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Skies over Huntington Beach rumble as Pacific Airshow begins 3 days of aerial feats

Spectators crowd the Huntington Beach Pier Friday morning to watch the opening ceremonies of the Pacific Airshow.
(James Carbone)

Anyone within a half-mile radius of the Huntington Beach Pier Friday morning was treated to an aerial spectacle, as the Pacific Airshow cranked into high gear on the first day of its three-day return to Surf City.

An event that’s drawn countless spectators to the city’s beachfront area since its introduction 2016, the show features multiple international jet teams — from the Air Force Thunderbirds to the Army’s Golden Knights to the Navy Leap Frogs — showing off extraordinary feats of engineering and aviation skill.

U.S. Air Force jets do a high speed pass over the Huntington Beach Pier Friday as the Pacific Airshow begins a three-day run.
(James Carbone)

This year’s return to the skies has been particularly sweet, given some setbacks in recent years.

The 2020 show was canceled due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus. And while it returned last year, its third day was canceled after an oil spill off the coast required the coordination of several shoreline cleanup crews.

A "BlackFly" electric-powered personal aircraft made its debut Friday at the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach.
A “BlackFly” electric-powered personal aircraft, which bills itself as “the future of air transportation,” made its debut Friday at the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach.
(James Carbone)

Further, members of the Huntington Beach City Council decided in a Sept. 6 meeting they would no longer grant a series of permit and parking subsidies that are estimated to amount to more than $256,000 this year.

Recent difficulties aside, plans for this year’s Pacific Airshow pressed on. Locals in the know were seen staking out seats early Friday in spots that afforded good views of the action, which included a demonstration of a BlackFly electric-powered personal aircraft capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.

Expected to draw a crowd of up to 3 million spectators, the Pacific Airshow runs daily through Sunday, from around 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. The show is free, but ticketed options are available online at pacificairshowusa.com.

People cheer as U.S. Air Force pilots fly along  the Huntington Beach shoreline Friday during the Pacific Airshow.
People cheer as U.S. Air Force pilots fly along the Huntington Beach shoreline Friday during the first day of the Pacific Airshow.
(James Carbone)

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