38th Cable Airshow – January 12-13, 2013

With wind and rain hitting the area just days beforehand everybody kept their fingers crossed for the first airshow of the year-flyable conditions is all that we hoped for! By the Friday things had began to calm down weather wise.

Saturday morning saw beautiful clear blue skies though temperatures had taking a huge dive…the coldest recorded in the Los Angeles area for around 23 years in fact! Sadly the cold did in fact claim some victims in that it prevented a number of expected aircraft to stay away which meant that the flying program had to be altered from it’s original layout. Noticeable absentees were Jacqui Ward in her Extra 300 and also Clay Lacy and his big orange Pilatus PC-9. One pilot came to the rescue at real short notice; ” I got a call Friday asking if I could help out and here I am, fortunately I had the beast pretty much ready!” reported Torrance based John Collver and owner of his well known “War Dog” AT-6 Texan. John later climbed aboard and put on a captivating show, beginning with a great smokey departure.

You could have believed you were amongst the Austrian Alps during World War Two watching Steven Lund’s replica Fiesler Storch slowing passing by with the magnificent snow capped San Gabriel Mountain range just to the North of the airport making a wonderful backdrop to the flying. Joining the military Liason theme was a Navy marked Piper Cub and also a rarer Interstate S-1B1 (L-6). Around 320 of these small Cub look-alikes were produced in the early 1940’s in El Segundo (near LAX Airport). Almost non-stop were the joy flights which made a huge number of enthusiastic spectators more than happy. With choices of a handful of T-6’s, PA-28’s, C-172’s, Robinson R-44’s and the now well known 1930’s Stoddard of Mike Carpentiero. We thought that last year was going to be Ron “Tumbling Bear” Harrison’s last display year. The all yellow Zlin Z50 once again smoked and tumbled through the cloudless blue ski with awe putting on another faultless show, once back on the ground Ron told us the story; “Phew, that was a great flight-I hope it looked good from the ground! It’s becoming expensive to run this aircraft throughout an airshow season and making money at this is becoming hard to do so it’s time to fly just for fun when I want and relieve some of that pressure”.

Sadly it was a little thin on the ground as far as real Warbirds were concerned. Carter Teeters brought along the Wildcat once again and made some nice noisy passes with the small Grumman-joining up with a Texan on the Sunday for some nice close flypasts. Frank “Dr D” Donnelly once again kept the large crowd (believed to be around 16,000 over the two days) on their toes for the duration, ending his spirited display in his custom-built Taylorcraft with his usual clever dead-stick landing. Saturday saw the Chino Planes of Fame based “Wee Willie” P-51 make two stunning passes during the late afternoon which brought everybody to their feet-a wonderful sight and sound. Completely different to Vance Breese’s Given Mark E Predator Gyrocopter which took to the air. Mark Givens began building the machine while still in the Air Force in 1997 and was completed in 1999. Vance made a number of passes and showed just how nimble the rotorcraft really is. Formations are always a spectacle.

Once again the Van’s Air Force (RV-8’s) and the Nanchang/Yak team’s produced some nice tight passes. David Leonard had to break away from the rest of the RV gang with engine problems in his all blue “NAVY” colored machine without problem thankfully. A change of scenery for young Sammy Mason-this year taking to the skies in his red and white Pitts S-1S-throwing it around a little faster than last years Stearman display! The three Ryan PT-22’s were joined this year by Cliff Heathcote’s Fokker S-11 Instructor (also produced in Brazil for a short time!) which he has owned since 2006; ” It’s got nearly 1500 hours on the engine and it’s still going strong!” and is one of just a couple operating in the USA. The Ryan pilots Chris Nehus, Doug Schuster and Terry Freedman being joined by Carter Teeters in the front seat of one of the radial engined machines on the Saturday. ” One of my hands became so painful, so, so cold while I was flying up there, then after a while I realised I only had one glove on!” reported one of them on landing!!

Lunchbreak was the time for radio-controlled flying displays and also the well attended car show which also produced some wonderful and also strange machinery! Largest aircraft to arrive during the show was Perris based DHC-6 Twin Otter which ferried the “Just in Time” Skydiving team to great heights before descending back to earth which must have been an extremely chilly affair! Despite a number of missing aircraft from the show organisers and Air Traffic Controllers did a splendid job, as usual, to keep the show flowing. The variation in vintage aircraft is always something to behold here at Cable Airshow time and this was no exception-roll on 2014!