Chino Airshow and spins

Earlier this month, I got to attend my first airshow. It was hosted by the Planes of Fame museum at the Chino airport. I got to see a lot of historical planes (mainly WWII era) as well as some aerobatics!

Here is a shot of multiple planes, centered on a Lockheed P-38J Lightning (WWII):

Lockheed P-38J Lightning

Next we were treated to some loops and dives by Rob Harrison, the “Tumbling Bear”:

Aerobatics - upside down

Aerobatics - loop

And later in the day we saw even more impressive aerobatics by Sean Tucker in a biplane. Here I captured the end of his 9-rotation spin and resulting dive (not yet recovered!):

Aerobatics - spin

I was thrilled to see a spin in person! Spins used to be a normal part of a pilot’s repertoire — at the very least, pilots learned how to recover from an accidental spin entry. But the FAA found that more student pilots (and instructors) were being killed doing spin training than were being killed by accidental spins. So today, pilot trainees are not allowed to do them, even to learn how to recover, and so they are surrounded by a thick aura of mystique and danger. See this fascinating article for more details: The Spin Debate. My instructor, however, encourages me to go sign up for an aerobatic lesson from a flight school that is certified to teach them. I’d love to do that after I manage my first solo flight!

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I knew this already. I learned something new!