The Wings over Wine Country airshow in Santa Rosa, California, was a very different show for me. This time, I brought my friend Karl along, and we were climbing in cockpits of the Pacific Coast Air Museum’s aircraft and just exploring. It’s Karl’s first airshow, and boy did we have a great time. Because Karl and I were doing that, I didn’t get many pictures of performers, but luckily, my dad helped me out and took most of the pictures.
First off, the star spangled banner played with a warbird flyby. The U.S. Marines color guard proudly raised the flag, and the show was on. Bill Cornick in his Green Machine Pitts S2C was first up, and he amazed everyone flipping his plane all over the sky. After that, 2 USMC AV-8B Harriers did STOL takeoffs and neat flybys. Thank goodness everyone had earplugs in; those things are LOUD!
After the Harriers, Spencer Suderman took off in his red Pitts. Gasps could be heard from the crowd as he tumbled, looped, rolled and so much more. I know what that's like because I had an unforgettable flight with Spencer once! Next up, USAF T-38 Talons flew by, well, more like roared by with the incredible noise of their GE J85 engines!
The WWII fighters and trainers aircraft were up next, including P-51s, a P-40, a Hawker Sea Fury, a Yak-11, T-6s, CJ-6s, and lots more. After them, Julie Clark took off in her silver, red, white, and blue T-34 to do her patriotic act. She even had red white and blue smoke! When she had landed, Spencer and Bill took off again to for an aerobatic competition/race that everyone always loves! When they were done, Tim Weber went up in his amazing Geico Extra 300S. Everyone was awed by his routine, even Karl, who stopped eating his shave ice just to watch!
The warbirds took off again, this time to do a really neat flyby. Next was Steve Hinton, doing aerobatics in a P-51. Then, a USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II did a series of passes, which sent chills down my spine just thinking of what it must be like to have one of those A-10's diving down on me. When they were both done, they formed up to so a Heritage Flight, which was just awe-inspiring to see how far military aircraft technology has come since WWII.
Last up was the US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet. I’m at a loss of words trying to describe just how cool this was. It was just simply amazing to see just how agile yet fast this plane was. Despite a short interruption by an unauthorized aircraft, it was still incredible.
The 2012 Wings Over Wine Country airshow was great as always and here's what my best friend Karl has to say:
“I thought it was a very exciting, thrilling event. Especially when the F/A-18 would race into afterburners and the ground would vibrate it would make my heart pound. Also, I will admit that Tim Weber made me jumpy when he would fly so close to the ground and yet so dexterous all at the same time. This airshow was my first ever and even not knowing a lot of faces and a only knowing a handful of planes the atmosphere of Wings Over Wine Country was very welcoming and made it very enjoyable. I hope to see many of the planes and great faces at my next airshow!” Karl Clayter