The first inaugural Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow of 2016 was a huge success as it drew an estimated 500,000 spectators total for the three day event on the weekend of October 21st – 23rd 2016.
The aerial performances started when three Lucas Oil skydivers – one trailing an American flag – dropped from 4,500 feet smoothly to the sand as Huntington Beach Councilwoman Jill Hardy sang the national anthem for tens of thousands of spectators.
The Breitling Jet Team’s precise and dramatic performance in Huntington Beach concluded their first ever American tour that lasted two years. They’re the world’s largest civilian jet performance team based in Dijon, France. The team is flying in seven twin-seat Czech L-39C Albatros jet trainer aircraft. Their show includes many beautifully choreographed maneuvers such as the Apache Roll, a crowd favorite.
Other performers included Red Bull acrobatic pilot Kirby Chambliss (Zivko Edge 540), Bill Stein (Zivko Edge 540), US National Aerobatic Champion Mike Goulain (Extra 330SC), the Red Bull Air Force Skydive Team, an F-18 Super Hornet demonstration, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain from the nearby Lyon Air Museum, the Jet Powered Waco Biplane “Screamin’ Sasquatch”, a FedEx’s Boeing 757 cargo plane, and helicopters from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (Bell UH-1H), US Coast Guard (Eurocopter MH-65D Dolphin), and Huntington Beach PD (MD 500).
The show ended with the impressive U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds team demonstrating the skills of fighter pilots and capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon in tight, wingtip to wingtip formation at high speeds.
The Huntington Beach Airshow will return to Surf City USA in September 2017 as the only beachfront airshow on the West Coast.