Friday afternoon I heard some military jets screaming over my house at a very low altitude.
The roar was unmistakable.
I was familiar with the sound from having attended countless air shows at the El Toro Marine base where the Blue Angels performed.
But over my home?!
When I ran outside I saw majestic white jets flying incredibly fast in large arcs.
I didn't know who they were or how they could fly all over the place in what normally is commercial aviation traffic lanes.
I searched the net thoroughly and could not locate any info at all.
This made me real curious.
Finally this morning I found information...
Today the jets returned for more practice runs...IT WAS SPECTACULAR!!!!!!
Jim McCabe, president of Air Support, which is putting on the Huntington Beach show, said it has taken about two years to do all the planning and get the proper clearances for what he said is some of the most “complex airspace in the U.S.”
The epiphany for the show for the New York-based company came from a compatriot from Long Beach, according to McCabe.
“From that spark came the whole idea,” McCabe said.
Huntington Beach, with its long, straight, open run of beach, became the company’s first choice.
“We literally cold-called (the city,)” McCabe said. “We said, ‘We have an idea.’
The city early on displayed a lot of interest.”
Air Support signed a three-year deal with the city with an option to renew.
Although Air Support is a for-profit company, it partnered with the recently created nonprofit Aeronautical Education Foundation of Huntington Beach to be the recipient of profits from the event.
The plan is for the foundation, led by local philanthropist and former aviator Dan Page, to become the owner-operator of the event in future years, with Air Support continuing to supply the performers.
Whether the event will turn a profit is the big question, and organizers were mum about the cost of staging the event.
However, according to the city, its costs for safety alone are more than $194,000, plus an added $70,000 at least for private beach security.
To help with the costs, the city agreed to increase parking fees by $5 on south beach lots and at the Pier Plaza and downtown, which could raise about $32,000.
The city also agreed to a deferment of 75 percent of its event fees.
Page and organizers say the air show can become a premier event, like the Fourth of July Parade and U.S. Open of Surfing, with the added benefit being that it occurs in a slower part of the tourist season.
The event will be staged noon-4 p.m., Oct. 22-23.
There will be a full run-through from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 21.
There will be a dozen acts, ranging from sky-divers delivering a American flag to fly-bys by classic aircraft to some high-speed aerobatics.
The Breitling Jet Team, the world’s largest civilian jet performance team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and other specialty and stunt aircraft are the featured performers.
IF YOU GO: (And you really should not miss this incredible show)
WHERE: The show center will be at Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, between Huntington City Beach and Huntington State Beach, but it could be visible along the coastline from Brookhurst Street to the Huntington Beach Pier.
COST: Viewing is free, but a VIP admission area will be available at show center, where there will be access to upgraded seating options for premium viewing, upgraded food vendor options, and more. Tickets and more information can be found can be found at hbairshow.com
WHEN: Airshow hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Rehearsal was today, Friday.
PARKING: Arrive early. Beach parking is $25 on Fri. and $30 on Sat. and Sun. Garage parking in town will be normal rates.
SHUTTLE: A shuttle from Goldenwest and Ellis Avenue is available for $40 per car; get reservations (required) at events.goground.com/airshow.
EARS: It'll be loud. Wear ear protection