Thunderbirds Resume 2018 Schedule at Langley AFB

Thunderbirds Resume 2018 Schedule at Langley AFB

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds have announced they are approved to resume public aerial demonstrations, and will resume their 2018 Air show season this weekend at AirPower Over Hampton Roads at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. 

Major Nick “Khan” Krajicek will make his debut with the 2018 team this weekend after joining the team at the end of April following the loss of Major Stephen Del Bagno. The Thunderbirds cancelled appearances at six show sites following the mishap April 5th. 

Stay tuned to our social media as well as our websites for updates throughout the week as the Thunderbirds return to the skies for the public for just the second time in 2018.  

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Major Krajicek to Return as Thunderbird 4 for 2018

Major Krajicek to Return as Thunderbird 4 for 2018

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - Maj. Nick "Khan" Krajicek has been named as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron's Thunderbird 4/Slot Pilot for the remainder of the 2018 show season.

Krajicek is an experienced Thunderbird alumnus who performed as the Slot Pilot during the 2016 and 2017 show seasons.

"We're grateful to have Khan coming back to the team," said Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbird 1, Commander/Leader. "His experience and familiarity with our team's mission and the demonstration profile make him the right choice as we safely make our way back on the road to recruit, retain and inspire once more."

To facilitate Krajicek's requalification training, the Thunderbirds' participation at the Charleston Air Show and the Fort Lauderdale Air Show have been canceled.

The team's participation in the Laughlin AFB Air Show and the Air Power over Hampton Roads air shows are being evaluated and are dependent on the team's readiness to perform a safe 6-ship aerial demonstration.

Krajicek has logged more than 3,400 flight hours as a military pilot, with more than 650 hours of combat experience. He flew UH-60 Blackhawks in the Army, is an F-16C/D Fighting Falcon instructor pilot and commissioned into the Air Force in 2004.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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U.S. Navy Tac Demo Team Releases 2018 Schedule

U.S. Navy Tac Demo Team Releases 2018 Schedule

The United States Navy has released the 2018 schedule for the U.S. Navy Tac Demo Team. The schedule is sizeably smaller than usual, with the explanation appearing below.

April 14 - SUN ‘n FUN - Lakeland, FL

April 21 - Thunder Over Louisville - Louisville, KY

May 5 - Ford Lauderdale Air Show - Fort Lauderdale, FL

May 26 - Miami Beach Air and Space Show - Miami Beach, FL

The following shows are approved for TACDEMO participation; however, actual participation will be determined in May:

June 9 - Thunder of Niagra - Niagra Falls, NY

June 30 - Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show - Battle Creek, MI

Both VFA-106 and VFA-122 are Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS), sometimes referred to by the old Navy term “RAG” or Replacement Air Group. The primary mission of each squadron is to provide the fleet with trained replacement aircrew to support fleet requirements. At this time, each squadron must focus on training newly winged aviators and flight officers on employing the Super Hornet to defend our country. This mission must take priority over flying these remarkable aircraft at air shows.

 

Thunderbird 1 Releases Statement Following Fatal Crash

Thunderbird 1 Releases Statement Following Fatal Crash

Hello everybody. I wanted take a moment to provide you all an update here at the Thunderbirds. As you likely know, last Wednesday Thunderbird Four, Major Stephen Del Bagno, callsign: Cajun, was killed when his aircraft crashed during a training mission here at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

His loss comes as a shock to his family, friends and wingmen. We remember Cajun as an Airman, a warrior, a talented fighter pilot and a great friend with more than thirty five hundred flight hours in over thirty different aircraft. He lived to fly and inspire the next generation.

Right now we have three priorities. First, we’re taking care of Cajun’s family. The Air Force and the Thunderbirds are making sure they have all the assistance they need in this difficult time. This week, we’ll host his family for a memorial service where we’ll honor Cajun’s legacy and celebrate his amazing life.

Second, we are taking care of our squadron. We are a resilient team of high-performing professionals and we’re holding each other up, but we recognize we can’t always do it all alone, which is why we have a robust network of agencies supporting us as we mourn and recover.

