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Point Mugu Air Show Will Return

February 10, 2004|Lynne Barnes | Times Staff Writer

The Point Mugu Air Show will return this fall for the first time since a fatal air crash in 2002.

This year's event, scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at Naval Base Ventura County, will not feature a big-name aerobatic act, such as the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels, because of scheduling conflicts, officials said.

It will feature several types of military aircraft, including the F-14 Tomcat fighter jets and the E-2C Hawkeye radar plane, officials said. There also will be civilian aviators and displays of vintage aircraft. Admission for the event is free.

Teri Reid, spokeswoman for the base, said she wasn't sure why the county didn't make the precision teams' schedules. "We submit two dates, a preferred date and an alternate," she said. "They take all the submissions and put together a schedule, and we just weren't on it."

A spokeswoman for the Thunderbirds said the Air Force team will be in Asia on those dates, and according to the Blue Angels website, the Navy fliers will be in Nova Scotia.

At the base's April 2002 air show a QF-4 Phantom crashed, killing the pilot and navigator. Navy investigators concluded that pilot error caused the accident.

The event was not held in 2003, because organizers were unable to book a precision jet team. But the show will go on this year without one, Reid said.

"It has always been a popular attraction," Reid said. "It's one of the few times that people get to go aboard the base and see what we do.... They get to talk to sailors and pilots one-on-one."

In the past, attendance has ranged from 100,000 to about 240,000 people over three days. The 2000 show also did not feature a precision team.

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