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2013 Air Shows
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Air Show, June 15-16, 2013 aka Hamilton Air Show
Location: Hamilton International Airport, Mt. Hope, Ontario, Canada
Admission: Adult (16 years & older) $30, Child (Age 6 to 15) $20 Kids 5 & under FREE, Member FREE, Flightline Club $100 per day, Ramp Pass $10 per day, Early Bird Photo Pass $60 per day or $110 for both days, Photo Pit Pass $80 per day or $110 for combo Photo Pass. General admission discounts offered on the web site.
Parking: Free off site with buses
Value: Fair
One of the most anticipated air show for 2013 in Canada was the air show held by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) on Father's Day Weekend. The lineup for the event looked very promising and included several rare and rarely seen aircraft in the Canadian skies: de Havilland Mosquito, Me-262, and FW-190. The air show to attend in Canada for a true WWII warbird enthusiast!
The Hamilton air show is very family oriented, with something for everyone: kids activity area, lots of static displays from the Museum's collection and from the RCAF such as the CF-18B, CC-130 Hercules, and the CT-142 Dash-8 among them. The Snowbirds, the CF-18 and the CP-140 Aurora performed well to their usual high standards. There were no military participation static or flying from the USA due the to sequestration. The line ups for the food were improved from last year as the food food vendors were better distributed. There was a beer-garden too. The sanitation facilities were sufficient. Getting in to the show and out was about the same as last year with buses. There were issue for the Early Photo Pass holders and Ramp Pass holders on Saturday morning, as the bus was late, and the driver had difficulty finding the right path. Exiting the show for the VIP ticket holders was a bit frustrating with 45 minute line ups for the bus, and some of the security when asked if this is the line up for the Media and VIP Bus replied "you do not look like VIP!" Not the brest way to reply to anyone to say the least! One has to be prepared for long line ups upon exiting the show and wait for the transportation back to the off site parking lots.
The air-box corridor for the air show provided excellent viewing and photographic opportunities with a lens 300mm and up if we take the heat haze out of the equation. For those who were interested in purchasing a Photo Pass, these tickets allowed the purchaser to get in to the show grounds one hour earlier than the general public, with hot ramp access to photograph performing aircraft. There was a special area set aside for the Photo Pass holders with refreshments available all day with light lunch served and an elevated trailer for better viewing of the runway. For the working media, a separate area was roped off, with free refreshments available. This was well organized.
The actual air show on Saturday was performed under warm, sunny sky great for spectators, a bit difficult due to the heat haze for photographers with long lenses. On Sunday in the morning it was dark with lots of rain showers, sometimes quite heavy, but luckily for the air show around 11 am it started to clear up a bit, and by noon it was quite promising. Thus if one attended despite the earlier gloomy weather, and put up with the wet grounds they were rewarded with the air show.

The lineup of performers was excellent and included some of the Museum’s iconic aircraft: the Lancaster, Lysander, Fairey Firefly, and the B-25, but what most of the people came to see was the only flying de Havilland Mosquito, and the rare German WWII fighters, the FW-190 and the first jet fighter the Me-262. There were the usual no show due to technical issues: the B-24 Liberator, another Lysander. The actual flying lineup was still very impressive, however some of the flying displays were very short, they took off, made one or two loops and landed this was the case of the Lysander on Saturday, and also with the first group of aircraft that included the B-25, AD-4 Skyraider, the Firefly, FG-1D Corsair. The displays by the CF-18, Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, Matt Younkin's Beech 18 both with lots of smoke were up to their high standards and the crows were very pleased! The two German fighters the FW-190 and the Me-262's performance was very short too on both days. The best formation and perhaps the only one in the world included the Lancaster, followed by the Mosquito and flanked by two Spitfires and two Hurricanes.

Over all the show was the biggest air show in Canada for 2013, and for the general attendees who do not frequently visit other air show events, it was probably excellent. For the real enthusiast and especially for the photo-pit pass and early morning Ramp pass holders was very disappointing, it could have been so much better. Once again problems surfaced with the buses, just as in the previous year.

After the dust settled, the organizers for this event decided not to have another such large air show for the 2014 season.
Participants were:
  • Snowbirds
  • CF-18 Demo Team
  • RCAF CP-140 Aurora
  • Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team
  • de Havilland Mosquito
  • Me-262
  • FW-190
  • Avro Lancaster MK X,
  • Lysander IIIA
  • B-25J Mitchell "Hot Gen"
  • Dakota (C-47)
  • Fairey Firefly MK 6
  • FG-1D Corsair
  • Spitfire (2)
  • Hurricane (2)
  • Matt Younkin with his Beech 18
  • Dave Mathieson and his MX2
  • Hamilton Sport Club Parachute skydivers
  • WWI aircraft from the Great War Flying Museum
  • and may more on static...
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Photography and report by the ASR Team from ASR MEDIA LLC
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