2013 Planes of Fame Airshow

POSTED IN Airshow Coverage / May 13th, 2013

Glacier Girl

Glacier Girl

Warbirds thundered over the Chino Airport May 4-5, 2013 as the Planes of Fame Air Museum held its annual air show.  This year’s theme was “Lightning Strikes Chino” as five out of seven flyable P-38 Lightnings in the world today gathered together.  This was the first time in over 50 years this many P-38 Lightnings flew in one place.

One of the five P-38 Lightnings was Glacier Girl owned by Rob Lewis.  On 15 July 1942, due to poor weather and limited visibility, Glacier Girl’s squadron was forced to make an emergency landing in Greenland en route to the British Isles during Operation Bolero.  All crew members were subsequently rescued.  However, Glacier Girl, along with the unit’s five other P-38 fighters and two B-17 bombers, was eventually buried beneath 260 feet of ice due to decades of blowing snow and drifting glaciers. Fifty years later, in 1992, the plane was brought to the surface by members of the Greenland Expedition Society after years of searching and excavation. The aircraft was eventually transported to Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it was restored to flying condition.  

The other four P-38s were, Thoughts of Midnight, Skidoo, Tangerine and Honey Bunny.   Yanks Air Museum had their static non-flying P-38 reconnaissance version on display as well.  

Although the five P-38s were the main stars of the show, other rare aircraft took flight during the two day event.  A PBY Catalina did some impressive flying as well as the worlds only flying P-26 Peashooter owned by the Planes of Fame Air Museum.  Every aircraft that flew represented its own piece of aviation history.

Rounding out the airshow was performances from Sean D. Tucker, Rob Harrison, Silver Wings, Clay Lacy, John Collver and the N9M flying wing.

Saturday’s attendance was 38,000 visitors which would make it one of the highest attended airshow days in the event’s history.  Sunday’s weather was not as ideal for airshow watching but the crowds were still large and well behaved.   

Our video coverage starts with a couple of montage videos from this year’s airshow.  Special thanks to Planes of  Fame Air Museum, Dan Stijovich, Wayne Guthrie for sharing footage from runway and hot ramp.

“Click picture above to play video

“Click picture above to play video

“Click picture above to play video

“Click picture above to play video

Another unique aircraft that flew during the airshow was this WWII PBY 5A (below) piloted by Mike Castillo.  This PBY was found in South Africa and was ferried across the Southern Atlantic to South America, then flown to Central America with it’s final destination in San Diego California.  It was fully restored at Gillespie Field, CA  where it is based.  

“Click picture above to play video

Here is a real treat, footage from Clay Lacy’s jet during his practice flight Friday at the 2013 Planes of Fame Airshow.  Special thanks to Clay Lacy for sharing his Cockpit footage with AIRSHOWVID.com

“Click picture above to play video

The following photos shot by Lisa Plummer


Shot from the control tower just after 11:00 AM Saturday, attendance was 38,000 visitors.

Chuck Hall Six Shooter 2a

Above: Chuck Hall flying his P-51D Mustang named “Six Shooter”

Below: Doug Matthews flying his F4U-4 Corsair during the Navy Aircraft Demonstration.

4FU-4 Corsair

Below: Steve Hinton landing the F-86 Sabre performing aero-braking to slow down the aircraft.

F-86 Sabre

Below: Chris Fahey flying the MIG-15 during the Korean War dogfight demonstration.

MIG -15 Fly By

Below: TBM performing a low flyby during the Navy aircraft demonstration.

TBM Passing the Tower 2

Below: Lyon Air Museum’s B-25 “Guardian of Freedom” flying during the bomber flight demonstration.

Guardian of Freedom, Lyon Air Museum B-25

The planes of Fame Airshow lived up to its reputation as the premier World War II aircraft airshow on the West Coast of the United States.  The gathering of five P-38 Lightnings will not be replicated any time soon by another airshow.  The Planes of Fame Air Museum has the unique resources to be able to support rare and technically demanding aircraft that few other places can offer.  If there is another gathering of P-38s, the smart money would bet it would be at a future Planes of Fame Airshow.  


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