Third, when the time is right, we’ll get back to executing our mission: to recruit, retain and inspire.

Moving forward, we’ll press on with the full faith and confidence of our leadership in pursuing these objectives.

In order to facilitate support to the family and team, and to ensure the safety of our flight operations, we’ll be cancelling our performances at Lakeland and Columbus Air Force Base. Further cancellations may occur and we’ll keep you posted as the schedule takes shape.

In closing, I’d like to thank all of our family, friends, fans and alumni out there who have been a tremendous source of strength this week. Thousands upon thousands of you have offered kind words of encouragement, condolences and loving tributes to Cajun’s legacy. We are deeply moved by your compassion and we ask that you continue to keep Cajun and his family in your thoughts. Thank you.

Thunderbirds Cancel SUN ‘n FUN Appearance Following Crash

Thunderbirds Cancel SUN ‘n FUN Appearance Following Crash

As you may have expected, due to protocols associated with their recent mishap and fatality, the USAF Thunderbirds have officially given notice that they will not be participating in #SNF18.

“Though we are deeply saddened by their loss of a valuable teammate, we totally understand and support the Thunderbirds’ decision. They have a requirement to take the necessary time to assess their current situation and plot a path forward, and we certainly respect their professionalism and diligence in ensuring their safe return to airshows,” said John Leenhouts, SUN 'n FUN President/CEO.

While the Thunderbirds will certainly be missed, the SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In will continue as scheduled with its week-long convention, including its impressive array of military and civilian airshow demonstrations. Scheduled acts include the U.S. Navy TAC DEMO F/A 18 Super Hornet, the dramatic and realistic Tora Tora Tora Airshows' Pearl Harbor reenactment, rare warbirds like the P-38 and A-20, and over 60 performances during the week, making it the largest aviation event in the South.

Airshow Director Greg Gibson also confirmed that the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) has reached out to SUN ‘n FUN and committed to the effort of finding alternative USAF demonstrations to come to the event.

“We appreciate ACC’s efforts on our behalf in such a short timeframe,” Gibson said. “They are working to make available a potential first-line combat aircraft to perform full aerial displays and/or engage in Heritage Flights with several of the numerous rare WWII fighters we have in attendance this year. We will make periodic announcements throughout the following days as these appearances are confirmed.”

Leenhouts also confirmed that this year’s daily airshows will include several activities to honor the service of Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, the fallen Thunderbird Number 4, and that a portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will be donated through the proper channels to support the Thunderbird family.

Thunderbirds Pilot Killed in Wednesday’s Crash Identified

Thunderbirds Pilot Killed in Wednesday’s Crash Identified

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron Slot Pilot Thunderbird 4, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range April 4, 2018 at approximately 10:30 a.m. during a routine aerial demonstration training flight.

"We are mourning the loss of Major Del Bagno," said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander. "He was an integral part of our team and our hearts are heavy with his loss. We ask everyone to provide his family and friends the space to heal during this difficult time."

An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the mishap.

The team's participation at the March Air Reserve Base "The March Field Air & Space Expo" has been canceled.  It is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds Season.

Stay tuned to our website and social media for more details as they are released. 

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Thunderbirds Pilot Killed In Routine Training Flight Wednesday

Thunderbirds Pilot Killed In Routine Training Flight Wednesday

 NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.— A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range today at approximately 10:30 a.m. during a routine aerial demonstration training flight. The identity of the pilot is being withheld for 24-hours pending next of kin notification. An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the mishap.

The team’s participation at the March Air Reserve Base “The March Field Air & Space Expo” has been cancelled. It is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds Season.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. Stay tuned to our website and social media for more updates. 

Rob Holland Okay Following Engine Failure and Crash Landing

Rob Holland Okay Following Engine Failure and Crash Landing

Aerobatic superstar Rob Holland is reportedly okay following a crash landing Sunday, March 25 following the conclusion of the NAS Kingsville Air Show. Rob posted this statement regarding the incident on his Facebook page:

Moving Forward

For all those who know or don’t know, I thought I would fill you in about the events of the past few days.

First to get it out of the way, I’m 100% fine.

