Point Mugu Air Show - Navy Base Ventura County

Pt. Mugu Air Show (Navy Base Ventura County)

by John Thow

Once an annual event, the Pt Mugu show currently happens every few years. Even though show dates have been sporadic, the show is always a hit and attracts large crowds to the base from all over Southern California. Over the years, the time of year that the show has taken place has also changed, in the seventies and eighties, the show was always held in October and usually featured the Blue Angels as the headline act. In years since the show has been moved to September and more recently in late March or early April in an effort to avoid the often stubborn marine layer that can plague the event. I remember as a kid, we always planned to go to the show both days since it was likely that the Blue Angels, then flying A-4 Skyhawks, would likely stay grounded due to the low cloud cover on one of the two days. April seems to have helped a great deal with an increase in successful show days.

Point Mugu is well known as a missile test center and served as the home base for President Reagan when visiting his home in California. In those days the base was home to many very special F-4 Phantoms, F-14 Tomcats and a variety of other Navy aircraft. Many of our most recognizable toys and models were patterned after aircraft that served at Pt. Mugu.

F-117 Nighthawk

Even the F-117 Nighthawk “Stealth Fighter” has appeared at the Mugu show. John Thow ©

Heritage at Pt Mugu Air Show

USAF Heritage Flight with F-22A Raptor, F-15E Strike Eagle and P-51D Mustang. Photo: John Thow ©

B-52 Stratofortress

B-52 Stratofortress fills the tarmac just beyond the gate entry of the show. Photo: John Thow ©

USAF Thunderbirds

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds have flown several times as the headline act at the Pt. Mugu Air Show. Photo: John Thow ©

Bloodhounds Phantom

Bloodhounds F-4J Phantom II Photo: John Thow ©

Bloodhounds C-130

VX-30 Bloodhounds C-130 with drones. Photo: © John Thow

Mugu was home to VX-4 Evaluators, which eventually combined with VX-5 Vampires, forming VX-9 Vampires. Today Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-30 better known as the Bloodhounds handles the evaluation duties at Mugu and there are a few of those aircraft in the images here.

If you are interested in making it out to Point Mugu (now also referred to as Navy Base Ventura County or NVBC) the next time they open up to the public, keep an eye on the air show calendar right here at slickpixels.com, when the show returns, we’ll make sure you know all about it.

So in an effort to help get as many of you out to the air show for the best experience possible, here are a few pro tips.
1. Keep an eye on this website for more info about the next Pt. Mugu show. There is not an air show scheduled for 2018.

2. Admission to the air show is free to the public, but be sure to have some money on hand for food and souvenirs. Bleacher seats are available for an additional fee. 

3. Get there early if you are interested in staking out a good spot to sit. The show packs up fast and traffic at this one can be bad, especially when trying to go home.

4. BE PATIENT as you may have guessed, big crowds can mean waiting to get into the show both in traffic and in the security lines. Remember your safety is worth the wait and you are in for a great day of flying and fun.

5. REMEMBER DO NOT bring a bunch of extra belongings, it slows down the security lines for everyone. Always check event websites for what is and is not allowed on base. You are never allowed to bring knives of any kind, even pocket knives will mean a trip back to your car or giving it up permanently. Keep the line moving by leaving such items at home.


Thunderbird F-16 with Vapor Ripping over the Airplane

The Thunderbirds are always a crowd favorite. Photo: © John Thow

Pyro Explodes on the Flightline in a mock strafing pass.

The wall of fire explodes to light up the airfield during the A-10 demonstration. Dan Thow ©

A_10 Thunderbolt II Demo

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II builds vapor over its wings in the moist coastal air. John Thow ©

C-17 Globemaster III

USAF C-17 Globemaster performs low-level flyby over the Mugu Flightline. John Thow ©

S-3B Viking "Hoover"

The last of the Vikings, S-3B Viking of VX-30 Bloodhounds John Thow ©

Jolly Rogers Super Hornet

Jolly Rogers Super Hornet rips through the moist air over Pt. Mugu John Thow ©

Photography, Aviation Illustration, and MORE...