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28th Annual Nevada County AirFest
Grass Valley, California
July 8-9, 2005
Airshow Photo Report
Story and photos by: Victor Archer

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Hidden somewhere up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the California Nevada boarder is a tiny airport called Grass Valley.

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On a recent trip to Marysville, California, for the Golden West Fly-in, I was invited to go to the Grass Valley Airfest. I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the drive back up that way for a little one-day show (It's only 500 miles each way for me) but I had a few people tell me that it's a very unique and beautiful location for an air show. So I took the bait and ran back up to central California one more time. Well, I'm sure glad I did! The airport is surrounded by tall trees and the sky was bright blue with a few white clouds, hhmmmmm sounds pretty nice for taking photos.

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I got to the airport nice and early so I could have a good look around and get a few photos of the aircraft on the ground before the crowds. I love walking into a show when one of the first things you see are a bunch of Mustangs! Oh an a Corsair and a Sea Fury and......

The Show was setup very nice lots of great vendors and some really good food too.

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The flying was setup even better. First a great demo from the CDF, a very long and low water dropping pass by an S2 and some flybys from the OV-10, S2 and their Cobra helicopter.

Next a great lineup starting from homebuilt/light sport aircraft progressing up to Sports Class racing aircraft like John Parkers Thunder Mustang.

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We had a surprise visit from a Gulfstream G4 which made a few passes and actually landed. Sure looked big at Grass Valley!

From there they went into the trainers. A group of four Stearmans did some great formation flying. There were a couple of BT-13's and a bunch of T-6's. Ken Dwelle in Kitchen Pass, Tom Dwelle in Tinker Toy, MYT6 and one more flying formations. Next six T-28's went up, four in formation and two making low level passes.

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Now it was time for the Warbirds! Kent Carlomagno's Yak-11 Blyak Moose, Ted Contri's P-51D-20NA Mustang Sizzlin' Liz, Mike Coutch's very rare P-51H-5NA, Chuck Wentworth's Goodyear FG-1D Corsair and Ellsworth Getchell's Hawker Sea Fury Mk.II.

They all put on quite the show. BlyakMoose made a few very low passes, the same for Sizzlin' Liz.

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Chuck Wentworth circled around from behind the crowd and really showed off the unique lines of the Corsair.

Getch... Well Ellsworth Getchell really knows how to get the crowd excited. He would circle around and climb out very high as everyone els was making low passes and then he would dive down on the field aiming straight at the spectators and then bank away, Getch really put on a good show!

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Well the show was about over when the CDF had to go out on call, hate to see them have to go out but it did make for a nice shot or two.

next a couple of Jet Provosts or Strikemasters went up with Bob Button in his L-39.

As the Jets went out Getch came by for one more low pass.

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Almost over? No, The Hiller Aviation Museum's Douglas DC-3 went out and was going to make a low pass. I wasn't actually able to see the pass, but I did get to go up and chase the Hiller's DC-3 around a little bit for an air-to-air shoot. A Big Thank you to Brian O'Brein for the opportunity and to John Parker for flying the photo ship.

The Grass Valley AirFest was a great show! If you have never been there you won't believe how close you are to the action it's very exciting. It is in a beautiful setting and the staff and volunteers make it a very friendly place to be. Was it worth a 1,000 mile round trip? YES! Will I go back? Oh yeah can't wait!

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Speaking of wait, I wanted to have a chat with Getch before he left. I had a very interesting conversation with him about flying air shows! And if you don't already know, well Getch almost always makes at least one exciting pass on his way out.

See you at the next show,

Victor "Marauder61" Archer

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Nestled within the scenic gold country of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Nevada County, California. The Grass Valley, Nevada County Air Fest has become one of the best small-town airshows in the United States. Visitors can choose to drive to the location or, if this area of the country is a bit too far for your driving pleasure, Sacramento, California, has a major airport and it just might be worthwhile to book a flight and make your way to "Gold Country" next year to catch this wonderful show!

For more information about this airshow visit http://www.nevadacountyairfest.com/

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