The Texas Flying Legends Museum was proud and super excited to end their west coast tour with an appearance at the Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino, CA at the end of April. Chino, CA has been known for years as an aviation enthusiast hot bed with warbird and antique aircraft stashed away in hangars all throughout the airport. Naturally it was a perfect stop for the museum to bring their fleet of aircraft. The warm reception we got upon arrival was proof enough of home welcome the planes and pilots were.
The airshow started up on Friday with the second annual Twilight Show. Performances began at 3pm and went until 8pm. The day before was a leisurely day of cleaning and maintenance as everything from working on the TBM flap, Mustang Canopy and cleaning the whole fleet was necessary before any performance could be done. The facilities and people at Chino were amazing!
Chino was a new experience for some of the pilots while for others it was all to familiar. Despite the many years of clear skies and warm temperatures, the Planes of Fame Airshow experienced three days of different weather creating a rather unusual but enjoyable performance for the spectators. The Twilight show on Friday started off beautifully with the TFLM Fleet going up at 6:30 pm which caused a sensation among the crowd as the performance was something never seen before at Chino.
Saturday followed with a cold, gloomy day with gorgeous clouds but no sun and finally on Sunday the skies opened up to a beautiful sunny southern California day. Each day was a different experience giving the people a reason to come back. One of the true joys of Planes of Fame is that everybody gets a chance to get up close with the planes throughout the day. After the gates are open everybody has a chance to wonder around the static area enjoying the various aircraft. For many it is the one time in the year where they get to see so many warbirds in one spot. As they day progresses the static area becomes closed off but down on the west end people can still walk along the bigger aircraft, like our B-25 Betty’s Dream, and even sit in the shade under the wings.
Kids, adults, young and old came by to see the B-25. Alan Miller, pilot of the B-25, was kind enough to let some kids in to see up close what the inside of this amazing plane is like. It’s hard to say what the most enjoyable aspect of the airshow was but the numbers speak for themselves. Over 32,000 people attended Planes of Fame Airshow this year which beat last year’s attendance record. Without a doubt the Twilight show was a big hit and from what the volunteers, other pilots and even the general audience said, the Texas Flying Legends Museum was definitely part of making it such a good year.
Many of the ground crew who have been volunteering at Chino for years were amazed by the professionalism of the TFLM pilots. Between Sam’s tight 360 degree turn in the TBM in front of the crowd, Alan and Mark’s fast paced pull up in the B-25 or Warren in the low flying Spitfire, there was something for everyone to enjoy and remember.
The airshow was complete with the volunteer banquet. Over 150 volunteers were thanked for all that they did to make the airshow so good. In recognition to all that they did for the Texas Flying Legends Museum, two plaques were given out to Jerry Wilkins, director of the museum, Steve Hinton and Ed Maloney who represented all of Planes of Fame. After the airshow ended one question that was going around was when would the Texas Flying Legends Museum be back?