If you wanted to get a bit of an aerial view of Half Moon Bay and the Dream Machines show, one option was a helicopter flight. Two Robinson R-44s were running flights all day. The flights were not long and not particularly cheap but that obviously was not a deterrent. The two seemed to be flying almost constantly all day. They barely had time to refuel and swap crews it seemed.
The two 44s were similar in appearance but my usual fascination with helicopters took over and I ended up taking way more pictures of them than was absolutely necessary. I even told Hayman to stop me if I kept shooting them! He obviously wasn’t too thorough on that one as I have a fair few shots. I even got some when we stuck in the traffic leaving as they were coming right over us for a while. When going through the shots, it is sometimes fun to see the passengers watching me watching them!
The Dream Machines show included the opportunity to take a step back in time and experience open cockpit flying the way it was a long time ago. Two vintage bi-planes were offering rides and were doing a roaring trade. The two planes in question were a New Standard and a Travel Air (that lives at Skypark and can be seen up there on a regular basis). The opportunity to sit in the front of these lovely looking machines resulted in a long line throughout the day and frequent opportunities to see them in the air.
The wind speed was actually quite high so, while their downwind legs were quite zippy, any movement upwind seemed considerably more labored. The approach and landing could be made from quite a high initial point with dropping down not needing much in the way of side slipping.
I have seen both these aircraft before but they are still a nice looking pair and, with the hills overlooking the airport providing a nice backdrop, we could get some nice shots.
The number of cars on display at Dream Machines was amazing. Vehicles of all sorts were there. Some were in immaculate condition and other looked like they probably hadn’t had any work done on them since they were built other than what was necessary to keep them running. The variety was what was cool. There were old police vehicles, sports cars, luxury cars, off roaders, heavily modified vehicles and even a jet powered truck. Vintage racing cars were alongside old Fiats and VW camper vans. They were all there it seemed. I am not going to pick out any special ones for mention. Instead, here are a load of pictures of what was there.
Half Moon Bay might not have been an air show in the strict sense but it did bring in a nice mix of warbirds. A good selection of P-51 Mustangs launched together to carry out some flypasts. We ended up being well placed for them taxiing out. Having a group of Mustangs rumbling past you is pretty cool. Having them lined up on the taxiway for their power checks before taking off was even better. What a great looking group of aircraft.
This guy landed at Half Moon Bay while we were there. I have to admit I thought I was taking pictures for the accident investigation at first. However, he maintained this pose all along the runway until he turned off and apparently had done it earlier. I guess he had a lot of elevator authority. However, whether it is a good idea is a very different question.
The piece focuses more on the aviation side of things than the cars since it is an aviation site. However, the cars were really cool. Here are a couple of cars along with a plane to give you a hint. I might add some more at a later stage!
Sometimes it is hard to remember that there are places as pretty as Half Moon Bay within an hour of where we live. If the traffic is flowing, it really is a short trip to get there. I have been there a few times recently for various different reasons. While we had relatives visiting, I thought a day trip there would be a good idea. The weather was looking nice (which it hadn’t been for much of their visit) so getting to hang out near the ocean was worthwhile.
The harbor at the north end of the bay is a nice place to be. Aside from some nice refreshments at a café near the harbor, there is the shoreline to wander along. It is also a launching site for local fishermen and some of the crab pots were stacked up along the parking lot. They are colorful despite their functionality.
A short drive north of the harbor is a favorite spot of mine. It is a parking lot at the top of some cliffs. The parking lot is for a distillery that I have never visited. Whisky is not really my thing. However, the view over the ocean with the waves crashing in below combined with the wildlife that lives along the coast makes it a relaxing place to be. We had pelicans flying low along the surf and seals that seemed to be hanging out in the shallows. Not sure why they were there but I suspect it was easy to rest there out of the way of the sharks further out in the deeper water. We even got a squadron of pelicans running along the ridge near us just before we left. It was like I had booked them.
Having started out our day at Santa Cruz, we thought a run up the coast to Half Moon Bay would be a good idea. The low winter sun angle makes everything look nice and heading north up the coast means the sun is pretty much behind you most of the way. There are a string of beaches scattered along the coast along with the cliffs and lighthouses for the more treacherous parts. If you were on a purely photographic venture, you could lose a lot of time along this stretch.
This wasn’t a photo trip – just a nice day out. Of course, that doesn’t mean no photos – just not taking too many pictures. Here are a few samples of what was there to be seen that day.
Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast hosts a great little event each year called Dream Machines. It is a combination of an aircraft and car event. I took a trip with my buddy Hayman to see how it was this year. The weather did not start out favorably and it looked like it might be a bit of a dull day. The clouds early certainly stopped a few visitors from making it in. However, the weather got a lot better as the day went on and there were still lots of great things to see.
Dream Machines is not an airshow so there are no displays. However, some aircraft get airborne and might do a few flybys. I covered the event for Global Aviation Resource and you can read my coverage in more detail at http://www.globalaviationresource.com/v2/2014/05/05/aviation-event-review-dream-machines-half-moon-bay/. There are a couple of sad notes associated with this day. The Sanders owned Sea Fury, Dreadnought, was at the event and departed in mid-afternoon. It was closely followed by a Cessna support plane. Unfortunately, en route to their base, they collided over the water and the Cessna was lost along with its pilot. Dreadnought suffered damage but returned to base. Also, as it was his home base, Eddie Andreini was part of the day’s proceedings including flying his Mustang. On the static line was his Stearman and this was the aircraft he was flying at Travis a few weeks later when he crashed on the runway and died. Both losses are very sad and our thoughts are with the friends and families and all involved.