BZ's 2009 Chino -Horsemen

Photo Gallery

The Horsemen are known for flying the world's only P-51 Mustang aerobatic team. For the Chino show though, they switched their 'stangs for Bearcats! To me, that's just amazing that they can switch from one aircraft type to a different one, and still fly a close formation aerobatic routine. Just goes to show how good of a pilot those guys are!

The Horsemen pilots are: Jim Beasley, Dan Friedkin, and Ed Shipley. Great show guys!

Used a Nikon D200 w/ 70-300mm VR lens for the pictures.
- Bernard Zee

While the Horsemen are renowned for thrilling audiences in P-51s, they were using F8F Bearcats for this show.
Here's what a Bearcat sounds like in a high speed pass.

They choose to fly the Bearcat as a tribute to the Blue Angels (which began flying Bearcats when first formed in the late 40's), which of course fit in with the Chino theme of Grumman planes.

The Bearcat is no slouch when it comes to performance, but I'm sure there are subtle differences between it and the Mustang which the pilots must take into account when flying in close formation.

Most of the pilots at the air show are rated to fly different types of planes. So it is not unusual to see them hop out of one after landing and jump into another!

Here are the Horsemen in their 3 ship Bearcat formation doing a fast flyby.

From what I heard, the Horsemen will fly the Mustangs (which they are more familiar with) in even closer formation! Looking back at last year's pictures, I believe it.

Since it is not often that one sees 3 F8F's flying so close together, I'm throwing in a few extra shots.
Click on the play button below to hear the sounds of the Horsemen's 3 Bearcats as they make a pass.

In fact, I have a feeling this is a very rare treat - which may not be repeated as the Horsemen revert back to flying their Mustangs.

One of the prettier shots of the 3 ship formation.

One last shot of them in formation.

Here's one of them landing.

I suppose that's Dan Friedkin. At least the name 'Dan' is stenciled on the cockpit frame!

Here's Jim, Dan, and Ed one last time in the F8F Bearcats!

BZ Chino 2009 Gallery Index