Villavicencio-Vanguardia 2007Back to Country
Date: 8-9 December 2007
Static/flying: HJ-156 Fi156 private (replica) HK-1175 C-47 Air Colombia HK-1700 DC-6B stored HK-2006 DC-3C Viarco HK-2115P PBY-6A stored HK-3199 DC-3 Aerovanguardia HK-4052 An-32B Selva HK-4388 An-26 Selva At Vanguardia airport the air festival Renacer Llanero (a llanero is somebody from the Colombia’ east) was held. The airport serves as the entrance to the so called "other half of Colombia" because the plains and the Amazon region can be reached mainly from Villavicencio. The festival was named as such to commemorate the people who have been working in this region transporting cargo and passengers. Vanguardia is currently undergoing some rework, like a 900ft runway extension, modernization of the main terminal building, approach instruments and lights as part of a master plan for the airport that also includes the construction of new hangars, roads and general buildings. The festival was also planned to celebrate and inaugurate some of these improvements, but unfortunately they were not all finished yet. Eventually, the official inauguration has been postponed till 21 December, but the festival was held anyway. A very nice display was performed by three crop sprayers of a regional company, making low passes, ending with a spray of water with the colors of Colombian national flag during which the national anthem was played. The larger aircraft were a little far away for the spectators. Besides the large aircraft, a gathering of small props of the air taxi companies was parked on the ramp near the public. The Colombian made replica of the Fieseler Fi156 Storch took off and made an amazing show with very slow passes over the public. At the same time, one of the many DC-3s present took off with captain Joaquín Sanclemente, the most experienced DC-3 pilot in Colombia, taking on board a parachuting team. The clouds were appearing at this time, so, the public waited for some minutes in order to see the parachutists, jumping from 14.000 ft and landing in front of the public. Then, the DC-3 appeared again and made a very low pass over the runway with a high attitude climbing at the end. Then, the small props lined up and took off one after another, a total of six aircraft made low passes, formation flights, acrobatic maneuvers and landed. On Sunday, the parachutist launch was done with the An-26. A monument dedicated to the pilots who worked in the region and lost their lives was erected as well as a photographic exhibition showing many people who worked in the aviation branch in the region over the past 50 years. Unfortunately, a high level of disorganization before the event was the cause of the small amount of aircraft. But, despite the problems around the construction done at the airport, the bad weather on the second day, the late official approvals for the show and the withdrawal of many sponsors, the festival was a huge success and opened the way for more events in the future.