Thursday, August 23, 2012

TOP STORY>>2012 air show: So much to see and do

By Arlo Taylor
19th Airlift Wing public affairs

There will be something for the entire family at the 2012 Heritage and Heroes Open House and Air Show set for the weekend of Sept. 8 - 9.

Admission and parking for the air show is free and gates open at 8:30 a.m. both days of the event. The air show portion of the day takes off at approximately 10 a.m. and continues until the headlining performance of the world famous Blue Angels at approximately 2 p.m.

Other air acts include the Team Little Rock C-130 “Day in Afghanistan” capabilities exercise, demos by the Canadian Forces CF-18 team, the U.S. Navy F/A Super Hornet teams, precision parachuting by the Army Special Operations Jump Team Black Daggers and the Canadian Skyhawks; daring aerobatics by Mike Rinker and Pink Floyd; and nostalgic B-25, F-4, P-47 and P-51 heritage flights.

Ground displays include the gigantic C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III, B-52 Stratofortress, FedEx 727, a vast array of C-130s including the AC-130 gunship, T-1 Texan and T-38 Tweet trainers, TC-135 and KC-135 aircraft, and Army UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota helicopters.

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend from all areas of Arkansas and surrounding states, hydration, shade, and traffic are the main safety concerns for base officials. To help guests beat the heat, this year’s show includes “Four Acres of Shade” – our air expo center. The center features 500 seats to escape the heat, a Kidz Zone, concerts throughout the day, vendors and informational booths, and military working dog demonstrations.

“This gives the audience a chance to get away from the heat for a little bit but still be involved in the show,” said Lt. Col. Mike Kirby, air show director. “The Air Expo Center is adjacent to the main show, and there will be an announcer constantly informing the audience of the schedule of performances and events.”

Along with a safety message for staying hydrated, officials also advise those attending the show to take care of their skin and to also leave any suspicious personal items they don’t want confiscated at home – basically prepare for entering our air show area as if they were preparing to board a flight at the airport

“We are encouraging everyone to bring a disposable, refillable plastic water bottle,” he said. “Also bring sunscreen, lawn chairs and comfortable walking shoes. Everyone will be screened by magnetrons, and there will be random vehicle searches. Absolutely no weapons will be allowed, even in the vehicles. Not even a pocket knife.”

Reserved seats for the event are still available for those who do not want to carry a lawn chair. Go to for seating reservations.

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