The 2013 California Capital airshow was definitely not one to miss. Although other airshows were forced to shut down because of the lack of military performers, California Capital kept on going and was a really great show. Taking place just outside of Sacramento, at Mather Airport, the show was big with tons of performers.
There were plenty of aerobatic performers featured, like Mike Goulian in his awesome Extra, the Red Bull champion Kirby Chambliss, barnstormers Greg Shelton & Ashley Battles, and Kyle Franklin in “Dracula”, a one-of-a-kind performer. Also featured was Chip Yates, flying a completely electric powered airplane.
A crowd favorite was the jet powered World’s Fastest School Bus, going insanely fast while, of course, shooting flames and smoke out of the back! The Jet Outhouse also performed, giving everyone a good laugh with the commentary and hilarious noises. A CalFire UH-1 Huey also made a pass, dropping water and letting all hear its iconic rotor noise.
A very special part of the show was the 65th Anniversary Berlin Airlift Tribute. Gail Halvorson, a pilot who flew the Berlin Airlift, arrived stylishly in a DC-3 to show center. He took a ride in a jeep to the crowd line to greet some of the actual children he'd handed candy bars to in Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. He also met and greeted some of the other pilots who flew in the airlift. After the ceremony, reenactors in jeeps and a half-track passed out candy to kids at the crowd line.
One of the coolest performers of the day were the Horsemen, flying P-51s and
F-86s. Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley flew the Mustangs first, and then Steve Hinton joined up for the Heritage Flight and the F-86 demonstration. It was truly amazing to hear the roar of the F-86s over California once again. The Patriots Jet Team amazed the crowd just like always in their black L-39s. A perfectly choreographed routine always gets the crowd going, and today was no exception.
The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds wrapped up the show in their CT-114 Tutors, which are definitely not as fast paced as the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, but are much more graceful and precise. Doing their classic, expertly timed routines, the Snowbirds were and are a huge hit with the crowd.
California Capital 2013 was a great show that was wonderfully large, even with lack of military planes. They compensated with a plethora of aerobatic performers, ground performers, and jet teams that made California Capital one of the best shows of the 2013 airshow season. Hope to see you at the 2014 California Capital Airshow!