FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Preparations are underway for Fort Wayne’s annual Air Show at the 122nd Air National Guard base. The US Air Force is getting in on the action. The branch’s Thunderbird squadron landed at the base Thursday afternoon after doing practice drills for its routine it will do at the weekend show.
The air show takes off at Noon on Saturday. Gates open for parking in and around the Fort Wayne International Airport at 8 that morning. The flying ends at 4:15 that afternoon. The schedule is the same for Sunday.
The Thunderbirds make public appearances across the country. Those appearances range from flyovers to full shows. This weekend’s performance will be the squadron’s 13th appearance of the year according to the Thunderbirds’ website.
At least one of the pilots says it’s not the aerial acrobatics that is his favorite part.
“My favorite part and what always will stand out and what I remember is just meeting the people after the flying,” said Major Matt Kimmel, Thunderbirds’ number 5 pilot. “So, yeah, the flying is great, but it’s a team aspect so the Air Force is made up of a great team, and the Thunderbirds are no exception. We have fantastic team members that inspire me to come out everyday and do my best,”
Kimmel also said he looks forward to flying in shows in the Midwest.
“The terrain is flat which is nice, Kimmel said. “It makes the air show a bit easier. Your sea level or your density altitude is lower. For instance, just about a week ago, we were flying in Colorado along the Rockies, a very high elevation which is very difficult to fly. Here is lower, flatter and the people are really nice so we can put on a really good show with not a lot of challenging terrain.”
General Admission to the Fort Wayne Air Show this weekend is free, but there are some areas that do require tickets. you can find more information on those here.