Air show dates set

December 14, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | mat

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The lineup of aerial acts has yet to be finalized, but the dates for the 2011 Thunder Over the Blue Ridge air show and open house are set.

The West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing formally announced Tuesday in a news release that it will host the event on Sept. 17 and 18. Officials said the show attracted more than 80,000 over Labor Day weekend this year.

Show organizers are negotiating with a variety of military and civilian aerial acts for next year’s show, but the Airlift Wing said The Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, will perform, according to the release.

“We are looking to offer a variety of different aerial acts this year,” Airlift Wing Vice Commander Col. Brian A. Truman said in the release.


Truman also is president of Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Inc., a nonprofit organization that was formed in partnership with the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the 167th Airlift Wing to stage the air show event.

The Airlift Wing said Tuesday that the Sky Soldiers Demonstration Team might showcase four legacy AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and the Trojan Horsemen, a T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team, has been asked to take to the skies over Martinsburg with six of its vintage World War II aircraft.

Show organizers also are eyeing other aerial demonstration performances from the Air Force and Navy.
Encore civilian act performances by Bill Finagin, Jerry Wells and Scott Yoak also are expected. John Klatt, who is sponsored by the Air National Guard, might perform here for the first time, as might Paul Jennings from Glider Unlimited.

“This year’s air show and open house was a great success, and showed our commitment to the community in bringing world-class entertainment here,” Truman said. “It was a great event all around for everyone, especially since we were able to donate $127,000 back to the community.”

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