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Wild Blue Was Just Off Yonder; Air Show Goes On as Planned

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SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Every cloud has its silver lining.

And that was lucky Saturday for Camarillo Air Show organizers, who worried that low-hanging clouds would keep the festival grounded.

But by noon, the gray canopy broke open to blue skies and a flying demonstration that thrilled the throngs who crowded the tarmac at Camarillo Airport.

“It looked absolutely awful, and I didn’t think we’d end up staying too long,” said Thousand Oaks resident Alan Boyd, who came with his wife. “But look at it now; it’s gorgeous.”

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Organized by the Experimental Aircraft Assn. with help from the Southern California Wing of the Confederate Air Force, the 17th annual event will continue today at 8 a.m. with tours of the more than 40 aircraft on display.

Flying demonstrations are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m.

In addition to watching dozens of World War II fighter planes buzz the airport and run circles around the sky, spectators got a rare close look at scores of planes made famous during the war.

There were P-51 Mustangs, TBM-36 Avengers like the one former President George Bush flew, FM-2 Wildcats and a host of bombers, such as a B-25 bristling with .50-caliber machine guns.

But the air show wasn’t limited to planes.

About a dozen World War II flying aces, from P-51 pilots and B-26 gunners to a German Luftwaffe pilot, dazzled children and parents alike with their tales of daring in skies of Europe and the Pacific.

And members of the Confederate Air Force demonstrated the careful and sometimes tedious job of restoring vintage aircraft.

A group of workers were busy replacing corroded rivets and fixing the damaged nose of a 50-year-old bomber.

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“I don’t know if I’d have the patience for that,” said Lynn Stovall of Moorpark, watching the repairs with her son, Jon. “It looks like it’ll take awhile.”

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