The private jet of former President Donald Trump made an unexpected appearance during the seventh annual Pacific Airshow in California over the weekend.
President Trump’s red, white, and blue airplane with metallic gold “TRUMP” lettering gained exposure at the event that draws massive crowds amid the Republican frontrunner's third presidential run.
About 3 million people were expected to attend the three-day airshow, a news release said.
An Iconic AircraftKevin Elliott, the airshow’s executive director, called the former president’s Boeing 757 “the second-most photographed [plane] of all time, right behind Air Force One,” according to the Daily Mail.
Mr. Elliott, who met President Trump through a mutual friend, said he knew the former president was scheduled to visit California during the airshow, making it convenient for "Trump Force One" to participate.
As the former president's aircraft flew along the shoreline on Sept. 29, the first day of this year’s airshow, President Trump greeted spectators with an announcement.
“Hello to Huntington Beach! [It’s] Donald J. Trump. I’m way up here, lookin’ at you in that big crowd of beautiful people,” he said over the airshow’s loudspeakers. “If I had a parachute, I’d parachute right down there.”
'Turning Around' California“I just want to wish everybody a wonderful time down there,” President Trump said in a lengthier recording that the Daily Mail posted online. “We’re turning around our country. Hopefully, they’ll be turning around California. ... We’ll be down there and we will be seeing you.”
He said there are “incredible people” and “incredible patriots” in the Golden State.
In an Oct. 1 statement to The Epoch Times, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said he was “glad to see the crowd loved it.”
“They were thrilled to see Trump Force One,” he said.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, an account holder named Tina said, “It was fabulous!!”
She didn’t disclose where she lives, but she said she enjoyed watching President Trump fly over her home in Air Force One during his presidential years. “And now I have him flying by in Trump Force One,” while she was in California visiting her children, she wrote.
The billionaire businessman bought the airplane several years before his first presidential run in 2015, using it throughout that campaign, then having it renovated while he served as president.
The former president made the surprise flyover en route to several appearances in California, a state where he has rarely held rallies.
California Dreamin'President Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has expressed hope that he could win the state.
Known as a Democrat stronghold, California is a coveted prize for presidential candidates because it carries the nation's largest number of electoral college votes. To win the presidency, 270 votes are needed. California, by itself, carries one-fifth of that total.
President Trump's California aspiration appears to be a longshot, based on past election outcomes.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump lost the state but won the presidency. President Trump also lost California in 2020, when Democrat Joe Biden won the state and was declared the winner of the nationwide election.
No Republican presidential candidate has carried California in the general election since 1988. But the state has been in the GOP spotlight this past week.
The former president skipped the second GOP presidential debate in Simi Valley on Sept. 27.
In campaign stops, President Trump visited with fans at an ice cream shop near Los Angeles and attended a couple additional private fundraisers, organizers told The Epoch Times.