For my last airshow of the season, I ventured east of the San Francisco Bay over to the 21st annual Livermore Airport Open House and Air Show.
This was my first time to this event and I was not disappointed. It had all the hallmarks of a local show: Free admission, friendly people, a laid-back attitude, and plenty of airplanes on display.
These smaller shows are great in the variety of aircraft that the locals pull out of their hangars — rare and common, custom and classic, fun and fascinating.
The airshow portion of the event was ushered in by local skydivers, followed by a trio of aerobatic performances.
Steve Stavrakakis of Wild Thing Airshows took to the air with his Romanian-built IAR-823 for his “Tribute To The American Vet” routine.
This aircraft wears the USAF Vietnam-era paint scheme of the 8th Special Operations Squadron, and is outfitted with colored smoke units on the wingtips to accent his exhaust smoke.
Next was Takagi Yuichi in his RedFox Pitts S-2S Special. Takagi is unique in being the only Asian airshow performer in the United States, and has only been performing since 2015.
A protégé of the one-and-only Sean D. Tucker, Takagi is also an instructor at Tucker’s Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety.
Wrapping up the aerial performances was Vicky Benzing in her lovely red 1940 Stearman. This aircraft, in its stock configuration, lacks many features of dedicated aerobatic aircraft, which is an added challenge for Vicky as she muscled her way around the blue sky.
More than 60 aircraft were arrayed on the sun-soaked tarmac, with examples from across the aeronautical spectrum.
Notable pre-war aircraft were a replica 1928 Sikorsky S-38 amphibian and a bright yellow de Havilland Tiger Moth.
A smattering of warbirds were also on hand, ranging from T-6 Texan, to a rocket-toting Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster.
Other interesting planes included a rare Bellanca T-250, a pair of Long-EZs, and a pair of Quickie Q200s.
This ended up being a nice way to spend a warm fall day surrounded by airplanes, without fighting the thousands of spectators and traffic of a high profile airshow. I’m looking forward to finding more shows like this one next season.