AS one watches the planes streaked across the sky, the song, "Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars... I really could use a wish right now, a wish right now..." comes to mind.
This famous song by Haley Williams and B.O.B. would have been a good theme song for the hugely successful Malaysia Air Festival 2011 held recently.
Indeed, planes of all shapes and sizes sparkled like diamonds in the bright mid-day sky as they streaked through the air like comets, more than fulfilling the wishes of die-hard spectators of aerial shows, with a series of scintillating performances.
There were many heart-stopping moments for the crowd as they watched the exceptionally-skilled professional aerobatic pilot Les Vorosmarthy fly his plane vertically into the air before allowing it to drop, plummeting as if he had lost control of the aircraft.
Some of the spectators must have thought that he would have to parachute out of the plane which was falling like a leaf as it seemed headed for the ground. Suddenly, he flew the plane horizontally, cutting through the skies and peeping out now and then from the puffy clouds, much to the crowd's delight.
He went on to perform more jaw-dropping aerobatic hi-jinks such as flying upside down, hammerheads, loops, spins and other dangerous moves, some of which they would have seen in the Tom Cruise film Top Gun.
There was no shortage of helicopters and planes to admire on the tarmac of the Subang Skypark Terminal of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport.
Thousands took photographs of not only the planes and helicopters soaring in the skies but also the ones parked on the tarmac.
These included the Cessna Grand Caravan, Piper Aircraft, Cirrus, PC12 by Pilatus, Diamond Aircraft and many more.
But while the aircraft on the tarmac were mostly small planes, the helicopters proved to be very interesting. The long queues to check out the S-92 Sikorsky helicopter showed this aircraft's popularity.
The search and rescue helicopter which weighs 7,900kg has three beds for sick or injured passengers, 19 troop seats, plus two for the pilots.
"It has a search-and-rescue light which can shine through harsh weather conditions like fog and rain.
"On the grey helicopter, you will see silhouettes of firemen, soldiers, search and rescue officials, police and others with the words 'legacy of heroes' painted on it in bold," said Jean Sehryver Shriver, tour manager of Sikorsky.
"This helicopter is ideal for search and rescue departments during fires, floods, hurricanes and so on. Sikorsky manufactures these helicopters and they are up for sale," she said.
Some of the spectators were seen forking out RM75 for a 15-minute ride on a helicopter or plane while others paid about RM130 for more than half-an-hour.
Many first timers found that the caps which helped to shade them from the blistering sun were "gone with the wind" when the powerful rotating blades of the helicopter gained momentum and sent powerful gusts of wind their way!
The air show hosted by Subang Skypark was held in conjunction with the centennial celebration of aviation in Malaysia by the Department of Civil Aviation.
Among the activities for the day were single aircraft aerobatics display, performances by the Malaysian Formation Aerobatics Team (Keris Sakti), "Dog Fight" display and paratroopers taking a leap of faith out of an aircraft and more.