That said, On March 25th I took off from NAS Kingsville, Texas at about 4:30pm for a cross-country flight to Shreveport, Louisiana.  About 15 minutes into the flight, level at 11,500 ft., I had a catastrophic engine failure and lost all engine power. I will not speculate as to the cause of the failure and will let the FAA and NTSB finish their investigation.

The Canopy was immediately covered with oil and I had zero forward visibility.

I quickly determined that an off-field landing was not the best option given the terrain. Also, using the parachute was also not a good option due to very high wind speed at the surface.  There was one “airport” within gliding distance and I immediately aimed for it.  Thank you to MGL Avionics for such an awesome EFIS system, which helped tremendously for my situational awareness.

There was a low scattered-to-broken cloud layer around the vicinity of my landing site which obstructed my view of the runway (I still could only see directly out of the side of the plane due to the oil on the canopy).  I glided through an opening in the clouds using GPS as a reference for the location of the airport.

It turns out what I thought was a private airstrip was actually an abandoned airport that was about 30 ft. wide and only 1,650 ft. long (interesting that it is still listed in the FAA Database as an airport).  When I finally got low enough so that the clouds no longer obstructed my view of the runway, I was at 700 ft. and committed to making a downwind landing because of my position.

I lined up on the runway as best I could, still having zero forward visibility.  I touched down on the runway at about 90 kts. (normal speed for this plane), but with a 20+ knot tailwind bringing my forward speed to 110kts.  

What I couldn’t see due to the oil on my canopy was a large piece of someone’s roof on the runway that had blown there by Hurricane Harvey.  After about 200 ft. of landing roll, the left main landing gear struck that piece of debris ripping the landing gear completely off the plane.  The plane skidded on its belly down the runway, departing to the side of the runway, coming to rest about 30 ft. off the right side of the runway.  The plane remained upright and straight the entire time.

I assessed that I was physically ok, turned off the fuel, the mags, and all electrical power, and then departed the plane.

I have to throw out another HUGE thank you to Hooker Harness and BoneHead Composites for an AMAZING SAFETY BELT SYSTEM and FANTASTIC HELMET, both of which undoubtedly prevented me from suffering any injuries, it was a pretty violent ride when the gear came off.

Lastly I’d like to express my gratitude to MX Aircraft Company.  The airframe did an amazing job of absorbing impact energy helping to protect me from injury. Unfortunately the damage to the airplane is too extensive to repair. I am already working with MX Aircraft and there will be a new plane in the future, updates and details will follow.

The next week or so will be very busy for me moving forward with as little (hopefully none) disruption to my schedule as possible.

There are too many people to name here but thank you to my family, friends, sponsors and supporters for all your help, well wishes, and thoughts.

Blue Skies,

Rob

Nellis AFB Cancels 2018 Air and Space Expo

Nellis AFB Cancels 2018 Air and Space Expo

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  –The US Air Force Warfare Center Commander, Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, announced Nellis Air Force Base will not host a 2018 Air and Space Expo but instead begin planning for the 2019 Air and Space Expo.

“We had an outstanding Air and Space Expo last year that many will not soon forget,” Gersten said. “This year will be an exceptionally busy year for the men and women of Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases as we take on new and more complex missions and systems while simultaneously increasing the Air Force’s lethality and leading our readiness recovery.”

Last year’s 2017 Air and Space Expo was off of the routine biennial schedule as a special event to celebrate the Air Force’s 70th birthday which drew a crowd of nearly 160,000 attendees over the three day open house.

This schedule update also provides an opportunity to move the Air and Space Expo to the weekend after Veteran’s Day to de-conflict with other city events traditionally held on November 11th.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Southern Nevada community, and the 2019 Air and Space Expo is a way for us to show people who normally don’t have the opportunity to see what we do here at Nellis; we are where warfighters get their PhD in lethality, ” he added.

