Thursday, January 16, 2014

CABLE AIRSHOW - First airshow of the year

As I wrote in my last Pic(k) of the week - Beech 18, I attended a very interesting small airshow near Los Angeles (US) last Saturday. 

The 39th edition of the show at the "Cable" airport" near Upland California, is often been referred to as the "First airshow of the year" in the Northern hemisphere.

Jumping the American flag

Dewey and Maude Cable were the ones that started this private airport in 1945 and interesting enough the place is still fully owned by the same family. This makes it the "Worlds largest family owned public airport".

Vintage aircraft line-up in late afternoon light

The program of the yearly airshow ( they call it an air fair) which runs on the first Saturday and Sunday after New Year, consist of two parts; a morning one (09-12am) and an almost identical afternoon session (0100-0430pm). This way visitors get the see the events twice for the 10 dollar entrance fee. During lunchtime there is an extensive parade of old-timer cars which all pass in front of the aircraft participating in the airshow.

Antonov AN-2 biplane and classic car

What makes this show however extremely "photography friendly" is the fact that the sun is facing the back for almost the entire show and that the runway is only 50 meters (150ft) away from the line of spectators. Add to this the low angle of the winter sun, a beautiful mountain backdrop; and you have a dream setting for aviation photography!

B-25J Pacific Princess

One could almost believe that some of the images were taken Air to Air ( from another aircraft in-flight).

Ryan PT-22 Recruit taking off

During the whole day there was plenty of opportunity to go flying for the public; short affordable rides were given in helicopters, Cessna's, Piper's, this 1930 D-25 New Standard below,

Nostalgic Rides 1930 New Standard D-25 Biplane

and nothing less than a T-6 Harvard warbird.

Harvard taking off

This is not the show with noisy jet fighters or famous military aerobatic teams, but rather a good old family airshow where pilots and aviation fans just hang around!

Ryan PT-22 Recruits in formation with Fokker S-11

An act which took my attention was the one of the legendary aviation legend Clay Lacy (aged 81!), doing an "engine out" routine in his Pilatus PC-6. Call it Bob Hoover style, although not aerobatic!

Clay Lacy Pilatus PC-6 Engine out landing

Talking about aerobatics, the only negative of the show, was the fact that the "airshow display line" was far away from the public. Likely not the fault of the organisers but probably imposed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority).

Harvard (SNJ-5/ T-6) and Wildcat formation

On the subject of the FAA, they apparently billed the show last minute over 15.000 USD for an imposed hire of Air Traffic Controllers during the two days. When will these government organisations understand that these type of events often give a huge boost for aviation and that the money eventually will flow back into their pockets anyway? End of rant!

Ryan PT-22 Recruit

Anyway, I was extremely happy I came down all the way from Dubai to attend the show and hope to be able to return for its 40th edition next year… Well done to the organisers!


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