Madera Air Show

Madera Air Show

by John Thow

After hearing lots of good things about the Madera Air Show, we finally made it out to the event. Ofcourse, the incentive was great as I was able to do some aerial video from the B-25.

Madera is a fairly small show, but it’s very relaxed and a nice family day. They even had a small car show that made walking the static displays all the more interesting. We decided to slow down a bit and enjoy the atmosphere at this one… so while there are not as many shots as you are used to seeing from us, we hope you will enjoy what’s here and be sure to give the Madera show a try.

Aircraft photographed include P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang, B-25J Mitchell, Pitts Special, A-10 Warthog, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and many many more!

Looking back from the top turret in Executive Sweet J.Thow ©

Looking back from the top turret in Executive Sweet J.Thow ©

B-25J Mitchell

Executive Sweet taxis back in front of the crowd after flight demo. Photo: Dan Thow ©

Pitts Special at Madera Airport

Silver Wings Steerman, Pitts Special, and AT-6 SNJ Texan Photo: Dan Thow ©

Dan gets the windows clean pre flight. J.Thow ©

Dan gets the windows clean pre-flight. J.Thow ©

Three B-25 Mitchell Bombers at Madera

B-25 Mitchell’s prepare for formation flight and Dolittle Raid reenactment. Photo: © John Thow

surrounding severe weather in the region. What may have been negative for Puerto Rico, was to be great for Huntington Beach! Never before, in the entire history of the team, had the Red Arrows been this far west. Having three major, military jet teams in one show, was a first for us. Now billed as “One City, Three Jet Teams” the Great Pacific Air Show was going to be the stuff of legend before it even got started.

Since the performers obviously can’t take off and land on the beach, they stage the teams and Military aircraft at the nearby Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos. We were there for the arrival of the Thunderbirds on Thursday. The Snowbirds and Red Arrows had already arrived and as you can see their aircraft were perfectly aligned awaiting their next flight. Civilian performers were based at Lyon Air Museum, at John Wayne Airport.

The show kicked off with a group of fire fighting helicopters and the national anthem, soon followed by the Red Arrows support aircraft, the A400M Atlas. The Navy Legacy Flight included a pair of F/A-18E Super Hornets flanking an F8F Bearcat in the markings of the Blue Angels. Next up was the massive C-17 Globemaster making its way gracefully down the beach, eventually being joined by a KC-135 Stratotanker in a mock refueling pass. Mike Wiskus performed aerobatics in his bright orange, Lucas Oil, Pitts S-1-11B over the water surrounded by the spray of a fireboat from below.

Then it was on to the first of our three teams, Canada’s Snowbirds. The Snowbirds fly a smooth graceful routine that includes nine aircraft in an orchestrated aerial ballet that is truly wonderful and a real crowd-pleaser.

After the Snowbirds, our attention turned to the beach where two men launched from the sand into the air on jet packs. Real jet packs, not water jets as many of us have seen in recent years. In what was billed as the first jet pack appearance at an air show, they seemed to fly effortlessly in a standing position out over the water, even dipping their feet in the sea at one point. It was like watching something from a comic book, now I really want a jet pack.

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Preparing for the A-10 demo Photo: J.Thow ©

Classic Flightline Firetruck

F-35 Demo Team F-35A Lightning II engulfed in vapor over the beach. J. Thow

P-51D "Speedball Alice"

P-51D “Speedball Alice”
Photo: © John Thow

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