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Point Mugu Air Show to Resume in April

January 07, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

The Point Mugu Air Show, which officials at the Navy base canceled last year due to funding problems and the inability to land a famous aerobatic act, will resume this year, headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The air show, which traditionally has taken place in October, has been scheduled for the weekend of April 25 and 26, Navy officials said Tuesday. The 34th annual show in 1996 drew 170,000 visitors and featured the legendary Blue Angels.

Putting on the air show in April should allow the Navy base to recruit better performers, and the weather should be more suitable for aerobatic displays, according to Capt. Stephen Beal, commander of the air weapons station.

"We're pretty excited about it," Beal said. "I think April's going to be good for us. October, from what I understand, is difficult because you run into some problems with the fall gloom."

Ventura County responded strongly to the cancellation of last year's show, according to Beal, as many longtime fans and participants worried about the future of the event.

As a result, the air show has actually benefited from the one-year absence, Beal argued, and Navy officials are planning to change the event's layout to improve seating and visibility. They also plan to make it easier to get around the various airplanes and booths.

The show, as always, is free.

"I don't think there'll be a bad seat in the house," Beal said. "And the parking will still be free."

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