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Photo Essay: Point Mugu Air Show (2023)

March 18: Bleary-eyed, I filled my travel mug with coffee and hit the road. It was 7:30 AM and, a few minutes later, my phone started to ring. “Am I ahead of you, or are you ahead of me?” my friend asked on the other end of the line. “You’re definitely ahead of me.”

The country roads that lead to Naval Air Station Point Mugu were, well, like a drive in the country… until they weren’t. As traffic came to a standstill, the way the road curved up ahead revealed this backup was miles-long. The top of the hangars on the base were just barely visible over the horizon.

Finally on base and parked, I dropped a pin on my navigation app and walked to the long line. I happened to spot my friend and his young son and, 45 minutes later, we were finally through the security check and into the event area.

The air show space was huge. Collections of aircraft on static display were off to the left, straight ahead, and to the right. There were UAV/drone systems, surveillance planes, fighter jets, cargo planes, and beyond the bike racks, the “hot ramp” where performers parked their aircraft. Nearby were the stars of the show: the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. It’s an incredibly rare treat to get both at the same air show.

Now, with that intro, I’ll let the photos tell the story of the day.

U.S. Navy skydiver parachuting with a California state flag

Thunderbirds Commander / Leader Lt. Col. Justin Elliott preparing for a flight demonstration

Four U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performing

USAF Thunderbirds Approaching in Formation

Four USAF Thunderbirds flyover at the Point Mugu Air Show

U.S. Marines T-6 Texan flyby at the Point Mugu Air Show

Blue Angels "Fat Albert" C-130 Cargo Plane

U.S. Navy Blue Angeles F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet preparing for a flight demonstration

U.S. Navy Blue Angels jets 5 and 6 flying together

Two U.S. Navy Blue Angels jets performing a close pass

Two U.S. Navy Blue Angels jets flying, with one aircraft inverted

Blue Angels flying in formation

Four US Navy jet flying in formation near Laguna Peak

Actor Gary Sinise performing with the Lt. Dan Band


"Photo Essay: Point Mugu Air Show (2023)"

by Justin J. Kilmer

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