Sunday, May 29, 2011


C'mon in!

For a first ever event the Hawaii Airshow Invitational at Kona went off very well this weekend. The weather was nice, if not a bit hot, both days, and the crowds were good. An airshow is always a great family event, and this one was no exception. From the looks on the little faces it was a great experience. And it was nice to see so many kids on the field. Hopefully this will continue to grow in both scope and popularity over the years. Isolated communities like ours need the kind of variety this sort of weekend provided.

Continued after the jump...

The gate opens and the fun begins

It's hard to figure out where to go first!

There's something here for everyone.

There were things to ride in or climb on...

... and lots of things to eat...

... or drink (which was a great idea all day!)
 The field was filled with many static displays from both the military and general aviation community.

P3-C Orion

B1-B sheltering its flock
 The signature aircraft of the weekend had to be the B1-B bomber out of Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, with its swept wings and sleek design.  It was also a welcome bit of shade at times out on the exposed Kona ramp.

Also making an appearance was the very first airplane operated by Hawaiian Airlines, the Bellanca Pacemaker CH-300.  The restoration job on this old bird is wonderful, and it's amazing it was ever found and returned to Hawaii.

Hank Bruckner

Bruce Mayes SNJ-4 Warbird

F-16 (1/2000s f/8.0 at 400mm iso400)

Remote controlled aerobatic demonstrations
 The aerobatic demonstrations are a highlight of any airshow, and at Kona it was no exception.  The difference here however was that all of these activities had to be slotted in between regular air carrier service, which meant at times there were long delays between shows.  And on Saturday the F-16 lost radio contact with his ground safety officer and had to shut his routine down early.  On Sunday things went off without a hitch.

Bat wing skydiver
 And there's always somebody who thinks it's great fun to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  As the announcer said, "You only need a parachute if you want to skydive more than once!".  True enough.

Alan Miller making an unconventional landing of his little Aeronca Champ
 Not to mention the guy who lands his airplane on the top of a pickup truck.  Yes, he really did it.  In his real job he flies an Airbus A380.  So I guess he's qualified for this.

In all it was a great weekend for aviation lovers.  I'm sure a lot of people are looking forward to next year already.

For these, and many more photos of the event, feel free also to visit my Hawaii Airshow Invitational 2011 photo gallery where I'll continue to post some of the many shots I grabbed.

1 comment:

  1. Your photos really give a sense of the event--great visual narrative. (And well-written text, too!)