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2009 Air Shows


Location: St. Thomas Municipal Airport, Ontario
Admission: Adult $15
Parking: Free and $10 by the main entrance
Value: Excellent

What a show, no wonder it had a record attendance for a relatively unknown show! The Wings & Wheels in St. Thomas, just south of London, Ontario, had an excellent show. It was well organized, helpful staff, excellent selection of aircraft performing and static. The concessions were not over priced. For example, most events I’ve attended, charge $3.00 for a bottle of water, only a $1.00 here! Same with food, the selections were not over priced. Sanitary facilities were plenty and well dispersed. One could go for a ride either on a helicopter or the Harvard.

The number of aircraft both performing and static would put just about any other major air show in North America to shame! There were so many American Air Force and Navy aircraft in attendance it felt like the American’s invaded St. Thomas! After all, the airport is a relatively small one with one major runway operating and that is a relatively short one too, yet it was able to handle just about all the aircraft including the C-17 all the way from Alaska! In fact, not all the aircraft could be parked at the airport. Most of the flying demonstrators were staged from the London Airport, due to the number of static planes on display.
Everyone was glad to see the Snowbirds, the Centennial Tutor and the refurbished classic RCAF Goldenhawk F-86 Sabre were present and were able to dazzle the crowds. Although the Snowbirds flew a shorter routine than at Rochester, just a couple of weeks ago, that was a bit of a let down. As for the American planes the US Air Force must have all their spare aircraft up here. I have never seen so many A-10 flying in formation in an air show, and on display. The Lancaster bomber from Hamilton escorted by a P-51D Mustang also made a surprise fly-by. All these performances contributed to make The Wings & Wheels in St. Thomas, a very memorable event.
The show announcing was great with the exception for the Skyhawks, it was hard to understand due to the accent. Apart from the minnor announcing issue, only the weather was a disappointment, but that was beyond anybody's control. Saturday it rained all morning, but some of the show went on after 2 pm when it stopped raining. On Sunday the weather cooperated it was mostly sunny.
Over all, Wings & Wheels in St. Thomas is an excellent value. A must see for any aviation enthusiast in the Southern Ontario Region andsurrounding American States. It is really, worth attending this show! We'll be there next year!

The list of the warbirds participating were simply amazing:

(2) CF-18 Hornet

CT-115 Tutor Snowbirds

F-86 Sabre Goldenhawk

CT-114 Tutor Centennial

(4) Harvard

(4) F-15C Eagle

(6) F-16 Viper

(7) A-10 Thunderbolt II

E-2C Hawkeye

C-17 Globemaster III

KC-135R Stratotanker

(4) T-6A Texan II

(3) T-34C Mentor

(2) T-39C Sabreliner

T-44A Pegasus

CT-142 Dash 8

C-130H2 Hercules

HC-130P Hercules

HH-65C Dolphin helicopter

CF-188 Griffon helicopter

and many others.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10
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