2012 Air Shows
4th Annual Waterloo Air Show, June 2-3, 2012
Location: Waterloo International Airport, Ontario, Canada
Admission: $25 adults (ages 10-65) $10 for children under 5 free, $15.00 for seniors and FREE for Veterans! Online pricing discounted.
Parking: Free
Value: Very Good
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Tens of thousand anticipated eagerly the 4th Annual Waterloo air Show, unfortunately due to the severe weather, many decided to stay at home. No matter how well the organizers plan and try to put together a great show, Mother Nature has the final word and for 2012 it was dreadful. It was cold, windy and lots of rain.
Fridays media day and Snowbird practice was cancelled due to rain that cycled between heavy and light rain all day. It was also quite windy. Saturday was heavily over cast and with high winds, which dried the tarmac and the grassy areas. There was an occasional sprinkle through out the day, with a heavier shower at the end of the show. However, it was the strong wind that made it very uncomfortable for anyone at the show, it was very cold. Low ceiling for flying. Sunday’s weather was the same.
The Waterloo air show is a family oriented, two day event that entertains, educates and inspires anyone who enjoys the thrill of flight. Besides the air display from noon to 4 pm, there were activities for kids in the amusement area, static display of aircraft, lots of food vendors and even a beer garden. The air-box corridor for the air show provided excellent viewing and photographic opportunities with a lens 300mm and up.
The people who attended Saturday’s performance had the added bonus that all the three Canadian icons were present: the CF-18 Demo Team, the Canadian Forces Skyhawks Parachute Team, and the Snowbirds. Just as the show ended the Skyhawks left, and for Sunday’s show the only the CF-18 Demo Team and the Snowbirds were present. The Joint Forces Demo did not measured up too well. It was actually quite lame when compared to previous Joint Forces Demo at other shows in the past for example at Abbotsford, BC, or Great Lakes Air Show in St. Thomas. The only good thing about it was seeing two CF-18 flying together. The pyrotechnic, lets just say, was a dud!!! Perhaps due to rain and wet conditions? Certainly not much bang or explosions.
Saturday’s show started off unofficially with the Snowbirds taking off for a practice run around 9:30 am. The official show started just around noon, with the Skyhawks starting Saturday’s show with a jumper with a huge Canadian flag, jumping from a brand new CC-130J Super Hercules, and Veterans and Cadets marching to the show center. Followed by the Air Cadet and their glider, the CF-18 Demo Team doing a “low show”, which was better than a no show, due to low cloud ceiling. It was great to see this beautifully painted jet piloted by Capt. Patrick "Paco" Gobeil, screaming through the clouds and making all those wonderful noises air show enthusiast just love! This was followed by the CH-146 Griffon, the Jet Museums T-33 Mako Shark, Pete McLeod of the Red Bull Air Races fame with a thrilling performance, pulling close to 10Gs in some tight turns, Wayne Hadath in his F1 Rocket, racing aircraft called “Little Bit” more jumps by the Skyhawks, The Corsair piloted by Paul Kissman did a graceful show like only he can, Otto the Helicopter show for the kids at the show, and the Canadian Harvard Association, the Joint Forces demo, and by the Snowbirds, often called the “Snowboards” by the announcer, jokingly.
The static line was a bit sparse too with no USAF, ANG or Navy aircraft present, only the CP-140 Aurora that arrived after the show on Saturday, the CT-142 “Gonzo”, a CT-155 Hawk, a CT-156 Harvard II, C-90A Beechcraft King Air, a Lockheed 10A Electra, Jet Aircraft Museum’s Vampire T.55, another T-33, and a few other civilian small aircraft.
Over all the show was not bad, it was well organized but certainly would have been much better if the weather would have cooperated. For photographers the cloudy sky offered challenges but also offered some dramatic background and great contrast for interesting photos. Hopefully the show will have better luck next year with the weather!
ASR would like to thank Diana Spremo of Spremo Communications, Dave Kreutzkamp and Mike Koteles from Fliteline Maintenance for their generous help and cooperation.

Participants were:
  • Snowbirds
  • CF-18 Demo Team
  • Canadian Forces Skyhawks Parachute Team
  • Joint Forces Demo (RCAF and the Canadian Army)
  • CH-146 Griffon
  • FG-1D Corsair from Vintage Wings
  • Canadian Harvard Association with (4) Harvards
  • T-33 "Mako Shark"
  • Pete McLeod, with the Red Bull Zivko Edge 540
  • Otto the Helicopter
  • Wayne Hadath F1 Rocket
  • Air Cadets
Rating: 7 out of 10 (due to the weather)
Photography and report by AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
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