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Updated F-35 Heritage Flight 2018 Schedule

Updated F-35 Heritage Flight 2018 Schedule

Air Combat Command has announced an updated 2018 schedule for the F-35 Heritage Flight Team. Several shows have been cancelled, with other shows being changed to just a static display.  One date has been added to the 2018 schedule:

2018 F-35 Heritage Flight Schedule:

March 17-18 - Luke AFB, AZ - F-35 Heritage Flight
March 24-25 - Kingsville, TX - F-35 Heritage Flight

April 3-8 - Santiago, Chile - F-35 Static Display
April 25-29 - Berlin, Germany - F-35 Static Display
April 28-29 - Myrtle Beach, SC - CANCELLED

May 5-6 - MCAS Cherry Point, NC - CANCELLED
May 26-27 - Miami, FL - F-35 Heritage Flight

June 9-10 - North Kingstown, RI - F-35 Heritage Flight - PENDING APPROVAL
June 16-17 - Ocean City, MD - F-35 Heritage Flight

August 2-5 - Seattle, WA - CANCELLED
August 10-12 - Offutt AFB, NE - F-35 Heritage Flight
August 17-19 - Chicago, IL - F-35 Heritage Flight

September 1-3 - Toronto, Canada - F-35 Heritage Flight
September 14-16 - Reno, NV - CANCELLED
September 21-23 - Sacramento, CA - F-35 Heritage Flight

October 13-14 - Fort Worth, TX - CANCELLED

Stay tuned to our website and social media for updates as the season approaches!

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U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds head to Daytona

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds head to Daytona

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds are preparing to make their annual cross-country trip to Daytona, Florida for the 60th running of the Daytona 500. The famous Thunderbirds Delta formation is expected to arrive Friday ahead of Sunday's flyover to kick off the race. 

An advance team arrived Monday in Daytona and began conducting visits to the Florida Hospital Memorial Medic Center, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the Halifax Health "Speediatrics" unit. Additionally, Thunderbird 8, Major Erik Gonsalves, flew NASCAR driver William Byron and Fox reporter Regan Smith. 

 NASCAR driver William Byron with Thunderbird 8, Major Erik Gonsalves, following a flight on Tuesday.

NASCAR driver William Byron with Thunderbird 8, Major Erik Gonsalves, following a flight on Tuesday.

This past week, the Thunderbirds Delta came together for the first time at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada, home of the Thunderbirds. This weekend's trip to Daytona will mark the first trip together for the 2018 team, which is under new command this season. 

Back in November, Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt relieved Lt. Col. Jason Heard of duties after just one season with the team. Just two weeks later, Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, selected Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh as the new commander of the Thunderbirds. 2018 will mark Lt. Col. Walsh's third year of the team, with the first two being served as the squadron's Operations Officer. 

 Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, will serve as commander of the Thunderbirds in 2018.

Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, will serve as commander of the Thunderbirds in 2018.

Following the Thunderbirds' change in command, the team announced an extended 2018 winter training period, which resulted in the cancelling of their Luke AFB appearance March 10-11, as well as the date change for the 2018 Melbourne Air & Space Show, which was moved from March 17-18 to March 24-25 in order to accommodate the Thunderbirds. This means this weekend's Daytona 500 appearance will be the last until late March. 

The Thunderbirds Delta will arrive Friday at Daytona Beach International Airport, and will begin preparing for Sunday's flyover, which will mark the 10th time the team has performed the flyover for the Daytona 500. 

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In order to achieve a perfect time on target, Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh will be in constant radio contact with the team's Operations Officer, Major Eric Gorney, who will be standing high atop the speedway Sunday. Coincidently, it has been Lt. Col. Walsh in that role the past two seasons, and now it is his turn to take the reigns and lead the six F-16's with all of America watching. 

According to Major Gorney's radio calls, Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh will either speed up or slow down the formation as they approach the speedway, with the ultimate goal of being over pit road during "Home of the Brave." Major Eric Gorney will alert the formation if the national anthem is on time, behind schedule, or ahead of schedule, and Lt. Col. Walsh will make adjustments accordingly. 

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Make sure to stay tuned to our website and social media for updates and media regarding the Thunderbirds' arrival in Daytona as well as Sunday's big flyover!

Protecting Minneapolis: AirPower at the Ready

Protecting Minneapolis: AirPower at the Ready

Super Bowl Sunday only comes once a year, but it requires over a year’s worth of preparation.  

