Photos of cool aviation event at Gillespie Field!

Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 aircraft on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.
Someone looks at a restored North American L-17 airplane on display at Gillespie Field during a special Air Group One event.

Yesterday I enjoyed a very cool event at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Air Group One, the San Diego wing of the Commemorative Air Force, put on a unique Warbird Expo and Aviation & Military Memorabilia Swap Meet out on the airfield’s tarmac!

All sorts of restored World War II aircraft were on display, as well as jeeps, vintage automobiles and other unique vehicles–even old tractors! I noticed that a few of the historical airplanes belong to Air Group One; others are stationed at Gillespie Field or flew in for the occasion.

The swap meet portion of the event featured all sort of artwork and aviation collectibles. Occasionally a World War II airplane would take off, land or roar by. Visitors could purchase a short ride around Gillespie Field! While Air Group One often participates in airshows, I was told this was their first ever event of this type. Hopefully it becomes an annual tradition!

Read the photo captions to learn more!

Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
Checking out a row of shiny restored aircraft from the World War II era.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
People were riding vintage military planes that helped the Allies to win World War II.
A banner explains that Air Group One's restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
A banner explains that Air Group One’s restored SNJ-5 is available for warbird rides for those who love the sound and feel of vintage round engines.
Someone leaves the cockpit of "Sassy" after a ride around "The Patch" of Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
Someone leaves the cockpit of “Sassy” after a ride “around the patch” at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
This golf cart was modified to look like a tiny jet airplane! It even has a tailhook!
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor Lucky Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
Guys hang out beside a 1943 Ford GPW that was assigned to Captain Victor “Lucky” Moen of the 13th AAF on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during World War II.
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the airplanes!
I was surprised to see several old farm tractors out on display among the aircraft!
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
Several restored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor aircraft were out on the Gillespie Field tarmac. These planes served as versatile military trainers after World War II.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
This super nice guy was a pilot for the United States Air Force. He now flies T-34 aircraft as a member of the March Field Aero Club in Riverside.
Visitors to Air Group One's first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
Visitors to Air Group One’s first ever Warbird Expo and Militaria Swap Meet check out more vintage airplanes at Gillespie Field.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
This Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane from the World War II era was painted to honor victims of 9/11.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
Victims of the September 11 attacks are remembered on either side of the historical airplane.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93.
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen's reform school number!
This particular 1945 Stearman PT-17, an Army primary trainer, was the last airplane owned and flown by legendary actor Steve McQueen. The N number N-3188 was McQueen’s reform school number!
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen's old Stearman PT-17.
Looking into the rear cockpit of Steve McQueen’s old Stearman PT-17.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
I saw lots of cool artwork at the Expo.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
All sorts of miscellaneous aviation antiques, gear and parts were for sale at some swap meet tables.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Many books could be found, including one about the history of soaring in San Diego.
Aviation souvenirs and stuff for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Aviation souvenirs and collectibles for sale at the swap meet included pins and patches.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Lots of vintage cars were also on display. The San Diego Model A Club was well represented.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and a unique patrol car and taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Other vehicles at the event included an old San Diego Police paddy wagon and an eye-catching San Diego Police Museum patrol car/taxi combo that discourages drinking and driving.
Keep 'em Flying.
Keep ’em Flying.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.
Checking out a Ryan STM-2 manufactured in San Diego in 1940. It now belongs to the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

San Diego students learn STEM through aviation!

Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.
Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.

Today I headed to Gillespie Field in El Cajon and checked out an Expo organized by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force. As I walked among all sorts of restored World War II aircraft and a wide variety of fascinating exhibits, I made a very cool discovery!

Students in San Diego are invited by Air Group One to participate in a special aviation-themed STEM educational program! The special program is designed for middle and high school aged youth. Ricardo Sevilla, the friendly A-STEM Educational Officer, walked over to introduce himself to me, and I learned a little bit about this truly amazing opportunity.

S.T.E.M subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be taught to students in San Diego classrooms or at Air Group One’s super cool Gillespie Field headquarters, where there are a variety of potential hands-on activities. Topics that are featured include how to become a pilot, how to operate a drone, how to build a rocket, and the aerodynamics and design concepts that enable an airplane to fly. Potential careers in aviation and the aerospace industry are also introduced. Sounds like lots of fun!

Are you a teacher in San Diego who’d like to learn more? Wouldn’t your students be thrilled to visit an actual airfield? Check out this page of the Air Group One website!

Banner promotes Air Group One's Aviation Educational Programs.
Banner promotes Air Group One’s Aviation Educational Programs.
Air Group One's historic 1943 SNJ-5 "Sassy" on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Air Group One’s historic 1943 SNJ-5 “Sassy” on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
If you're interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
If you’re interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!

