Airshow Report

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson - Arctic Thunder 2012

Keith Draycott & Brandon Farris report from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER)

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img1 The 'Historic Flight Foundation' from Everett, Washington were next up with their B-25 Mitchell bomber, 'Grumpy'. After a series of nice topside flybys 'Grumpy' was joined in formation by the Commemorative Air Force's Mitsubishi Zero. The formation was then doubled in size when two North American T-6 Texans took to the skies. All four aircraft then carried out a tailchase sequence.

We then got to see the first civilian acts of the day as Skip Stewart took to the skies in his highly modified Pitts S-2 'Prometheus'. Skip was joined by Gary Ward in the bright green, all carbon-fibre MX2 for some formation aerobatics as well as some incredibly close cross-over manouvers.

img1 The final act before the short lunch break was provided by the two C-130s that had flown earlier as part of the based aircraft flybys. As the C-130s approached the airfield from the west, the para doors near to the rear of the aircraft were opened and around forty paratroopers jumped from the aircraft. Once safely on the ground the two Hercules transports also landed and returned to the north side dispersal area.

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The Static Park consisted mainly of examples of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army aircraft based at Joint Base Elmendord Richardson. Exceptions inlcuded the McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle coded ZZ from the Kadena AFB, Japan. This was joined by two Idaho Natinoal Guard A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and two Aggressor F-16s from Eielson AFB near Fairbanks AK. Also on show was a B-52H from Barksdale LA and a C-21A from Scott AFB. The Canadian Air Force was also present sending s single CF-118 Hornet. Federal Express (FedEx) sent an ATR-72 and the largest aircraft in the park, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11F.


After lunch, Gary Ward in the MX2 and Skip Stewart in his red and black Pitts once again took to the skies. This time to carry out their full individual aerobatic displays. Skip also completed his ribbon cutting sequence. This consisted of flying incredibly low along the runway and cutting a ribbon strectched between two poles.

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The Army then carried out an airfield attack showcasing the capabilities of a number of their helicopters. Two Bell 58 Kiowas carried out recon' runs as four MH-60 Blackhawks delivered troops and weapons to show center. This was followed up by a single CH-47F Chinook dropping off a troop carrying vehicle. Finally, a C-17A landed and offloaded an even larger vehicle. As smoke screens were set off on the ground by the troops much shooting of blank rounds ensured that the 'bad guys' were eventually defeated and peace once again returned to Joint Base Elmendord Richardson.

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Aug 5, 1930 - Aug 25, 2012

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