By 1980s, Point Mugu air shows were popular events

Photo by Vance Vasquez / NBVC Public Affairs
An SR-71A Blackbird does a fly-by during the 1981 air show at Point Mugu. A big draw, the Air Force craft would return in 1983 and 1984.

Photo by Vance Vasquez / NBVC Public Affairs An SR-71A Blackbird does a fly-by during the 1981 air show at Point Mugu. A big draw, the Air Force craft would return in 1983 and 1984.

The Aug. 7 and 8 aerial demonstrations by the L-39 Firecat will incorporate the Wall of Fire demonstration.

The Aug. 7 and 8 aerial demonstrations by the L-39 Firecat will incorporate the Wall of Fire demonstration.

The wall of fire simulates Napalm being dropped from an aircraft during an air strike.

The wall of fire simulates Napalm being dropped from an aircraft during an air strike.

Second of two parts

Twenty years after having started as a space fair in 1960, the air show at Point Mugu had, by the 1980s, evolved into a highly popular event full of special aircraft and spectacular demonstrations.

In 1981, for example, the U.S. Air Force SR-71A Blackbird made its first appearance at the air show. It returned in 1983 and 1984.

Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 34 flew for the first time in an air show in 1983. Its KA-3B Skywarrior demonstrated the air-to-air refueling capability of the newest tenant squadron at Point Mugu.

The 1986 Point Mugu Air Show celebrated 75 years of naval aviation. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 4 displayed its 75th anniversary F-4S Phantom II in an overall dark blue paint scheme with gold markings.

The Navy’s flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, flew the F/A-18A Hornet for the first time in 1987, and the Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, returned in 1989, flying the F-16A Fighting Falcon.

The Salute to Victory show in 1991 was held during July and featured the Blue Angels. Some static display aircraft carried nose art from the Persian Gulf War.

The 1992 Point Mugu Air Show was highlighted by the Canadian Snowbirds Demonstration Team. The show marked the first time an Air Force F-117A Stealth Fighter from the 49th Fighter Wing and an B-1B Lancer bomber made an appearance on static display.

At the 1996 air show, Point Mugu celebrated 50 years of test and evaluation excellence. The show featured the Naval Weapons Test Squadron Point Mugu, VX-9 Det. Point Mugu and the Blue Angels.

In 1998 the air show returned after a one-year absence with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as a highlight. The F-117A Stealth fighter also flew that year.

The Blue Angels returned in 1999. The Firehawks of HCS-5, working with a Navy SEAL team, demonstrated the Navy’s special warfare group.

Despite the lack of a headline act, the 2000 Point Mugu Air Show drew record crowds over three days. Military aircraft such as the F-14, FA-18 and F-15 kept spectators’ attention.

The Thunderbirds returned to the 2001 Point Mugu Air Show. Naval Weapons Test Squadron Point Mugu flew the NF-14 Tomcat and QF-4S Phantom II, and there was an FA-18C Hornet flight demonstration from VFA-125.

The 2002 Point Mugu Air Show marked the return of the Thunderbirds, but the event was canceled early Saturday afternoon after the crash of a Naval Weapons Test Squadron Point Mugu QF-4S (plus) Phantom II, killing the two-man crew.

The event was canceled again the following year because there was no headline demonstration squadron. The war with Iraq was a contributing factor.

The show returned in 2004, with the headliner being the Patriot Aerobatic Team flying three Czech-built L-39 jet aircraft. Other military acts include the F-15C Eagle, A-10A Thunderbolt II, E-2C Hawkeye 2000 and C-130E Hercules.

The 2005 Point Mugu Air Show featured the Blue Angels and the Navy Leap Frogs parachute team. Military flight demonstrations included the FA-18F Super Hornet, E-2C Hawkeye, C-130J Hercules and F-16C Fighting Falcon.

The 2007 Point Mugu Air Show was headlined by the Thunderbirds. Another highlight was the first flight demonstration by the Air Force F-22 Raptor, which brought praise from the air show audience. Other flying acts included the F-117A Nighthawk, F-15E Strike Eagle and the A-10A Thunderbolt II.

The 2010 Naval Base Ventura County Air Show at Point Mugu featured the Thunderbirds. Another crowd-pleaser was Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 Det. Point Mugu, which provided a Wall of Fire demonstration using TNT, detonation cord and 500 gallons of diesel and gas to simulate a Napalm air strike.

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Print

Comments » Disabled

Lighthouse News Front Page

Lighthouse Info

Commanding Officer

CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

Chief Staff Officer

CAPT. SCOTT LOESCHKE

Lighthouse Editor

ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

Public Affairs Officer

KIMBERLY GEARHART
Ventura County Star - 805-437-0000

Publisher

MARGIE COCHRANE, Ventura County Star

Niche Publications

JOHN GARCIA, 805-437-0365

Advertising

To submit a story

The Lighthouse publishes every other Thursday. All stories and photos must be submitted no later than the Thursday prior to publication. To submit a story or photo request, call the Lighthouse editor, Andrea Howry, at 989-5281 or send an e-mail to lighthouse@navy.mil.
THE LIGHTHOUSE IS PUBLISHED AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT EVERY FRIDAY BY VENTURA COUNTY STAR, OF CAMARILLO, CA. VENTURA COUNTY STAR IS A PRIVATE FIRM IN NO WAY CONNECTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR THE UNITED STATES NAVY, UNDER WRITTEN CONTRACT WITH NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY. THE LIGHTHOUSE IS THE ONLY AUTHORIZED CIVILIAN ENTERPRISE NEWSPAPER FOR MEMBERS OF THE U.S. NAVY, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, RETIREES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE VENTURA COUNTY AREA. CONTENTS OF THE PAPER ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OFFICIAL VIEWS OF, NOR ENDORSED BY, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, OR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND DO NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT THEREOF. THE APPEARANCE OF ADVERTISING IN THIS PUBLICATION INCLUDING INSERTS AND SUPPLEMENTS, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE U.S. NAVY OR VENTURA COUNTY STAR, OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ADVERTISED. EVERYTHING ADVERTISED IN THIS PUBLICATION SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, USE OR PATRONAGE WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, MARITAL STATUS, PHYSICAL HANDICAP, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, OR ANY OTHER NON-MERIT FACTOR OF THE PURCHASER, USE, OR PATRON. IF A VIOLATION OR REJECTION OF THIS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY BY AN ADVERTISER IS CONFIRMED, THE PUBLISHER SHALL REFUSE TO PRINT ADVERTISING FROM THAT SOURCE UNTIL THE VIOLATION IS CORRECTED. EDITORIAL CONTENT IS EDITED, PREPARED AND PROVIDED TO THE PUBLISHER BY THE LOCAL INSTALLATION PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE.
NSWC Port Hueneme and representatives from eight allied, international navies joined forces on April 7 to establish a unified strategic plan for modernizing and sustaining the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on a global scale, yielding enhanced worldwide fleet readiness and collective maritime strength against ever-evolving threats.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
MORE YOURNEWS

Facebook Friends