By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
The American Heroes Airshow celebrated its 30th year at its Nov. 4 event at Hansen Dam Sports Complex. Over 75 information booths were on-site ranging from vector control to law enforcement to fire departments to probation departments and more. According to event director Steve Goldsworthy, the event is an important one that he plans to head up again next year with organization founder and event producer Jim Paules.
“The show is part of the outreach efforts of the entire helicopter community to citizens,” Goldsworthy said. It is supported by a number of helicopter organizations including the Helicopter Association International, the Robinson Helicopter Company and SoCal Rotors.
“Without our major donors and sponsors we wouldn’t have a show,” added Goldsworthy.
A highlight of the day was the naturalization ceremony where about 50 people were administered the Oath of Allegiance becoming the newest U.S. citizens. Giving a keynote address at the ceremony was U.S. Army veteran (’91-’14) Zenaido Magallanes, immigration services officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Opening the ceremony was Crescenta Valley High School student and vocalist Heather Breckow who sang the national anthem.
About 20 helicopters were on the main field of the sports complex with most opening their doors so they could be explored by attendees to the free event. Among those attending was Burton Brink, board chair of Crime Survivors Resource Center and formerly with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept.-CV Station.
“I look forward to seeing this show every year,” Brink said. “I really enjoy it. I’m a helicopter nut.”
Some were also wowed by the elite personnel of the rotary world who flew in for the event. Mason, 7, was excited to meet one of his heroes, Stu Mundel, an aerial reporter with Fox 11.
“Every time the TV news is on, Mason is looking for Stu,” said Mason’s mom.
Kevin Nida, with his classic Bowers Ambulance, was part of the parade of vintage vehicles, which started off the day. After arriving, he and his twin daughters Jeri and Harlie took time to check out the various helicopters. The girls were interested in the Channel 7 entry, which flew in two helicopters for the show.
For those with a daring spirit, helicopter rides were available to purchase. A quick spin around the sports complex gave riders a “birds eye view” of all the festivities.