their routines reverberated through the airport area.

<--- Me in the Blue T-28 in a turn

Mike Maloco's plane in formation with us

Final approach into the airport where we did a high speed fly-by in formation, my view from the T-28, tarmac on ground to the left had the static displays.


We were at C&J Sales located on the Airport and Chuck Smith our gracious host (I have written about him in the past) had invited more than 200 people for a Bar-B-Q. He had called in a master Bar-B-Q Chef called Marshall’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q who dished out some of the best ribs, potato salad and grilled veggies including eggplant, zucchini and Portobello mushrooms for veggies like me.

Every one were having fun all around, watching airplanes fly around in formation, perform aerobatics and generally soaking in the atmosphere. What started off as a foggy morning soon cleared up to be a nice sunny day. Fair weather pilots paradise, this place, with average of 75 degrees Fahrenheit nearly year round. That’s T-shirt and shorts weather year round. These Camarillo natives are indeed a spoilt bunch. Chuck Smith being one of them, a real nice guy and a successful Raytheon Beech Aircraft inventory holder and seller, not to mention all the warbirds he has on his inventory including perhaps the most T-28’s anywhere.

Static displays on tarmac United DC-3 below

My flight:

Somehow my participation went beyond just attending to actually flying in a T-28. Chuck said to me as I came in that morning that I was to be flying the Navy Blue T-28C courtesy its owner and pilot Andrew. Needless to say, that made my day even before we took off. The second Airplane was going to be an Orange and White T-28 piloted by Michael J. Maloco, a real nice gent.

I was briefed about the location of various controls and equipment on the Aircraft, especially the bailing out procedures i.e. to jump out of the Aircraft with a chute if there was a loss of controllability. I took along a camera to take pictures. We were to head out over to the desert, perform some maneuvers and come back in formation to the Airport, make a pass, perform a dramatic left turn and come in to land. The whole trip took a little more than an hour.

I had had one flight on the T-28 before this and was prepared for the starting procedures. The oil pressure is allowed to come up to about 10 pounds and the engines cranked just to loosen up and make the oil circulate around the metal parts. Starting the engines is an event, causing huge amounts of blue black smoke from both sides stacks that comes swiveling into the cockpit whose glass canopy remains open. It gets very hot once the cockpit canopy closes so it is common to keep it open till just before entering the runway for take off. We taxied past all kind of static displays and it was wonderful to see people start to come in bright and early on the weekend to soak up the ambience, and the sun.

After a run up, we closed canopy and took off in formation, peeling off towards the desert. After an eventful flight out, we returned in close formation and I was trigger happily taking pictures all along. I noticed that the Cars on the freeway were slowing down, watching us descend into the airport in formation, causing a mini backup!

Once the flight was done, we airmen hungrily wolfed down everything that Marshall had to offer, relaxing on the chairs that Chuck had put out in large numbers for the guests and watched the rest of the displays. My friend Kevin St. Germain (Mentioned in fast jet from Oz and other posts in my blog) had a flight into Van Nuys nearby and he managed to make it to the Air Show, thrilled to be there and enjoy some of Marshall’s cookery. Then there were all my aviation friends, newly made friends, Gary Goltz and family, Richard, John and so on.

MiG - 17 piloted by Bill Reesman, first time atthe Camarillo Air Show


For the first time at the Camarillo Air Show, we had Bill Reesman flying the red Bull Soviet MiG-17, able to fly at more than 600 miles an hour and reportedly climb at 20,000 feet per minute. We met Bill and his wife after the show and they are located almost next door to Chuck’s hangar.

The helicopter also reportedly operated by Red Bull had Chuck Aaron fly the machine, performing such stunts never commonly seen in a helicopter including full loops. Taking pictures from the ground, of a MiG-17 at high speed is near impossible for amateurs like me so I had to take them as Bill went past us taxiing.

Chuck Aaron looping the Helicopter, bet you haven't seen this one before!

