National Salute to Americas Heroes – Hyundai Air & Sea Show Miami Beach 2019

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It was Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach and what is there better to do than hanging out at the beach. Wouldn’t it be cool if you would have an amazing airshow right overhead while you either enjoying the water or getting your tan on the beach? That’s exactly what happened this memorial day weekend in Miami Beach. For the third year in a row, Hyundai sponsored the National Salute to America’s Heroes and the Hyundai Air & Sea Show.

For two days, the shores along South Beach in Miami Beach were turned into a fun-filled action zone. All five branches of the military were displaying their equipment and technology during the National Salute Air and Sea Show. Local first responder agencies were also showing what they got. We saw a Coast Guard plane dropping supplies in the water while a rescue swimmer jumped from a Coast Guard helicopter and got picked up again.

The most entertaining show was for me the U.S. Customs Drug Interdiction Demonstration. First, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Plane circled along the beach, showcasing the border patrols by air. Then a few minutes later a CPB helicopter showed up which chased a speedboat up and down the beach and trying to stop it, while they try to avoid the helicopter. Minutes later, CPB speed boats were chasing the “bad guys” as well, while the helicopter provided support and the reconnaissance plane kept watch on the rest of the area. This was probably one of the best and most interactive demonstrations of the whole two-day weekend.

I watched the show directly from the beach and took awesome photos. There was a “Beach Club” which supposedly had the best seats for the show it wasn’t necessarily true. Most of the performance was easier to see from outside the Beach Club. However, inside the fenced-in area, you had announcements of what’s going on.

My first day, after almost missing the show entirely, I spent south of the Beach Club right at the end of the beach, just before the ocean would hit you. Yeah true, I just found out by accident about that event, when I did some browsing online. I stayed at the Hyatt Place near the airport and it took me until 2 p.m. to get to the actual show. Traffic in Miami Beach was a nightmare as part of Ocean Drive was closed for car traffic and only open to pedestrians. The beach area was packed with people but I found a good open spot without a lot of umbrellas, which would block my view. I stand there right in the middle of the people and the show just unfolded right in front of us. It was awesome.

I came back the second day as well, to see the first half of the show I missed. That’s where you get to see the “big boys” flying in the sky like the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker, and B-52 Bomber. During the second day, I positioned myself quite a bit north of the Beach Club. The view was great here as well, as the planes fly up and down the beach area anyway. Lifeguards were on duty to watch over the people in the water and during one of the fly-bys they got everyone out of the water as a shark was very close to the coast. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a picture of it.

But the air and sea show was not everything. There were a firework and a music festival the first evening. One of the more prominent guests of the evening was Flo Rida. Besides the great air and sea show, there were offshore powerboat racing demonstrations, extreme water sports, an interactive Display Village including military recruiting exhibits, an Action Zone, a Kid Zone, and much more.

Army Display

It was a really great time at the beach, watching planes. I got a little sunburned the second day as there were hardly any clouds and the sun was just burning down from the sky. For aircraft photography I always like some white puffy clouds, they give a great backdrop to the otherwise just plain blue sky. This made some of my pictures look like as they were taken above the clouds and from another airplane. Enjoy the photos and let me know your favorite.

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