The 2013 Wings Over Wine Country airshow in Santa Rosa was definitely a show to remember. There were lots of great performers and planes, and plenty of excitement too!
The show started off with a SWAT team demo, complete with pyrotechnics, where the SWAT team came in by helicopter, boarded a school bus, and flew away on a rope under the helicopter! Kent Pietsch also performed hilariously in his Interstate Cadet, flipping and flopping all over the place. He surprised everyone by taking off in the middle of another performer's routine, losing an aileron, a tire, toilet paper, and more! That routine never fails to give people a good laugh. Kent also did his energy-managment routine, and landed on “The World's Smallest Aircraft Carrier”, a pickup truck with a landing deck on it!
John Melby also did a spectacular display in his Pitts S-1-11B. I'd never seen him perform before, so it was cool seeing a new routine. Mike Goulian also flew in his Extra 330, zooming in and out of clouds and smoke, twisting and tumbling all the way! The CJ-6 flight also took place, wowing everyone with their precision flying.
Next up was Julie Clark, performing her patriotic routine in her T-34 Mentor. I'm sure patriotic feelings were stirred in everyone watching, as the show was very inspirational. However, during her routine, Julie managed to start 3 grass fires past the runway, leading to a very exciting and unscheduled part of the show. At first, fire trucks and their crews attempted to stop the blazes, but when one reached the treeline and got way out of hand, the CDF was called in. For almost an hour, a CDF fire bomber guided by an observation plane pummeld the flames with water and fire retardant. Two helicopters also assisted in putting out the flames. Throughout the ordeal, Danny Clisham did a great job of keeping the audience engaged and present while the flames were put out.
After the exciting delay, Dan Vance put on quite a show in his P-51 Mustang, letting everyone experience the power and agility of the Mustang. Greg “Wired” Colyer also raced across the sky with his one-of-a-kind T-33 Shooting Star “Ace Maker” jet, impressing all with his piloting skills and the sheer awesomeness of his airplane.
The 2013 Wings over Wine Country airshow was certainly a great airshow, even with the unexpected portion of the show! I hope to see you all next year at Wings over Wine Country 2014!