The Bucket Air Show at Gustaf III Airport (SBH) on the island of Saint Barthelemy (St. Barts) is well known for being an opportunity to see warbirds flying low and fast only feet away from spectators. The airport does not fall under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) control and is therefore free of altitude restrictions. As far as the speed goes, well it’s a given that warbirds are meant to go fast, and fast they definitely do go at Saint Barthelemy. The airport itself is considered one of the scariest in the Caribbean if not the world, with an approach path that requires a just-above-stall-speed approach over a steep hill and then a rapid descent and flare in order to land on the short runway that ends on St. Jean beach after only 2,133 feet (650 meters). Did we mention that at the top of the hill there is a traffic circle that’s often choked with avgeeks shooting video and taking pictures as planes fly by just feet above their heads?
In this particular HD video, shot during the 2015 edition of the Bucket Air Show, you’ll see two different Grumman F7F Tigercats, two North American B-25 Mitchells, a Grumman TBM-3E Avenger, a Vought FG-1D Corsair, an actual Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Zero (not a Tora Tora Tora mod of a T-6), and a Curtiss P-40K Warhawk fly passes over thrilled crowds and some beautiful blue Caribbean water. Several of the aircraft are based at Ellington Field near Houston in Texas with Texas Flying Legends. The sharp-eyed avgeeks among you will notice that the registration numbers on the aircraft have been painted on in the larger size lettering required by many Caribbean and foreign nations. Miss the FAA yet?
Bonus Video: HD cockpit, ground-to-air, and air-to-air footage shot during the 2011 airshow. Would have been cool to be on that sailboat near the end!