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Miramar Air Show

Event date: September 28–30, 2018
Miramar Air Show

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The wide blue yonder is the backdrop for an impressive theatre of the sky held at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, San Diego, California. Fighter jets appear to inch carefully along the runway before transforming into masters of the sky. Crowds of up to 7000 people view the excitement in a 3-day show that’s both ear splitting and mind boggling. It’s the world’s largest military air show and every year its pilots take over the San Diego skies, rain or shine.

The MCAS Miramar Air Show programme features displays of fast-paced formation flying and aerobatic manoeuvres by the US Navy Blue Angels as well as the likes of Patriots Jet Team and Breitling Jet Team. Visitors will be treated to performances from military parachute teams and aerial demonstrations by the army, navy and more, as well as a full-on Marine Air Ground Task Force demonstration.

Miramar Air Show is free to enter. However, for the preferred seating there is a ticket price — and there are some upscale packages available for the ultimate air show experience. Given that it’s an air show, paying for preferred seating is not a prerequisite for enjoyment.

The show is not all up in the air however. The MCAS Miramar Air Show flight line also has static displays of past and present aircraft, as well as ground combat equipment and air show memorabilia. There are also plenty of vendors and activities for families to stay fed, watered and entertained.

An evening performance of the main act (the US Navy Blue Angels are confirmed for 2016) takes place in the cooler hours of the day, so jet plane enthusiasts can nibble hors d’oeuvres, dessert and sip cocktails at the fully hosted bar while watching their favourite steel birds fly off into the sunset. There is a fireworks display and the signature “Great Wall of Fire” to ensure visitors a grand finale.

Speaking of Hollywood-style endings, we are in California after all, and MCAS happens to be the true-life home of the Top Gun school, made famous by the 1985 movie. So head to San Diego this September for the MCAS Miramar Air Show and experience the real thing.


  • Wear appropriate footwear. Most visitors will spend a fair bit of time walking around (it is possible to enter a number of the planes as well as meet the pilots). In fact, the airbase is huge; it is easy to fulfill the daily exercise quota simply by wandering around.
  • Don’t forget to bring binoculars, a sun umbrella and folding chairs (or cushions). The sun is always shining in this part of America, and free admission areas do not offer much shade.
  • Get biking. The Miramar area of San Diego is great for cycling and Wheel Fun Rentals has a couple of locations in San Diego for bike and bicycle cart hire. Beat the traffic and ride to the event, only don’t forget to wear a proper cycle helmet. Two-wheeled visitors won’t be permitted on the base without one.

PRE EVENT WATCH: Top-Flight Teams to perform at 2015 Miramar Air Show. Video by MCAS Miramar

Visit MCAS Miramar Air Show

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kimberlyn Adams
Photo by Sgt. Melissa Wenger
Photo by Sgt. Melissa Wenger
Photo by Sgt. Michele Hunt
Photo by Cpl. Alissa Schuning
Photo by Cpl. Asia J. Sorenson
Published on April 1, 2016
Location: San Diego, California
Country: United States Of America ›
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