Monday 22 August 2011

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Chilliwack Flight Fest

We were supposed to stay downtown after Mamma Mia last night, then spend today at the PNE so we could see the Miranda Cosgrove concert tonight.  We made a trip to Los Angeles last fall to see one of her shows, but it got cancelled for some reason.  My girls were very excited to get another chance to see her, but then ten days ago she got in to a bus accident and hurt her ankle, thus causing her to cancel her tour.  I'm glad she's going to be fine, but either she's avoiding us, or we are really bad luck for her.  At least it was only a 4 hour drive this time instead of a cross country flight.  One day....

We decided to head home a day early, but since we were under no time constraints, we took a break and checked out the Chilliwack air show.  When we were driving in to Vancouver yesterday, we noticed a bi-plane doing stalls and barrel rolls just off the highway.  I assumed that either somebody was practicing death spirals or Allegiant Air was doing some training, but it turned out that it was a two day airshow going on. 

It seemed like a strange time to have an airshow, with the gigantic Abbotsford airshow having just wrapped up the week before.  This, however, was much more my speed.  While the Abbotsford airshow draws over 125,000 people and costs around $40 a day, the Chilliwack "Flight Fest" only had a couple thousand people there, and there was no charge for admittance.  This was a great chance to see what the airshow scene is all about without too much of a time or money investment.  Heck we didn't even have to invest any exercise.  From our parking spot right in front of the airport it was maybe 100 yards to the main building, and then maybe another 100 yards to the runway.  When my kids don't have time to complain, you know it's a short walk.

Although it was a smaller airshow, it seemed like there was plenty to do.  They had rows of older planes there for you to look at and sit in.  The really neat ones were the old military planes, although how anybody could resist the urge to throw a scarf around their neck and yell "Curse You Red Baron!" over and over again is beyond me.  There were also some military ground vehicles that you could climb around on, and one giant army helicopter that was the source of the only line in the entire airshow (not including the concessions, of course). 

Then there were the performers.  Nutcases, every one of them, but I appreciate the show they put on.  When we first walked in there was a plane taking off leaving a smoke trail behind him, upside down.  It only got more impressive from there.  We spent about an hour at the show, and there were endless loops, rolls, dives, spins and figure eights.  It was dazzling to watch, but it made me feel like a complete wimp for ever complaining about turbulence on a flight.

The time went by too quickly and we still had a long drive home, so we could only stay for a little bit.  It was fantastic to be able to get this close to some of the old planes and see just how talented the pilots really are.  The feeling of adventure is prevalent at an event like this, and my mind turned to all the future trips there are to be taken on (slightly larger) airplanes.  There really is no limit to where we can go with all these fantastic flying machines in the air.  Which is good because who knows how far we're going to have to trek to actually get to see a Miranda Cosgrove concert.