on July 8th, warbirds from CAFSoCal wing in Camarillo made the two hour flight up to the Truckee Airport for the 2016 Truckee Airfestival.
Making the flight were the wing’s SNJ “290”, Bearcat, Spitfire, and the Zero along with the P51D “Bunny” from the Palm Springs Museum which flew escort on the PBJ’s wing.
It was an exciting event for the PBJ’s flight crew and the lucky few ground crew and museum personnel who had the privilege to make the flight and witness the grand lady’s first airshow after the 23 year long restoration project.
The flight to Truckee went smoothly and the crew arrived at a beautiful and friendly airport setting in moderately strong winds. Winds that unfortunately got stronger as the event progressed.
The fighter aircraft and pilots performed beautifully to the thrill of the crowd and the PBJ was the Belle of the Ball. Constantly surrounded by the interested crowd who had many questions and stories of their own to tell. “Why is this B25 blue?” was the frequently heard conversation starter.
Mixed in with their marshalling and maintenance duties, the crew delighted in educating the public about our wonderful PBJ and it’s long journey from “Old Brew” to “SemperFi”
Added to the excitement of the airshow was the high winds and a mild case of aircraft gremlins. The strong winds only got stronger as the show went on and decided to carry away the PX pop-up awning, which effected our sales potential, and prevented us from offering warbird rides on the SNJ. And the PBJ’s port engine starter decided it would not allow the PBJ to fly during the airshow at Truckee. Many mitigation procedures were considered, but ultimately the crew awaited delivery of a replacement starter from our friends, the American Aeronautical Foundation’s spares for “Executive Sweet”, delivered via personal courier in the persons of Gary Barber and Dan Newcomb. Mike, Marc and Russ worked late into the night to replace the starter and the crew was able to fly back home the following day as planned.
The show was a complete success and we left the organizers with the promise that CAFSoCal would be back next year, and for many more years to come – no doubt.
This Accomplishment of the PBJ’s airshow would not have been possible were it not for the meticulous work done by all involved during the restoration process of this warbird as well as the careful planning prior to the show by Mike Hohls, Marc Russell and the crew.
We are happy to take a moment to enjoy the success of this airshow and then to carry the experience gained to future events.
Until then, be sure to attend Wings Over Camarillo, our home base airshow, on August 20th and 21st.
Below are perhaps too many pictures from the airshow, mostly of our aircraft, and the transit flights.
Thanks to all who contributed image files and/or made themselves available to be included in the photos.
A short video with snippets of views from the event
Cockpit Camera footage from the Zero fighter of the B25-PBJ during it’s flight to the Truckee/Tahoe Airshow, July 8, 2016
Shaky footage is due to poor camera mount hard-point.