‘Parade of Flight’ Highlights San Diego CoNA Celebration


By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Foster Bamford, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — A “Parade of Flight” including more than 180 vintage and modern era aircraft took to the skies above San Diego Feb. 12 as the highlight of the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) celebration at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI), Calif.

The Parade of Flight, featuring aircraft ranging from World War II to the modern day jet era, concluded a day-long Open House at NASNI that was open to the general public.

“I was hoping I’d get to see the T-28 and I was so happy to find it,” said retired Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class James Simpson, who worked on T-28 Trojans during his time in the Navy. “Seeing the T-28 makes me feel an awful lot of pride.”

Along with the parade of flight, more than 75 vintage and modern day aircraft were on static display on the flightline at NASI with their pilots and aircrew nearby to answer questions.

“It’s absolutely fabulous to be able to take part in an event like this, celebrating 100 years of Naval Aviation,” said Tom Woehl, a Vietnam Veteran who flew a Bell UH-1B Iroquois “Huey” Gunship with the Army 282nd Helicopter Company during 1966 and 1967. “The kids really enjoy seeing the helicopter and seeing the old aircraft and things like that.”

Woehl now works with the Wings and Rotors Air Museum in Murrieta, California. He was showing off a UH-1B as a static display aircraft for the show.
Photographers, both amateurs and professionals, took thousands of shots of the aircraft both in the air and on static display.

“It’s been great,” said Carl Smith, a photographer from Del Mar, Calif. “I got a lot of nice shots of vintage aircraft.”

Commemorating 100 years of progress and achievement in naval aviation, CoNA is a year-long tribute to the scope of all naval aviation activities including aircraft, people, ships, innovations and significant milestones.

Watch video from the CONA event here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ1HwjYz33s.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacensandiego/.

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