2016 Event Review

Oregon International Air Show, August 5-7, 2016
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Admission: $25/$30 adults, $5 children 5-11, free for active-duty military and veterans
Parking:Several lots, either free or $10, VIP parking available for higher fee
Value:Very Good
Rating out of 10: 9
 

A fantastic paint scheme on this F-15C Eagle from the Oregon ANG

This year's Oregon International Air Show commemorated the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with the theme "Heroes of the Pacific." The Oregon Air National Guard (ANG) was also celebrating its diamond anniversary, and the show hosted a spectacularly painted F-15C Eagle to celebrate the occasion. The Navy's Super Hornet Tac Demo and the Marines' Osprey demonstration rounded out the modern military presence. In keeping with the international nature of the show, France's Breitling Jet Team was the show's headliner. Jet noise was also provided in the air by Greg "Wired" Colyer in his T-33 and on the ground by the '57 Jet Truck. A half dozen different types of aerobatic planes filled out the weekend's flying schedule. Pleasant weather and an outstanding lineup attracted 53,000 fans to this year's show.
The weekend started off with an evening show on Friday night. The gates opened at 6PM and featured a variety of performances culminating in a fireworks presentation after dark. The gates opened for the day shows at 9AM, with flying starting at around 11:30AM.

The US Special Operations Command Para-Commandos Parachute Demonstration Team opened the airshow with several jumpers, each one trailing a different flag under his canopy. They were circled on their descent by Matt Chapman and Bill Stein. These members of the 4CE aerobatic team go by the name "Two Cool Dudes" when flying as a pair, and they put on an amazing demonstration of synchronized aerobatics to start off the day's flying. This show was a true delight for aerobatic fans. The rest of the day would see six different types of aircraft put through their paces by masters of their trade: Matt Chapman (Extra 300), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Matt Younkin (Twin Beech), Jerry "Jive" Kerby (RV-8), Renny Price (Sukhoi SU-29) and Brad Wursten (MXS).

Greg "Wired" Colyer bridged the aerobatics/warbird divide by flying an aerobatic routine in his Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star "Ace Maker II." Hayden Proffitt added some additional jet smoke, fire and noise in his '57 Jet Truck.
At Saturday's show, 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor Ed Johann arrived at the show via an Alaska Airlines charter flight. He exited the aircraft at show center, greeted by a military honor guard and thousands of cheering spectators thanking him for his service. Shortly thereafter another veteran of that attack took to the skies: the Interstate Cadet in which Cornelia Fort was giving a flying lesson that fateful morning. It was soon attacked by a circling Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero. A Grumman F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat were quickly scrambled to dogfight with the Japanese fighter. On Sunday a replica Zero (based on an SNJ and built for the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!) joined the fray.

The Oregon Air National Guard celebrated their anniversary with a section flyby by a pair of F-15C Eagles from the Portland ANG Base. A brilliantly painted Eagle from Klamath Falls was on static display, and also flew in formation with the Breitling Jet Team later in the day. The Navy Super Hornet Tac Demo team put on a jaw-dropping display of the F/A-18's capabilities. LT Scott "Bromer" Sulich flew solo on Saturday, while pilot LT Brett "Lobster" Jakovich and WSO LT Nolan "Chub Mitts" Lucas lit it up on Sunday. The "Greyhawks" of VMM-161 from MCAS Miramar put on an incredible demonstration of the hovering and flying capabilities of the MV-22 Osprey. Pilots Capt Joshua "Donny" King and Capt Bobby "Tibo" Swartz were assisted by crewchiefs Sgt Joshua Payne and Sgt Michael Wren. The MH-65 Search and Rescue demonstration by the Coast Guard unfortunately did not take place.

The Breitling Jet Team closed the show with their unique two-part show combining a graceful and balletic introduction followed by a more powerful and dynamic conclusion, ending with a shower of flares. Prior to their demonstration, they flew a formation flight with the Oregon National Guard anniversary Eagle.

Announcers Danny Clisham and Larry Strain kept the audience informed and entertained and Air Bosses George Cline and Jim Gibson managed the flying smoothly and safely. We would like to thank Herb Gillen and Stacey Stathulis for arranging our media access. "The Breitling Jet Team and all of our performers put on an outstanding show this weekend," said Bill Braack, President of the Oregon International Air Show. "We want to thank our performers, Standard TV & Appliance and all of our generous sponsors, our hundreds of volunteers, and most of all our great air show fans for making our 2016 show a very special year." The Air Show encourages strong community involvement, with over 1500 volunteers each year contributing to the success of the program. Since 1988 more than one million volunteer hours have been contributed, and more than $1.6 million has been given to more than 500 local charities and non-profit organizations. The show announced the establishment of The Oregon Air Show Charitable Foundation, which will be a new charitable foundation that manages the air show's philanthropy and increases the impact of the air show's long history of community giving. "Historically, the air show has provided support for those organizations in our community that are working to make the greater Portland area a better place," said Braack. "We are excited to once again fulfill that mission."

Performers included:

Breitling Jet Team

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration

USMC MV-22 Osprey Tactical Demonstration

Oregon ANG F-15C Eagle Demo

USSOCOM Para-Commandos Parachute Demonstration Team

Matt Chapman, Extra 300 Aerobatics

Bill Stein, Edge 540 Aerobatics

Matt Younkin, Twin Beech Aerobatics

Jerry "Jive" Kerby, RV-8 Aerobatics

Renny Price, Sukhoi SU-29 Aerobatics

Brad Wursten, MXS Aerobatics

Greg "Wired" Colyer, T-33 Shooting Star Aerobatics

Horizon Air, DHC-8 Flyby

Hayden Proffitt, '57 Jet Truck

Warbirds:

Grumman F4F Wildcat

Grumman F6F Hellcat

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero

Interstate Cadet (Pearl Harbor Veteran)

Static displays included:

 

 
Report and photography by Norman A. Graf for The Aviation Magazine

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