Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scott AFB Centennial Airshow Review: Thursday Arrival of the USAF Thunderbirds

By Carmelo Turdo
The Scott Air Force Base Centennial Airshow was a huge success, and by all accounts the turnout was outstanding.   The headliners, the USAF Thunderbirds, again thrilled the crowds as they have regularly here for nearly four decades, and the variety of military aircraft from around the country made an impressive static display lineup.  The Scott AFB Command and Public Affairs staff made a concerted effort to keep the community informed on the airshow, and they again reached out to the local media to offer unprecedented access several days in advance of the opening day.  The Aero Experience has already posted daily wrap-ups from our four days of coverage, and we will continue with more from Thursday and Friday preparations including the arrival of the USAF Thunderbirds, the Military Appreciation Day Friday Airshow and a look at the static displays on the apron.           

The arrival of the USAF Thunderbirds overhead occurred as scheduled around 2:30 on the sunny Thursday afternoon.  The team's red, white and blue F-16s passed in review and then flew their airshow formations and solo passes to get their bearings on the base's performance airspace.  It was a great opportunity to get a first look at the 2017 Thunderbirds and take some photos for our promotional stories. 

Following the flying portion of the arrival, the team performed a tactical break and settled into the landing pattern.  Soon after landing, the six jets taxied to the apron and parked in a neat row across from the other two team advance party jets and the C-17 cargo support aircraft.  The crew chiefs and ground support personnel smartly marshalled the jets to their assigned spots and greeted the pilots as they exited the aircraft.  We captured some of the interaction between pilots and ground crews as they gathered on the apron and met with local media awaiting their arrival.  Included in this series is our friend Joe Gurney from the Missouri Aviation Historical Society conducting an interview with Thunderbird 5, Lead Solo Major Alex Turner.   

Colonel Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander, was there to greet the Thunderbirds as they arrived, and she stayed on site to visit with the media.  She posed with some of the Thunderbirds ground support personnel, her Public Affairs staff and yours truly.  The Aero Experience thanks Colonel Lenderman and her staff for hosting the media on this and other occasions this year. 

The Thunderbird media ride of the day went to Fox2Now reporter Ayesha Khan following the arrival and media interviews on the apron.  We remained until she took off with Thunderbird 7, Operations Officer Lt. Colonel Kevin Walsh.   

Thursday's activities came to a close following the media flight departure, and so we downloaded, recharged and prepared for a full day of airshow activities on Friday.  Check again for our Military Appreciation Day airshow and static display coverage coming soon.

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