2008 Jones Beach Airshow
May 24-25, 2008
Jones Beach, New York
Airshow report uploaded on June 2, 2008.
For the third year in a row, my Memorial Day weekend has, in some way, been associated with the Jones Beach Airshow. The 2008 show was the first Jones Beach Airshow where I was able to attend both Saturday and Sunday, mainly because I have friends in Long Island and just hanging out after the Sunday show and then going home seemed like the thing not to do anymore. This year's airshow was actually very light on the military side of flying, with the Blue Angels, an F-22 Raptor demonstration, and the demonstration put on by the 106th Rescue Wing rounding out the entire military lineup. There was a host of aerobatic performers, along with a large contingent of warbirds flying in the show both days. This year, I was actually able to enjoy the entire Jones Beach weekend, which includes two other airshows that are not as well known as the one on the beach.
Probably the best display of the entire weekend came from Major Paul "Max" Moga with the F-22 Raptor. I had seen Max the week before, but strangely enough, the demo did not actually do much in the way of stealing the thunder away from the Blues or any other performers, mainly because the Starfighters were also in attendance. Anyways, having seen Max fly the demo at Jones Beach, I will say that even the staged demonstration profile and entrance is absolutely outstanding. Unlike all of the other performers, Max and the team had to stage out of Islip, which was a last minute change considering the team could not be hosted safely (in terms of security and such) at Gabreski Field.
However, with the success of the weekend's show, there were two minor incidents that occurred. The first of which involved local performer David Windmiller. I was not in attendance for the event, which occurred during the Friday practice, but while performing, the canopy from David's Edge 540 broke loose from the aircraft and fell into the ocean below. The canopy hit David in the head before leaving the aircraft, and as he told me, if it weren't for wearing a helmet, the entire situation would have gotten much worse. He was able to fly the aircraft back to Republic Airport and land without incident. The canopy ended up washing ashore several miles away from Jones Beach, and appeared to have remained intact and without a scratch on it. The second incident took place on Saturday and featured the P-40 Warhawk from Warbirds Over Long Island. That aircraft's incident also ended well, with a safe landing at Republic Airport, but resulting in a complete engine change needed (because of an oil line rupturing).
The other two airshows I mentioned took place at Republic Airport, on the side of the American Airpower Museum. The first show took place on Saturday evening, which is ordinarily closed to the public (but the public can view from the parking lot), and only featured a couple aircraft based at the museum making just two passes. The second show, held on Memorial Day itself, featured many aircraft based at the museum and open to the public. That show day was plagued with very high winds, which, luckily, was down the main show runway, and provided with some spectacular takeoffs, especially that of a Yak-50 owned by Josh Wilson. Rides were offered in a B-17, and took place over the entire day.
Overall, the 2008 Jones Beach Airshow was a pretty good show, even with the lack of military participation. I will be back next year, provided there are no other airshows conflicting with Jones Beach that weekend. I would also like to thank Lawrence Starr, Wayne Boggs, David Windmiller, Josh Wilson, Scott Clyman, and the entire F-22 Demonstration Team for all of their help and assistance with everything related to the airshow and the events around this year's airshow.
Military Demonstration Teams
US Navy Blue Angels
US Army Golden Knights
Military Aircraft Demonstrations
F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team
Aerobatic Performances, Warbird Performances, and Others
USAF Heritage Flight
Warbirds Over Long Island
Yankee Air Museum - B-17G Flying Fortress
N/A - Beach Show
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
What Else to Expect
Free admission, but the standard $8 vehicle parking rate still
Most aircraft will stage from Republic Airport in Farmingdale.