The 2017 Wings Over Camarillo Airshow marked a bittersweet occasion for the members of CAFSoCal.
After 25 years of flying with the CAF, our dear friend Gary Barber had announced his retirement from airshow performance flying. We were thrilled to be present and watch Gary one more time behind the controls of the F8 Bearcat. Although he will be missed in future airshows, Gary plans to stay active with CAFSoCal, turning wrenches and helping to keep our aircraft flying – and his flying days are still not over, he has simply decided to join the rest of us as spectators in airshows, rather than keep sweating in the cockpit of the aircraft.
In 1955, Gary joined the California Air National Guard at 17 as a mechanic and later flew F86s with the ANG out of Ontario. Following his service with the USAF, Gary went on to a full career of 3 0 years with American Airlines and retired late 1990s, becoming active with the CAF. Gary flew our SNJs, C46, Bearcat, Hellcat and Mustang for over 25 years.
A great pilot and great guy, Gary loves flying and we loved watching him fly.
It was a privilege for all to be present and shake Gary’s hand after his final performance at the home Airshow.