Oxnard Air Show Designed to Allow Pilots and Spirits to Soar

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This weekend, trick pilots, gliders and airborne acrobats will soar above Oxnard Airport as part of the 12th annual Oxnard Air Show, a celebration of National Aviation Day.

Organizers have named Randy (Duke) Cunningham, the Navy’s most decorated Vietnam fighter pilot, grand marshal for the occasion. Joining Cunningham will be Christopher Lee Marshall, who at 11 years old flew a single-engine Mooney 252 from the United States to Paris, thus becoming the youngest pilot in history to complete a transatlantic flight.

The two will be on hand at a dinner dance beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Financial Plaza Hilton, 600 E. Esplanade Drive, Oxnard. The Tony Austin Trio will provide music for the $50-per-person prime rib dinner.


At 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, a pancake breakfast at the airport gates will precede the day of aerial performances. After breakfast, visitors will be able to take helicopter rides and check out a display, at which Cunningham and Marshall will appear, featuring the 1928 Tin Goose, one of the first commercial airplanes.

The 1 p.m. show will feature a 30-man American flag parachute drop, vintage biplanes, jet dragsters, aerobatic crop dusting and Rich Benbrook’s glider ballet.

The Venco Pacific hangar will be the site of a barbecue with country-western music after the air has settled.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for teen-agers 13 to 18, and free for children under 12. Proceeds go to 25 local charities.

For more information, call the Oxnard Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (805) 485-8833.