2017 Event Review

MCAS Miramar Air Show, September 22-24, 2017
Location: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California
Admission: Free, upgraded seating available
Parking:Free, on-site with shuttles
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: 10
 
Visitors to the RNZAF Air Tattoo

A lot of US Navy amd Maries static like ths F/A-18

The 2017 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show was held on September 22-24 and once again a large crowd came out to the popular event held in San Diego. Gates opened early at 8:00 am and the many thousands of attendees had the opportunity to visit an arsenal of static display aircraft and tents. Highlighting the static display lineup at the show were 3 F-15 Eagles of the California Air National Guard, 3 F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Arizona Air National Guard, the new F-35B Lightning II, and many F/A-18 Hornets based at Miramar.

Starting off the military portion of the flying activities was the AV-8B Harrier II demonstration. The Harrier performing was based out of MCAS Yuma, Arizona and performed multiple high speed passes and even showcased the hover capabilities of the jump jet. Opening ceremonies kicked off at 12:00 pm with the singing of the National Anthem and a performance by the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. Shortly after the ceremonies ended the stage was set for the Marine Air Ground Task Force, popularly known as the MAGTF. The MAGTF is a crowd pleaser at the Miramar Airshow because it showcases many different Marine aircraft with a simulated air to ground combat mission. 2 F/A-18 Hornets and 2 AV-8B Harrier II's represented the fighter group in the demonstration and performed a variety of high speed passes with pyro on the ground to simulate an attack run. 2 UH-1Y Venoms and 3 MV-22 Ospreys carried multiple ground troops to engage in up close battle with ground enemies. 2 AH-1Z Vipers acted as attack helicopters for close air support to the troops on the ground. At the end of the routine, all the aircraft participating in the MAGTF flew together in formation with a KC-130J Hercules simulating a refueling run with the F/A-18s and AV-8Bs

Highlighting the air show was the United States Navy demonstration team known as the Blue Angels. Unlike normal, the Blue Angels were not the final flying act to perform at the show. Their performance began an hour earlier at 2:00 pm. In their routine lead by commanding officer and leader Capt. Ryan Bernacchi, the Blue Angels performed multiple maneuvers including formation flights, formation breaks, and solo head on passes. At the end of their performance, the team walked over to the crowd to meet spectators and sign autographs.

After the Blue Angels finished their performance, the show continued on with a demonstration by the MV-22 Osprey. The Osprey was based out of Miramar and took off from the far right of the base near the parking lot. The demonstration routine featured multiple passes and various hover maneuvers. Concluding the flying activities of the air shows was a solo demonstration by the newest fighter in the Marine Corps, the F-35B Lightning II. The F-35B is the short takeoff and landing variant of the aircraft and first stealth fighter with those capabilities. The F-35B performed a routine full of high speed passes, afterburner, and sensational hovering. On the last day of the air show, the three F-35B's that were at Miramar for the demonstration departed for their home at MCAS Yuma, Arizona.

After the flying portion of the air show was over, spectators were able to continue visiting the many static aircraft and tents that were available to check out. Special thanks to the active duty, volunteers, performers, spectators, and organizers for hosting another successful air show at MCAS Miramar!

Flying display participants:

U.S. Navy Blue Angels
F-35B Lightning II Demonstration
AV-8B Harrier II Demonstration
MV-22 Osprey Demonstration
Marine Air Ground Task Force: x2 F/A-18C, x2 AV-8B, KC-130J, x3 MV-22, x2 AH-1Z, x2 UH-1Y, & C-53E
U.S. Army Golden Knights
Patriots Jet Team
Sean D Tucker Oracle Challenger III
John Collver SNJ Texan “War Dog”
Shockwave Jet Truck
Anthony Oshinuga Pitts
Steve Stavrakakis IAR-823 “Wild Thing”
Dan Buchanan Special Effects Hang Glider
Boyd Willat Sailplane

Static aircraft

F-35B Lightning II - VFMA-211 “Wake Island Avengers,” MCAS Yuma, AZ
x3 F-15C/D Eagle - 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno ANGB, CA
x3 F-16C Fightning Falcon, 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson ANGB, AZ
F/A-18C Hornet - VMFA-232 “Red Devils,” MCAS Miramar, CA
F/A-18A+ Hornet - VMFA-314 “Black Knights,” MCAS Miramar, CA
x2 F/A-18C/D Hornet - VMFAT-101 “Sharpshooters,” MCAS Miramar, CA
AV-8B Harrier II - VMA-214 “Black Sheep,” MCAS Yuma, AZ
MV-22 Osprey - VMM-163 “Evil Eyes,” MCAS Miramar, CA
T-38A Talon - 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, CA
B-1B Lancer - 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, TX
C-17A Globemaster III - 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March ARB, CA



Report and photography by Geoffrey Arnwine for The Aviation Magazine

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