2006 NAS Oceana Airshow

NAS Oceana, Virginia

September 8-10, 2006

Airshow report written on September 13, 2006.

I am going to break tradition once again, even though there were two performers at NAS Oceana's airshow that I had not seen in the past, but I will put in a shout-out to them.  If you had never attended an airshow at Oceana in your lifetime, I would highly recommend that you take time out next year to attend the show.  The 2006 show ranked much higher than the 2005 show, even though the 2005 show featured the last ever F-14 Tomcat demonstration.  This year's show was a very special show, as it marked the very last time the public would see the F-14 Tomcat in action, as the last of the Tomcats are in the process of being retired to museums, to AMARC in Arizona, and/or being SARDIPed at Oceana.  Only one squadron of F-14s remained for the airshow, being VF-31 Tomcatters.  The Tomcatters were on surge status and had recently returned from one final Atlantic cruise on the TR back in early August.  VF-31 and VF-213 were the last two Tomcat squadrons to go on cruise, being part of Carrier Air Wing Eight on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.  Along with VFA-15 and VFA-87, the Tomcat squadrons ended their cruise on March 10, 2006 with a final flyover of all twenty-two aircraft in one large formation before peeling off in sections and landing on the parallel runways.  I had the opportunity to attend the event but did not take any video, but at the same time, I'm very happy I was able to get pictures of the homecoming.

Towards the end of September 2006, the Tomcatters will have started their transition into the F/A-18E Super Hornet and redesignated VFA-31, much to the dismay of all of the Tomcat fans in the world.  While the Super Hornet is a very capable platform, it does not have the high speed capabilities of the Tomcat and it also does not have the range the Turkey has.  I would predict that in a few years, the Super Hornet will own its own category and spot in the hearts of its pilots and its fans, who would now know of all of the aircraft's capabilities.  NAS Oceana will not be the same without the F-14s present, and even I have said that I'd question continuing spotting at Oceana, but I believe that I will still visit Oceana, regardless of what's based there.

Military demonstrations were abundant at Oceana's airshow this year, with the Air Force sending the F-15 Eagle East Coast Demo Team, an F-117 Nighthawk demonstration (as well as one on static display), and a B-2 Spirit for a flyby.  Oceana's own fleet aircraft flew an air power demonstration, as well as demonstrations by the F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet, while an E-2C Hawkeye was provided by VAW-120 out of Norfolk.  Friday's practice show was marred by a high overcast, but it gave way to a clear sky for the F-15, F/A-18F, and the Blue Angels, who were all able to fly a high show on Friday.  Fat Albert has now been relegated to flying one JATO demonstration per airshow weekend, and the Blues chose Friday night to be the JATO time.  There was even an F/A-18F Super Hornet flying during the Friday night show, but it featured a takeoff and one flyby.  I would imagine next year that there will be a lot more participation in the night show and the beach blast by the Hornets.

As I said above, two performers made their Oceana debut (though I'm probably wrong on this, since 2006 was my fourth time at an airshow at Oceana) this year.  The first of which was Ken Fowler, who came all the way from Alberta in a little Harmon Rocket.  I actually enjoyed his performance considering the aircraft is loosely based off a Vans RV-4, which is not an aerobatic aircraft by any means.  Ken doesn't do a full-blown hardcore aerobatic performance with the aircraft but the stuff he flies in it is actually really enjoyable to watch.  The other performer who made his and her debut at NAS Oceana were Greg Shelton and Ashley Battles.  Greg flies a solo performance with his Stearman, which is painted up very patriotically and flies one of the best modified Stearman acts I've ever seen (I say modified because John Mohr flies a stock Stearman).  Greg also has a wingwalking act with the gorgeous Ashley Battles on top of the Stearman.  It's a nice break to see a wingwalking act from a Stearman from time to time, as I've been used to seeing Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes fly over the last couple of years and they use an aircraft that's not a Stearman.

This year's show was definitely much better than the 2005 show, which was a great show, but the fleet flyby and the air power demonstration from 2006 completely blew away the 2005 fleet participation.  While the Tomcat will not be at Oceana next year, that does not mean that they will put on a mediocre show.  I will continue to go to NAS Oceana's airshows and continue to visit Oceana during normal operations regardless of a large Hornet and Super Hornet population.  The F-14 will definitely be missed, and lots of people say that it will not be the same without the Tomcat - well, I think those words were said when the Intruder and Phantom left the Navy's inventory.

