Preparations for the show at Mather Airport are taking place on the ground -- and in the sky, with Thunderbird F-16C fighter jets slicing through the air in practice runs. Thunderbird pilot and California native, Major Chris Austin, says the stunts they perform are about more than entertainment. He says the shows are a recruitment tool for the Air Force.
It’s very difficult to show Americans actual military folks at work. The only way to do that is to go on the road and show it to ‘em.
Air show board director Hardy Acree says it’s obvious to him why spectators will be coming from all over to see the Thunderbirds:
They’re fun. I mean, to see airplanes flying at 500 miles an hour, 18 inches apart, that’s gotta give you a thrill.
Other military aircraft will perform aerial acrobatics during the two day show. And dozens of airplanes will be displayed on the ground. Meanwhile, officials say they’ll be ready for big crowds: there will be more portable toilets and easier access to the event than last year.