PICTURED: Planes fly in formation during the 2017 Wings Over Camarillo. Photo by Robert Shellabarger, submitted by Lucien Pillai of the Wings Over Camarillo Air Show.
by Emily Dodi
In the air and on the ground, there’s so much to see and do at the 40th Annual Wings Over Camarillo Air Show, Car Show and STEM Pavilion. This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Healthcare Heroes,” and it all takes place on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22 (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Camarillo Airport. Additional highlights include helicopter rides, a World War II reenactment camp, and the opportunity to view a wide array of aircraft upclose.
The STEM Pavilion transforms a hangar into a bustling center for hands-on fun for visitors of all ages. A variety of exhibitors and activities showcase what’s new and exciting in the fields of aerospace, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Included in all the things to experience, build and fly will be robotic demonstrations and a large drone cage where guests can learn to operate drones.
“The STEM Pavilion is a fun and exciting place to inspire the next generation,” says Alison Barker, STEM Pavilion organizer. “STEM education is critical to our future. Employment in STEM fields is expected to increase 8.8% by 2028, compared to 3.7% for all other occupations, and we must prepare our youth for the new technologies that will lead us into the next century. It is also a great place for parents and the community to learn about STEM opportunities and companies in Ventura County. Guests can get out of the sun and have fun visiting all the different exhibitors with hands-on activities. Try your hand at flying a drone or a flight simulator, build and test fly a paper airplane with famous test pilots, build a LEGO project, play in a wind tunnel, watch robots in action, and much more.”
Eyes and imaginations turn skyward as world-class pilots perform, including Vicky Benzing in her PT-17 Stearman, John Collver in his AT-6/SNJ “War Dog” and Judy Phelps in her Pitts, among others. Also dazzling the crowd from the skies will be the Undaunted Airshows Formation Team, the U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team and Red Bull Parachute Jumpers, as well as vintage aircraft like a D-Day Doll C53 Skytrooper, which “played a vital role in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.”
All aircraft will be on display for a closer look, as well as some aircraft display models including a Thunderbolt II, a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a Lockheed C-130J Hercules and others.
Also on the ground, but lifting spirits just the same, is the classic car show and the 82nd Airborne Division 505th Reenactment Camp, which will stage a “full-on armor and infantry reenactment involving tanks, halftrack, trucks, jeeps and motorcycles.”
Wings Over Camarillo is hosted by the Camarillo Wings Association, a nonprofit corporation that promotes aviation and its heritage, as well as the Commemorative Air Force SoCal Wing, the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 723, and the Ventura County Ninety-Nines. “The Camarillo Wings Association distributes the Air Show net proﬁts to participating non-proﬁt groups that promote youth in science and aviation, furthering the education of Ventura County youth through leadership and service.”
Cleared for take-off and a great time, Wings Over Camarillo has “the feeling of an old-time barnstorming air show crossed with a big party . . . with something for everyone, from kids to grandparents.”
Wings Over Camarillo Air Show, Car Show and STEM Pavilion takes place Aug. 21-22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Camarillo Airport, 555 Airport Way, Camarillo. All ticketing is online; no gate sales. For tickets and more information, visit www.wingsovercamarillo.com.