I’ll be blogging about today’s fantastic event at Gillespie Field as soon as I get my photographs together!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Three photos from steam ferry Berkeley.

My home internet is being changed, so I probably won’t blog for a few days. This weekend I might simply relax and read.

Meanwhile, here are three cool photos that I took yesterday before sunset from the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

Enjoy!

Thank you to all of my readers! Enjoy the rest of your week! Take care!

Richard

Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.
A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.

Last month a small public park opened in Bankers Hill at the edge of narrow Maple Canyon. The park is named after Waldo Dean Waterman, an inventor and early aviation pioneer who was the first in San Diego to fly a heavier-than-air machine. He made that flight into Maple Canyon in 1909, at the age of fifteen!

Waterman experimented with unique aeronautical designs for most of his life. He invented the first tail-less monoplane in the United States, called the Whatsit, which was the very first aircraft in history to use now standard tricycle landing gear. He then designed the Arrowbile, which was the first successful flying car!

Waldo Dean Waterman Park is a beautiful and inspiring addition to our city. For generations to come, the park will remain a living monument to a visionary man who made several important contributions to aviation history!

A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below. (Click image to enlarge.)
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Photos of how to get Wrecked at Comic-Con!

A desert island can be found directly behind the convention center, floating on San Diego Bay. There you'll find the Wrecked Pop-Up Island Tour during Comic-Con!
A desert island can be found directly behind the convention center, floating on San Diego Bay. There you’ll find the Wrecked Pop-Up Island Tour during 2017 Comic-Con!

Perhaps you’ve considered getting Wrecked while walking about during 2017 Comic-Con. Well, here’s what you need to do. Head directly behind the San Diego Convention Center and look for the small, flat, strangely rectangular desert island floating on the bay. You might note some palm trees on this island, and a conveniently wrecked aircraft. And a rather large hashtag. That’s where you need to go.

I’ll share some photos of my fun visit this afternoon. Then perhaps you might check out the second season of Wrecked on TBS which just started in June…

I feared this guy might film me riding the wild boar, so I avoided making too big a fool of myself.
I feared this guy might film me riding the wild boar, so I avoided making too big a fool of myself.
At first I thought this flight attendant was seating passengers on the wrecked aircraft. Looks to me like a nice shady spot--just avoid the sharp edges!
At first I thought this flight attendant was seating passengers on the wrecked aircraft. Looks to me like a nice shady spot–just avoid the sharp edges!
Instead, she introduced me to a hut full of friends. You know--the type Tom Hanks had in the movie Castaway.
Instead, she introduced me to a primitive hut full of friends. You know–the type Tom Hanks had in the movie Castaway.
Someone might have finally captured that wild boar running about the island.
Someone might have finally captured that wild boar running about the island.
Does this explain the name Wrecked?
Does this explain the name Wrecked?
I wonder if they use the dials on that ruined aircraft instrument panel to keep score while playing miniature golf?
I wonder if they use the dials on that ruined aircraft instrument panel to keep score while playing miniature golf?
Fortunately, the Watering Hole isn't very far from the Lotus Air Lavatories!
Fortunately, the Watering Hole isn’t very far from the Lotus Air Lavatories!
Thank you for a fun tour of the island! Maybe getting Wrecked ain't so bad after all!
Thank you for a fun tour of the island! Maybe getting Wrecked during Comic-Con ain’t so bad after all!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fun photos at the Red Bull Air Race!

Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.
Skateboarder at end of G Street Pier looks out at Red Bull Air Race course about an hour before the cool event begins on Saturday in San Diego.

Have fun checking out these photos! I took them during a long walk up and down the Embarcadero, before and during today’s Red Bull Air Race.

What did I see? Read the captions!

And if you happen to be in San Diego, the event continues tomorrow! There’s lots of cool sights to see!

Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Smart people grabbed seats on the Seaport Village wall by the water before the air race began. The guys on the boat are there to rescue pilots should they crash into the water.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
Some aerial entertainment starts early! It appeared several pilots were practicing the course before the official time trials would begin.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
The little airplanes are awfully fast and super maneuverable. The pilots had to steer a twisty course between those inflatable pylons and avoid losing points.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell's spot--he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream looks pretty good.
A crowd is gathering by my friend Mitchell’s spot–he plays didgeridoo. I held the fort while he bought a pretzel. That ice cream passing by looks pretty good.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign showed the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull planes and pilots.
Near one paid entrance, at Embarcadero Marina Park North, a sign shows the event schedule and provided info about the Red Bull race planes and pilots.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
The public could purchase all sorts of Red Bull merchandise and souvenirs at a trailer by the boardwalk.
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
And at nearby Seaport Village, kids could visit the Easter Bunny!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
These poor guys had to work during the big event. Superyachts docked behind the convention center need constant maintenance!
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
I saw this below in the water and had to take a photo. Love the color.
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center...
Then I had to climb to the top of the San Diego Convention Center…
...where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out in San Diego Bay!
…where I discovered a great view of the Marriott Marina and a good portion of the Red Bull Air Race course out on beautiful San Diego Bay!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!
As I walked south toward the Hilton, more pilots were practicing out on the bay. Zoom!  I see the Coronado Ferry Landing across the water.
Lots of people were finding spots to watch the action.
Lots of people were finding spots along the water to watch the action.
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn't find a better workplace!
Another guy who had to work today. But one couldn’t find a better workplace!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the sky high above marina masts!
A Red Bull pilot rolls in the blue sky high above marina masts!
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you'll see.
Meanwhile, this guy was testing out a water jetpack. A bunch of these daredevils entertained the crowd later, as you’ll see.
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
Almost time to start the official racing! Lots of people got free seats on the grass. The Embarcadero was jammed with spectators!
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
This line contained folks who paid to get an up close view. The paid area also featured videoboards, exhibits and special refreshments.
Here's that sign again. I've been walking my way back north.
Here’s that sign again. I’ve been walking my way back north.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The San Diego course map for the Red Bull Air Race.
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! You need to be on edge!
The racing has officially begun! Those pilots are fast and super skilled! They probably drank some Red Bull, too! Because you need to be on edge!
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Planes make multiple passes through the difficult course.
Just cleared that pylon!
Just cleared that pylon!
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them. Anyway, now it's being refilled with air.
Uh, oh. One pylon deflated for some reason. Sometimes pilots would clip them and lose points. Anyway, now it’s being refilled with air.
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
All of San Diego seems present for the big international race!
Look at them go.
Look at them go.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
This pair of pylons at the north end seemed the most difficult to clear. Pilots had to make a hairpin turn through them.
Made it!
Made it!
Young aircraft enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
Young flying enthusiast has pins from many aviation events and air shows.
These kids simply like ice cream.
These kids simply like ice cream.
Now I'm out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
Now I’m out on the pier just north of Seaport Village. A great view of the race can be enjoyed here, and for free!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
A big wake made this fishing vessel bob by the pier like crazy, causing a moment of excitement!
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
During a lull in the aerial action, which allowed ships and boats to pass through the course, the paying crowd was entertained by a bunch of water jetpack guys.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
Coast Guard guys check with pilot rescue guys during a break in the action. The rescue guys had wetsuits and fins on, ready to be on the scene of a crash in seconds.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The dog was enjoying the sunny San Diego day as much as the humans.
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
The Red Bull Air Race has resumed! A pilot descends toward the starting pylons!
Here he goes!
Here he goes!
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons...
Now to bank rapidly around a couple of single pylons…
That's pretty darn fast!
That’s pretty darn fast!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Red Bull Air Race plane flies above San Diego!

Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!
Look! Up in the sky! A Red Bull Air Race plane is about to buzz the San Diego Convention Center!

Check out this cool sight that just went up in San Diego’s Gaslamp, right next to the trolley station and Tin Fish restaurant! A Red Bull Air Race plane appears to be flying low over downtown! I think it might buzz the nearby convention center!

This morning, when I took these photos, I spoke to friendly guys putting up some promotional banners and learned the cool “plane on a post” had just been installed. A couple cranes were nearby. It appears to be an actual plane that is flown during the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

The next big race comes to San Diego Bay in two weeks. The best pilots in the world will fly a few feet above the water through an insane aerial obstacle course. Some years back a Red Bull Air Race was held in San Diego, and I caught some of the incredible action from a distance. All I can say is those pilots must have amazing reflexes and nerves of steel!

This unique motorsport was devised by the people at Red Bull. The planes move at high speed and are extremely maneuverable. This year the Master Class category features fourteen of the world’s top pilots.

There are eight races around the globe, mostly in cities by water, and San Diego will be the second race. I hope to catch it! If I do, I’ll post photos!

A cool airplane of the type San Diego will see in two weeks at the Red Bull Air Race above San Diego Bay.
The type of cool airplane flown at a Red Bull Air Race.  The upcoming aerial race will be through a unique obstacle course above San Diego Bay.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
San Diego Trolley leaves the Gaslamp Station and passes a new banner advertising the Red Bull Air Race in mid-April.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
Poster promotes the upcoming Red Bull Air Race over San Diego Bay, on April 15 and 16.
It might be small, but it's highly maneuverable and super fast!
It might be small, but it can turn on a dime and is super fast!
One can see some of the airplane's inner workings. There doesn't appear to be much room in the cockpit!
One can see some of the airplane’s inner workings. There doesn’t appear to be much room in the cockpit!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!
Now the Red Bull Air Race plane seems to be banking toward the Gaslamp! Perhaps it will fly up Fifth Avenue!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!