Unlike some of the traditional air shows around the country, the sequester had little effect on the “Wings Over Gillespie Air Show” set this year for June 1 and 2 at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. This year's event featured a collection of aircraft representative of those designed and built right here in San Diego: the PBY Catalina, PB4Y-2 Privateer, Ryan STM, Ryan PT-22, Ryan L-17 Navion, and the Vultee BT-13. New this year will be performances by Silver Wings Wingwalking. Back by popular demand is John Collver's War Dog T6/SNJ aerial display plus the only Northrop N9M Flying Wing. Other WWII aircraft at the event include the C-53 "D-Day Doll," F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, F4F Wildcat, P-51D "Lady Alice," NA-50, P-63 King Cobra, and many more “flying museums.” Numerous aircraft were on static (ground) display so attendees got an up close and personal look at what heroic aviators flew during the war years. Other attractions included military re-enactors, paratroopers, and a mock battle with "Pyro." Flying and mock battle performance days were held on both on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, May 31, was our traditional FREE youth Education Day that focused on aviation-related science, technology, engineering, and math (A-STEM). Another first for this year was a huge display from NASA. The “A-STEM” Education Day is presented by Air Group One (AG-1).
AG-1 commemorated San Diego's contribution to aviation in WWII and its part in the "Arsenal of Democracy" that transformed San Diego. Audiences learned, through the memories of veterans, from military re-enactors and displays and fly-bys of aircraft, what it was like when San Diego was home to massive aircraft industries and thousands of military aviators training for the war effort.
Wings Over Gillespie Air Show is a once-a-year family event with a FREE Kid’s Zone and FREE PARKING. Amusements, rides, education displays, a variety of food and beverages, plus a beer garden all add up to a great summer weekend for everyone. With the SR-52 extension that connects to SR-67, Gillespie Field is now more accessible than ever.
Gillespie Field is one of eight County of San Diego Airports.