Prior to last year’s Super Bowl in Houston, several federal agencies, including U.S. Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol, were already studying and putting together a plan for defending the skies above Minneapolis, Minnesota, host of this weekend’s Super Bowl 52. Throughout the last year, training exercises have been held to prepare a variety of units within the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

 An F-16 from the 148th Fighter Wing prepares for takeoff. 

An F-16 from the 148th Fighter Wing prepares for takeoff. 

Wednesday, the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minnesota deployed two F-16’s in the skies above U.S. Bank Stadium to simulate an interception of a mock rogue aircraft. The rogue airplane in Wednesday’s training was a Cessna flown by the Civil Air Patrol. This training ensures the Air National Guard pilots are comfortable flying low and slow with a smaller aircraft. The pilots practiced communicating with the rogue aircraft via radio and aviation hand signals in an attempt to guide the airplane out of restricted airspace. 

In support of the F-16’s on Sunday, a KC-135 will be airborne from the Wisconsin Air National Guard to refuel the fighters throughout the afternoon. Aerial refueling will take place at around 21,000 feet and at about 315 knots. 

 An F-16 receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker. 

An F-16 receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker. 

The Federal Aviation Administration will impose a temporary flight restriction in a 30-mile radius around U.S. Bank Stadium beginning Sunday afternoon. If an aircraft enters the restricted airspace, air traffic controllers will try and make contact with the unauthorized aircraft. If that fails, fighters will be scrambled into position and will attempt to make contact with radio or hand signals. Since 9/11, NORAD has been 100% successful in safely escorting aircraft outside the temporary flight restriction. 

In addition to F-16’s, U.S. Homeland Security has three Black Hawk helicopters as well as A-Star helicopters that will be a more visible source of protection in the skies above Minneapolis Sunday. They’ll be based out of Flying Cloud Airport. 

 A Black Hawk helicopter patrols the skies over Super Bowl 51 in Houston last February. 

A Black Hawk helicopter patrols the skies over Super Bowl 51 in Houston last February. 

Come Sunday afternoon, you’ll only see four aircraft fly over U.S. Bank Stadium, with that being the United States Air Force Heritage Flight

Air Force Heritage Flight Prepares for Super Bowl LII

Air Force Heritage Flight Prepares for Super Bowl LII

Sunday marks one of the most watched events in the world, the Super Bowl. Super Bowl LII is set to kickoff between the NFC’s Philadelphia Eagles and the AFC’s New England Patriots at the two-year old U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Out of all 52 Super Bowls, there have been military flyovers at 51 of them, with the first Super Bowl being the only game thus far without one. This year, the United States Air Force Heritage Flight Team will perform the Super Bowl flyover for the first time ever.

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Included in the flyover will be the P-51 Mustang “Sierra Sue II,” two A-10 Warthogs, and an F-16 Fighting Falcon. The jets are scheduled to arrive Thursday afternoon, and will be based out of a Minnesota-St. Paul Airport for the duration of the weekend. The P-51 Mustang will be based out of Flying Cloud Airport, just about 11 miles southwest of Minneapolis. 

Friday morning, the Heritage Flight will take to the skies for a practice flyover of U.S. Bank Stadium, although the time is still to be determined. During this flyover, both the pilots and ground crew will practice with Pink, who will be singing the national anthem, to perfect their time on target. Additionally, they’ll study a map of the local airspace to determine where the formation should be at certain points of reference in the song to ensure an on-time arrival over the stadium.

Contrary to popular belief, the flyover will be at no additional cost to the taxpayer, as flyovers are conducted with previously-allocated flying hours. They serve as time on target training and qualification training for the crew members. 

The Aerial Control Team is based out of Joint Base Langley and is the same team that also controls all Air Force flyovers in the complicated Washington D.C. area airspace, including funeral flyovers at Arlington National Cemetery.  

Flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon on Sunday will be Major John Waters, F-16 Viper Demo and Heritage Flight Pilot, from Peachtree City, Georgia. Major Dan Levy from Fresno, California and Major Chad Rudolph from Stilwell, Kansas will pilot the two A-10 Warthogs. Finally, Mr. Steve Hinton will pilot the P-51 Mustang and will lead the formation in the flyover.

Sunday’s flyover is scheduled for 5:25 PM, but can shift a minute or two depending on the start of the national anthem. It will be broadcast on NBC, and viewers watching from both inside the stadium and at home will get the unique opportunity to go inside the cockpit of the P-51, as a camera facing backwards will be live-streaming to both the NBC broadcast and the screens inside the stadium. This will provide a clear view of not only Mr. Steve Hinton, pilot of the P-51, but also the two A-10’s and the F-16 on the wings of the Mustang.  

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Make sure to stay tuned to our social media and website for updates on this weekend’s Super Bowl 52 flyover, and use the hashtags #AFflyover and #HeritageFlight on social media!  

Luke AFB Moves Luke Days to March 17-18, Replaces Thunderbirds with Blue Angels

Luke AFB Moves Luke Days to March 17-18, Replaces Thunderbirds with Blue Angels

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 56th Fighter Wing has moved Luke Days to March 17-18, 2018 in order to ensure the public a more robust and dynamic experience. The event is free and open to the public.

The upcoming air show marks Luke’s 77th year of operation since its founding in 1941. The show will be headlined, for the first time since 1992, by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerial demonstration team.

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The F-35 Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon will be among the static displays. The schedule of aerial performers and full list of aircraft on static display is being finalized.

Luke welcomed more than 425,000 spectators during the air show weekend in 2016 and expects to host that many Arizonans again.

The 2018 Luke Days were previously scheduled for March 10-11, and were set to host the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, but the team had to cancel due to their recent change in command.

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Thunderbirds Select New Commander

Thunderbirds Select New Commander

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – The commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Holmes, has officially selected the officer who will lead the United States Air Force Thunderbirds for the 2018 demonstration season.

Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh will become Thunderbird No. 1, the squadron’s commander and lead pilot. As the twofold duty title implies, his responsibilities will include commanding a force of more than 130 enlisted personnel and 11 commissioned officers assigned to the Thunderbirds, along with leading all demonstration flights.

Walsh, a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., just completed his second season with the team as Thunderbird No. 7, the squadron’s Operations Officer.

“Kevin’s extensive flying experience and rapport within the Thunderbirds makes him a perfect fit to command the team,” said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander. “I have full faith he will lead the team through a successful 2018 show season.”

Walsh is a graduate of the USAF Weapons School and has logged over 2,600 hours of flight time with more than 500 hours of combat pilot experience.

2018 will mark the Thunderbirds’ 65th season as the Air Force’s premier jet demonstration team, entrusted with the vital mission to recruit, retain and inspire across the nation while representing the outstanding men and women serving in the United States Air Force around the world.

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USMC Releases 2018 Harrier and Osprey Schedules

USMC Releases 2018 Harrier and Osprey Schedules

The United States Marine Corps has released the 2018 schedules for both the AV-8B Harrier and MV-22 Osprey. Both aircraft with make only a select number of appearances in 2018. Are you lucky enough to get to see them next year?

2018 AV-8B Harrier Schedule:

March 10-11 - Luke Days 2018 - Luke AFB, AZ
May 12-13 - Millville Wheels & Wings Air Show - Millville, NJ
June 30-July 1 - Arctic Thunder Open House - JB Elmendorf-Richardson, AK

2018 MV-22 Osprey Schedule:

March 23-25 - Los Angeles County Air Show - Lancaster, CA
June 2-3 - The Great Tennessee Air Show - Smyrna, TN
June 29-July 4 - Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show - Battle Creek, MI
August 25-26 - Kansas City Air Show - Kansas City, MO

RCAF CF-18 Hornet 2018 Schedule Released

RCAF CF-18 Hornet 2018 Schedule Released

The Canadian Forces CF-18 Demo Team has released their 2018 schedule, featuring shows in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom!

