|By Chase Kohler|
Terre Haute Airport, a typical midwestern airport with a pleasant mix of rare gems and Citations, became host to one of the midwest's biggest events this past weekend. Returning for the first time since 2007, this airshow came back with a vengeance with crowd pleasers for all generations. From loud fighter jets to WWII warplanes, there was something to be observed for all.
The airshow's award-winning reputation no doubt helped convince the United States Air Force and United States Navy Blue Angels to make this a stop on their exhausting 2018 schedules. Both provided teams that gave their typical dazzle with the utmost class and precision. For a privately organized airshow, it does not get better than having that combination. Perhaps even more inspiring was the shear amount of warbirds that FLEW during the show. Three P-51 Mustangs, B-25, TBM, Corsair, B-17, and a beautifully restored DC-3 (C-47) were just a few on the long list of aircraft flying in the one hour warbird parade. The opening also featured some airshow rarities, including a restored F-100, F-86, and civilian-owned Northrop F-5A. Aerobatic superstars Matt Younkin and Billy Werth were never outdone as they gave adrenaline-inducing performances. Oddly, Tora Tora Tora! Seemed to be overshadowed by the exhaustive performance list - a testimate to the outstanding work of the airshow staff. Static display crews were warm and welcoming to aviation enthusiasts of all ages, a highlight being two F-15C Eagles based out of New Orleans.
Logistics-wise, this show receives two thumbs up. Traffic within entry to the show was non- existent, and departure took less than thirty minutes to reach the highway. All staff were very kind without ego, and there were plenty of vendors for the curious to browse. A great highlight was the local medical center hosting a complimentary sunscreen booth that never went dry. Don’t take this insight the wrong way - the crowds were packed into the thousands!
Being later in the show season, one could not help notice the talk of airshow teams as they spoke about the future. For some, this will be their last year of globetrotting the wonders of aviation, while others are well into 2019 planning. Regardless of their next moves, every single person invoked the highest amount of class and professionalism. As I drove out of the lot, at least six performers darted off to their home base as they plan for next week’s stop. There is no rest for an airshow professional, whether you are a performer or organizer. Thank you to all who made this show a success.