Static Displays at the 2006 NAS Oceana Airshow


Aircraft Squadron/Unit Home Base Registration Notes
AH-64A Apache NC ArNG   0-90210  
AH-64A Apache NC ArNG   00457  
Bell 206 WAVY-TV   N210TV  
Bell 206 Virginia Beach Police   N200VB  
BT-13 Valiant        
Boeing 727-200F FedEx Memphis, TN N262FE  
C-2A Greyhound   NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 162158  
C-9B Skytrain VR-57 NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 159120 City of Virginia Beach
C-130H Hercules 314th AW Little Rock AFB, AR 62-1810  
Cessna 340A     N682JS  
Douglas DC-3     N101KC TCM Markings
E-2C Hawkeye 2000 VAW-125, AG-602 NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 165824  
F-14B Tomcat VF-32, AC-100 NAS Oceana, VA   SARDIPed
F-15E Strike Eagle 46th TW Eglin AFB, FL 86-0188 CO Bird,
Towed to Hot Ramp Sunday
F-16B Fighting Falcon 46th TW Eglin AFB, FL 90-0951  
F-16C Fighting Falcon 188th FW Fort Smith, AR 86-0252 City of Clarksville
F-16C Fighting Falcon 188th FW Fort Smith, AR 86-0238 City of Ozark
F/A-18C Hornet VFA-87, AJ-401 NAS Oceana, VA    
F/A-18E Super Hornet VFA-137 NAS Lemoore, CA 165898  
F-22A Raptor 1st FW, 94th FS Langley AFB, VA 04-0066 Protested on Saturday
F-35 Lightning II       Full-Scale Mockup
F-117 Nighthawk 49th FW Holloman AFB, NM 86-0840  
HH-60H Seahawk   NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 163797  
KC-135R Stratotanker 22nd ARW McConnell AFB, KS 63-7995  
Learjet 35 L3 Communications Newport News, VA N83FN  
MH-60J Jayhawk   CGAS Elizabeth City, NC 6003  
N2S-3 Stearman     N41EE  
OH-6 Cayuse USNTPS NAS Patuxent River, MD 696044 Questionable BuNo
P-3C Orion VP-40 NAS Jacksonville, FL 161594  
Piper Archer     N6395C  
Piper PA-32 Saratoga     N8666N Angel Flight
Poosemouth Speedwing     N57FJ  
SNJ-4 Texan     N43NA  
T-1A Jayhawk 12th FTW Randolph AFB, TX 91-0102  
T-34C Mentor VF-101 NAS Oceana, VA 160638  
T-37 Tweet 80th FTW, 88th FTS Sheppard AFB, TX 68-8001  
T-38 Talon 49th FW, 7th FS Holloman AFB, NM 67-14831 F-117 Support
Departed Sunday
T-38 Talon USNTPS NAS Patuxent River, MD 688158 Questionable BuNo
TH-57 JetRanger TAW-5 NAS Jacksonville, FL 162031  
U-6 Beaver USNTPS NAS Patuxent River, MD 164525  
UC-12B Huron   NAVSTA Norfolk, VA 161203  


Military Demonstration Teams

  • US Navy Blue Angels
  • British Red Devils
  • US Army SOC Black Daggers

Tentative Military Demonstrations

  • B-2 Spirit Flyby
  • E-2C Hawkeye Demonstration
  • F-15 Eagle East Coast Demo Team
  • F/A-18C Hornet East Coast Demo Team
  • F/A-18F Super Hornet East Coast Demo Team
  • F-117 Nighthawk Flyby
  • Navy Air Power Demonstration
  • Navy Fleet Flyby

Civillian Demonstrations

  • Patty Wagstaff
  • Dale Snodgrass
  • Greg Shelton & Ashley Battles
  • Ken Fowler
  • Dan Buchanan
  • The Starfighters
  • Bill Leff
  • Allen Smith
  • Shockwave Jet Truck
  • The Skytypers
  • US Navy Legacy Flight
  • USAF Heritage Flight

Participating Organizations

  • Rich's Incredible Pyro

Announcer: Rob Reider

2006 NAS Oceana Airshow Home Page