It couldn’t have been a more beautiful year for the Cozumel Airshow. Unfortunately, all planes and plans came to a stop with the loss of Juan Miguel Garcia Salas in a tragic crash at the show. Juan was a bright light, always had a smile on his face and mischief in his eyes. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him and my most heartfelt condolences to his family.
Another year to celebrate the little island I call home and the dignitaries that celebrate it’s colorful sense of humor. The Conch Republic Air Force was out to represent with twice the planes. It was quite a site, and the US Coast Guard said they were quivering with fear from the brute force and accuracy we exhibited in toilet paper bombing. It was an honor to see Peter Anderson lead our forces to defeat the evil Coast Guard once again. The Coast Guard are such good sports to play along with us and join in the spirit. Fred would be proud of our continued leadership. 🙂
What’s not to love about Guatemala?? Especially when you have some airshow pilots waiting around and I have a camera! There was fun had by all, even at sunrise, that’s for sure. 🙂 I had a fantastic time capturing some of the best airshow pilots in the business with stunning Guatemalan scenery. What an opportunity that I was not going to waste!!! Thank goodness. The only thing missing from these pictures was Fred Cabanas, but he was in our hearts! A big THANK YOU to Melissa Pemberton, Skip Stewart, Gary Ward, Greg Koontz, Greg Shelton, Martin Keller, the Dardano Family, Juan & Mario, and Alejandro and all the Aeroclub board and members that helped make all this happen.
As soon as our wheels touched the ground there were big plans in store… Our first stop was the Aeroclub of Guatemala. The bar at the club overlooks the GUA runway and has just been remodeled in an aviation theme with an upscale hotel style. The old stripped Aztec B that looked like it could have been my old 1963 B model has been reborn as an accent piece of art. The footstools of the bar are helicopter skids, and the roof ribs from a wing. There are ailerons and tires that make amazing works of art… all of it tastefully not overdone. We ate famously delicious Guatemalan beef and drank high end Guatemalan Rum and toasted to Fred. The next day was filled from morning to night as we toured the colorful city of Antigua and learned it’s history, had lunch at Peter’s home accompanied by fantastic lemonade made from lemons from the garden & toured the coffee mill operated on his property. As if that wasn’t enough, we were whisked off to Martin Keller’s ranch for dinner, drinks, and dancing (until 2AM!!!) The next day we flew to the Banana farm operated by Juan and Mario, where we ate, drank, and were even more merry. After a tour of the Banana plants, we were off to relax at Iztapa were we planned aviation photoshoot shenanigans and did our best to stay out of trouble eating ceviche, sitting by the pool and relaxing on the black sand beach. What a great time with great new friends!!!! Can’t wait to go back. Hopefully next time to learn Español, finally! Special Thank you to Alejandro and all the Aeroclub board and members that helped make all this happen… Melissa Pemberton, Skip Stewart, Gary Ward, Greg Koontz, Greg Shelton, Martin Keller, the Dardano Family and Juan & Mario!
It was a great pleasure to be able to fly Rob Dyrdek and Shane O’Niell out to Lake Havasu for the emotional dedication of the new California Skate Park. Tinnell Memorial Park was packed with 3000 people on hand to enjoy a beautiful and moving opening ceremony. Lake Havasu was a surprise. It was full of motor fueled adventures… I am looking forward to going back, it’s a short 1.3 hour flight… Let’s go!