2018 Air Show Schedule:

May 5-6 - Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Air Show
May 11-12 - NORAD 60th Anniversary at Peterson AFB
May 19-20 - Hangar 24 Airfest
May 26-27 - Cannon AFB Air Show

June 2-3 - Borden Armed Forces Day and Air Show
June 9-10 - Gimli Air Show
June 13 - North Bay Air Show
June 16-17 - Great Lakes International Air Show
June 23-24 - Heroes Festival Canada

July 7 - RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day
July 13-15 - Royal International Air Tattoo
July 21-22 - Cold Lake Air Show
July 25 - Rocky Mountain House Air Show
July 28-29 - Hometown Heroes Air Show

August 4-5 - Vanderhoof International Air Show
August 11-12 - Abbotsford International Air Show
August 18-19 - Victoriaville Air Show
August 25-26 - Atlantic Canada International Air Show
August 29 - Brantford Community Charity Air Show

September 1-2 - Canadian International Air Show
September 8-9 - Airshow London
September 15 - Aero Gatineau-Ottawa
September 16 - Battle of Britain Commemoration
September 22-23 - California Capital Air Show
September 29-30 - Oregon International Air Show

October 6-7 - Air Show Baltimore
October 13-14 - Spirit of St. Louis Air Show

Now that you know where the CF-18 will be flying in 2018, meet the 2018 CF-18 Demo Pilot and checkout the 2018 theme by clicking on the image below!

Canadian Forces Snowbirds 2018 Schedule Released

Canadian Forces Snowbirds 2018 Schedule Released

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have announced their 2018 schedule, which will features performances in both the United States and Canada!

2018 Air Show Schedule:

May 5-6 - MCAS Cherry Point Air Show
May 12-13 - Pikes Peak Regional Air Show
May 19-20 - Anderson Regional Air Show
May 23 - Open
May 26-27 - Jones Beach Air Show
May 30 - Air Show Cape Breton

June 2-3 - Borden Armed Forces Day
June 9-10 - Thunder Over Niagara Air Show
June 13 - Open
June 16-17 - Great Lakes International Air Show
June 20 - Open
June 23-24 - Heroes Festival Canada
June 27 - Sur I'air de Chambly

July 1 - Canada Day Celebrations
July 7-8 - Manitoba Air Show
July 11 - Flin Flon Rotary Air Show
July 14-15 - Country Thunder Saskatchewan
July 15 - 15 Wing Fellowship Highway to Heroes
July 18 - Snowbirds Over Camrose
July 21-22 - Cold Lake Air Sho
July 25 - Rocky Mountain House Air Show
July 28-29 - Hometown Heroes Air Show

August 1 - Open
August 4-5 - Vanderhoof International Air Show
August 8 - Open
August 10-12 - Abbotsford International Air Show
August 22 - Thunder Over the Boardwalk
August 25-26 - Atlantic International Air Show
August 29 - Brantford Charity Air Show

September 1-3 - Canadian International Air Show
September 4 - Captain VandenBos School Tribute
September 8-9 - Spectacle aerien de Mont-Joli
September 15 - AERO Gatineau-Ottawa
September 16 - Battle of Britain Commemoration
September 19 - CF Snowbirds in Fort Erie
September 22-23 - NAS Oceana Air Show
September 29-30 - Oregon International Air Show

October 6-7 - Open
October 13-14 - Fort Worth Alliance Air Show
October 19 - Home Closer

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2018 RCAF CF-18 Demo Team Pilot and Theme Announced

2018 RCAF CF-18 Demo Team Pilot and Theme Announced

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Captain Stefan Porteous as the pilot for the 2018 CF-18 Demonstration Team.

Captain Porteous will wow audiences across North America and in the United Kingdom during the 2018 air show season, flying his specially painted CF-18 Hornet commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

"I am extremely honoured to have been selected as Canada’s 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration Team pilot,” said Captain Porteous. “I am very much looking forward to commemorating 60 years of NORAD at air shows throughout the summer while having the opportunity to be part of a highly dedicated team that will work together to put on thrilling performances aimed at demonstrating the professionalism and skill of the men and women of the RCAF. I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the course of the coming demonstration season.”

