May 14, 2005
Airshow Photo Report
Story and photos by: Victor Archer
on any image to enlarge
Field is always an interesting place to
go to. You never know exactly who or what
might show up.
was kind of a who's who of Reno with race
pilots like Steve Hinton, Skip Holm,
Tiger Bill Destefani, Dan Martin, Eddie
Van Fossen, Al Goss, Bob Button and a few
more. There was a couple crew members
from the Bear team and even a race Merlin
engine builder present as well.
A few rare
warbirds showed up. Mike Coutches flew in
his very rare P-51H-5NA.
Skip Holm brought the
Hispano ME109 and Steve Hinton came up
from the Planes of Fame in the P-38.
Ellsworth Getchell was also there with
his Bristol Centaurus powered Hawker Sea
Fury Mk II.
Unfortunately this year's
show was not planned out as well as it
was in years past. This year a part of
the flight line was blocked by a few
planes which took away one of the better
viewing areas. The ropes were allover the
place creating a maze around different
sections of aircraft. In some places I
wasn't sure which side of the rope I was
on and toward the end of the day most of
the ropes were on the ground anyway. It
did make it difficult to photograph the
planes on display.
The Show started off with
R.G. Smith in his bright yellow Stearman
followed closely by the "Reno
Champs" in formation. Al Goss in
Warlock, Eddie Van Fossen in Miss TNT and
Tiger Bill Destefani flying Strega. Tiger
Bill did make one moderately fast pass in
Strega. It's nice to see the Witch in the
Next was Eddie Andreini in
his Super Stearman. If you have never
seen him fly the Super Stearman you're
missing out on a great aerobatic
West F-16 Demo was scheduled after Eddie
Andreini's aerobatics and unfortunately
they were having technical problems and
were over half an hour late.
After a short demo by Viper
West, Chuck Hall went up for the Heritage
the schedule were the trainers and other
light aircraft including the Storch.
Navion Squadron managed to sneak in
between the light aircraft and the heavy
The Heavy trainers only put
up a couple planes two BT-13. The program
really started to fall apart from here.
The T-28's were suppose to fly here but
didn't make it.
Andreini went up for some aerobatics in
his Yak-9. It was a pretty good
performance but the Yak was popping and
yakking quite a bit.
Next was scheduled for the
Helicopters but they didn't go up. They
were running behind. When they were ready
to go they had to stand down because two
F-18's were suppose to fly by but they
never showed up. I hate to say it but the
military was responsible for most of the
delays and no shows, not the Minter Field
Museum. It was very unfortunate because
most of the people complaining about the
lack of action thought it was the lack of
planning on behalf of the Museum.
The T-28's decided to go up
for a few passes after the long delay and
the fighters went up after that. This, I
have to say, was also a disappointment.
Imagine this: Skip Holm shows up in a
Hispano 109 and Steve Hinton is there
with a P-38. Dogfight of the century
would have paid $25 to watch an aerial
display by the two. Skip made two passes
on the field very far away and was never
seen again. The P-38 flew in formation
with Blyak and I heard someone say
"man I'll have to clone the yak out
of the picture."
Ellsworth Getchell, Dan
Martin and Al Goss flew in formation and
made a few nice passes. Mike Coutches
made a pass in his P-51H and then
fighters came back some other aircraft
left and half the crowd decided to leave.
Somewhere around this time
the announcer asked if any T-6 pilots
wanted to go up but that didn't happen.
Iron was next, a B-17, B-24, Howard C-45
and Chuck Wentworth in a TBM Avenger. For
some reason the B-17 and B-24 did not fly
until some time after the show.
Some Jets went up. A Jet
Provost, one L-29 and Bob Button in his
American Sprit L-39.
closed with four T-6's performing the
missing man formation.
part of the day was going back to the
Warlock hanger and getting buzzed by a
bunch of Stearmans, a couple low passes
by P-51's and some crazy guy in a yellow
Grumman. I sat out on the runway marker
for a bit and got buzzed by a few more
Minter is a great little
place to go and there are always a lot of
warbirds to see. Not too many people,
easy to get in and out of and surrounded
by aviation history.
is held at the Minter Field Air Museum,
401 Vultee Ave. Shafter, CA 93263 (661)
393-0291. The site is approximately
twelve miles north of Bakersfield,
For further information,
visit their website, located at: http://www.minterfieldairmuseum.com/
ask are you going back next year? There's
See you there.
and photography by: Victor Archer