Look for me in the rear seat of the Blue T-28, my baseball cap a dead giveaway, shot by someone from the ground and sent to us by mail. Thanks mate, appreciate it.

The next Air Show at Camarillo is going to be around the same time next year so watch out for that. Call me early and maybe I can swing an invite from Chuck to come over and enjoy Marshall’s even bigger BBQ next year! Wink!

A few friends took some more pictures and I have some of the B-25 and I will post them soon. Hope you enjoyed the ride with me!


Quodlibet said...

That was a great post! You certainly do have some great adventures and experiences - thanks for sharing!

Nikhil Joshi said...

Thats awesome! Did you ever do any loops in the T-28? I had heard of helicopter loops... but your picture was absolutely stunning! Hey... count me in for the next show! (Is this early enough?)

By the way, looks like the Warhawk deal is not happening at our Univ. I am pissed off like you'd never imagine! But there's a SAFECON flying competition that we're hosting and organizing at the Monroe airport. I am taking the lead along with some other students. How's that for experience and resume value? ;)
Fly on!

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Got more pictures quodlibet but these are mostlymy formation flights. Maybe I'll post them next, just pictures with captions. Nice that you liked it.

Nikhil, good to hear from you. Did not perform loops in this occasion. It is capable, though. Restriction on inverted flight to a few seconds as well. Send more info on the SAFECON flying competition and what that involves. Will be a good experience and exposure for sure. Good luck.

Athul said...

That was a nice post ,
seeing a chopper in that action for the first time .

u must have had a great time experieancing those vintage planes , like u mentioned in some of the other blogs , that sound u must have liked it a lot ...

Nikhil Joshi said...

If you have the time, you could upload pics on online albums like or yahoo photos... :)
just a suggestion. See if you like it.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Nikhil, I'll try flikr and yahoo but needs to wait, a friend is publishing a eveninger in Bangalore and I want to send him some more additional pictures. I'll put the rest after it gets on the eveninger.

My next post should be (unless I do something else in between!)about the Premier 1 executive jet in Singapore that I am ready to test fly and do an acceptance check for the company. That'll be the fourth in the fleet and I'll be involved in adding a few more this year, flying the Indian flag.

Roy said...

Great pictures. Starting to read your other stuff too. Post more pictures. I live in LA area and know Pt. Mugu's Air Station got a good air show in your area too. Check it out if you have the time.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Roy, Mugu is a couple of months away from now? Don't know where I'll be schedule wise. Hope you like my other stuff!

Raghotham said...

Thanks capt.Anup murthy for sending wonderfulpictures and your experiences.Helicopter looping or anysuch show I had not even heard about it.It is really great.
Congrats to you and all participants.

Anonymous said...

Hi Capt Murthy, Others..

I did ask a senior domestic airline executive whether it made sense to announce to passengers prior to take off that any suspicious or unwarranted behaviour/activity could be interpreted as a security threat and would invite appropriate action etc etc..

His reponse was that it was considering but may not be a good idea to alarm passengers before take off. My suggestion then was maybe it needs to be done at airports, at security check, check-in counter etc..either way, people need to be told specifically they have to `behave'. Better that than face problems on board. Guess this would apply all over the world as well.


Balakrishnan said...

Wow..the must have enjoyed it to the core!!! Great report captain..interesting you mentioned "Red Bull". Have you been to the Red Bull Air Race ? It's an awesome event..testing a pilot's every skill...happened to watch it on Discovery Channel..Good thing that MNCs render so much support for aviation..

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Good suggestion Govind and maybe it is a good idea to educate people on the ground, on the lines that you have suggested. Making inflight announcements may not do much, it takes a lot of time and many people don't even really follow the inflight safety briefing properly and are "busy" going through stuff or reading the magazine or generally looking elsewhere.

Balakrishnan, Aviation does have good sponsorship in the US, not much in India. Red Bull has a racing team that will also be at the Reno Air Races. I have not been to a Red Bull Racing event.