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2010 Air Shows

Scott AFB, Illinois Sept 11-12, 2010

Location: Scott Air Force Base, located by Shiloh, approx. 19 miles east of St. Louis. 
Admission: Free
Parking: Free
Value: Excellent
The Scott AFB Air Show, located just east of St. Louis, in Illinois, for 2010 featured the Blue Angels as the main event for the air show. This was our second much anticipated visit to Scott AFB and we hoped that this year the weather would cooperate, giving all the spectators a chance to be dazzled by all the performers.
We arrived on Friday, usually the media and practice day for the performers. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it was a washout, and due to the rain and inclement weather, some of the aircraft flew in late or decided to wait until Saturday morning, when the weather was anticipated to improve.

Due to the 9/11 Anniversary there was heightened security on the AFB on Saturday. The gates opened on time at 9:00 a.m., although the forecast called for 80% chance of rain, it never materialized. The start of the air show was delayed due to low ceiling by about 30 minutes.  It started with the 9/11 remembrance, led by Col. Michael Hornitschek, Commander of the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott AFB. The sun broke through the dark clouds in the early afternoon, which helped a great deal, to make the air show a memorable one for everyone, especially for the A-10 West Demo Team. After their Heritage Flight, as the A-10 landed, it blew the tires on the main landing gear.  Luckily, only the main landing wheels and the tires required replacement. However, the A-10 required a tow from the runway, which interferred with the performance of the Blue Angels, as they had to use a different runway away from the spectators. There were no readily available replacement wheels or tires at the base and they had to be flown in for the A-10. Thus, Saturday ended with a bit of drama, but the main thing, no one got hurt. The highlite of the day for many was the B-2 fly-by. The B-2 made several relatively low passes which thrilled everyone!

Sunday, as far as the weather, it was perfect for the air show. However, bad luck continued for the A-10 West Demo Team.  The replacement wheels and tires would only arrive at 2 p.m., and as the spare A-10 was prepared for the air show, due to an extreme family medical emergency the pilot who flew the plane to the show, had to fly it back to Davis-Monthan AFB, in Tucson, Arizona. Thus, not even the spare A-10 was available for the show. Therefore, only two aircraft performed the Heritage Flight: the F-16 of the Viper East Demo Team, and the F-4 Phantom. The Viper East Demo, piloted by Capt. Ryan "Rider" Corrigan performed splendidly as he demonstrated just how tight the F-16 can turn and how fast it can climb. The Tora Tora Tora, performed their routines and it was fun to watch them fly through the black smoke of simulated bombing runs. The show ended with the Blue Angels who were able to take off in front of the cheering crowds this time.

Over all, for the 150,000 spectators over the weekend, the air show was a great success. There were a few glitches for some of the performers and on Saturday there were some 'lines' at some of the sanitation facilities, but this was corrected for Sunday. There were plenty of trash bins and they were well dispersed. There were sufficient food and refreshment vendors, but they were a bit on the expensive side. The static display was a bit smaller than last year but still it had a good variety of aircraft; FedEx Airbus 300, C-5 Galaxy, F/A-18 painted in the aggressor colours, several other cargo, transport and training aircraft from the past and present.

The layout of the show provided a good vantage point to the flight line, and with the sun behind the spectators most of the day, excellent photographic opportunities, as long as the spectators had good telephoto lens, 400mm and upward for the fly-bys. A wide angle lens was mandatory for the larger jets at the static display.
This may be the last annual air show at Scott AFB, due to the economic climate of recent, it may change to a bi-annual event. Let us hope that will not be the case! Going to Scott AFB, for the general public, especially for families, it is an excellent value and a great, safe place to visit and have fun.
For us going to Scott AFB, it is like visiting our best friends or close family! We noticed and complemented, the friendliness of the Scott AFB personnel last year, and while some of the staff from last year changed, the friendliness and hospitality remained unchanged. In fact, we found the Public Affairs led by Karen Petitt, the Chief of the 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, and her team members such as Lt. Dan Riley, and TSgt. Jerome Baysmoreher, outstanding, and simply the BEST! We also had the opportunity to meet Lt. Col. Michael Kayser, the Air Show Director, and Col. Michael Hornitschek, the 375th Airlift Wing Commander, with whom we had a chance to discuss the air show and air shows in general. We wish to thank all of them for making the weekend such a positive and memorable event!
We stated so many times in our reviews, it is not just the performers who make an air show great, it is the people behind the organization and their staff; how they interact with the visitors and make them feel welcome and listen to their needs.  Many air shows miss this point entirely.  In our opinion, Scott AFB air show, is one that we would highly recommend for people who are interested in visiting a great air show, not just from Illinois or Missouri, but from all the US States, Canada, and world wide.

Some of the Teams and warbirds participating were:

  • B-2 fly-by
  • Blue Angels
  • Tora, Tora, Tora
  • The US ARMY Golden Knights Parachute Team
  • A-10 West Demo Team
  • F-16 East Coast Demo Team
  • C-17 Globemaster III
  • F-4 Phantom
  • Mig-17
  • B-25
  • Jason Newburg -Viper Airshows
  • and several others.
Rating: 9.9 out of 10
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