2018 Theme

The RCAF selects a theme for each year for its CF-18 air demonstration team and 2018 will feature the 60th Anniversary of NORAD.

Throughout the year, NORAD will hold several events aimed at highlighting the importance of honouring the past, guarding the present, and protecting the future.

NORAD is a combined, bi-national military command established by an agreement in 1958 between Canada and the United States to monitor and defend North America. NORAD is supported in Canada by the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), headquartered in Winnipeg, Man., and the Canadian Air Defence Sector (CADS) at 22 Wing North Bay, Ontario.  CANR maintains CF-18 aircraft on standby at 3 Wing and 4 Wing  along with CC-130T Hercules air-to-air refuellers operating from Winnipeg, in support of the NORAD mission.

"As the Commander of the Canadian NORAD Region, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the important NORAD mission and our important bi-national partnership through the 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration program,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. “The men and women of NORAD work diligently to keep watch over our countries and to protect the air sovereignty of North America. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, no matter what - we have the watch."

About Captain Stefan Porteous

Captain Porteous was born and raised in Comox, British Columbia – the home of the RCAF’s 19 Wing. Surrounded by aircraft from a young age, he was inspired to become a fighter pilot at age 11 after a family friend got him interested in military aviation. Upon turning 12, he joined 386 “Komox” Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, and went on to earn his glider pilot license in 2004, followed by his private pilot license in 2005.

Captain Porteous joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2008 as a member of the RCAF. He continued to work in support of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets during his summers and, upon graduating from university, was posted to 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, for on-the-job training. He began his RCAF flight training in the summer of 2010 at 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Portage-la-Prairie, Manitoba, and completed training in 2011 at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 2012, he was selected to fly jets and received his pilot wings in 2013 on the CT-155 Hawk aircraft.

CaptainPorteous’s many years of training culminated when he graduated from 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron in Cold Lake, qualifying to fly the CF-18 Hornet in 2014 and finally realizing his dream of becoming a fighter pilot in the RCAF.

Today, Captain Porteous is a skilled RCAF pilot with combat experience, and he has trained across Canada and the United States. He is currently with 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec.

Captain Porteous attended Comox Valley Elementary School, Aspen Park Middle School and graduated from Highland Secondary School in 2006. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of Victoria, majoring in history and classics.

In April, he will take to the skies over Comox,  where the CF-18 Demo Team will conduct its annual training before launching the 2018 air show season.

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USAF A-10 Warthog Demo Team 2018 Schedule Released

USAF A-10 Warthog Demo Team 2018 Schedule Released

The United States Air Force Air Combat Command has released the 2018 schedule for the A-10 Warthog demonstration team. Where will you see the Thunderbolt in 2018?

2018 Air Show Schedule:

March 10-11 - Luke Days - Luke AFB, AZ

April 7-8 - Heart of Texas Air Show - Waco, TX
April 14-15 - Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show - Tuscaloosa, AL
April 21 - Thunder Over Louisville - Louisville, KY

May 5-6 - Planes of Fame Air Show - Chino, CA
May 12-13 - MacDill AFB Air Fest - MacDill AFB, FL
May 19-20 - Anderson Regional Air Show - Anderson, SC
May 26-28 - Salute to Veterans Celebration - Columbia, MO

June 2-3 - Gunfighter Skies - Mountain Home AFB, ID
June 16-17 - Wings Over Northern Michigan - Gaylord, MI
June 23-24 - Binghamton Air Show - Binghamton, NY
June 30-July 4 - Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show - Battle Creek, MI

July 3 - Dubuque Jaycees Radio Dubuque Air Show - Dubuque, IA
July 20-22 - Lethbridge International Air Show - Lethbridge, AB
July 28-29 - Tri-City Water Follies - Kennewick, WA

August 10-12 - Abbotsford International Air Show - Abbotsford, BC
August 25-26 - CAF High Sky Wing Air Show - Midland, TX

September 22-23 - Osan Air Power Days - Osan AB, South Korea
September 29-30 - Oregon International Air Show - Hillsboro, OR

October 6-7 - Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show - Baltimore, MD
October 13-14 - Wings Over North Georgia - Rome, GA