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2010 Air Shows
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The 14th Indianapolis Air Show
Location: Indianapolis, Mt. Comfort Airport, Greenfield, Indiana
Admission: Only $5.00 on Friday (Media day) Saturday and Sunday from $17 in advance to $20 at the gate. Other seating upgrades were available.
Parking: Free on the airport grounds.
Value: Excellent
The air-box corridor for the air show provided excellent viewing and photographic opportunities.
The Indianapolis Air Show is one of the best air shows in North America in my opinion, having visited several dozen over the years. This year, it was the 14th consecutive air show to thrill the visitors at Mt. Comfort Airport just East of Indianapolis.
While the air show was well planned, one thing no one can predict and control is the weather, and this year it did not cooperate with the air show organizer’s plans.
Friday: the media day, which is a true bargain for visitors as the admission is only $5.00 with free parking, was quite hot and humid. While that did not prevent the arrival of the participating aircraft and performers, it was a bit uncomfortable, but for true aviation nuts and photographers, the media day is one of the best times to take photos of aircraft arriving and aircraft already on static display. By 6:00 pm there were still several aircraft were missing from the potential line up. As for media flights, the organizers have cut back drastically this year, and very wisely, I must add. The very limited media rides available were booked prior to the show by the media person who certainly lacked proper judgment in her selections, once again in 2010. This person should be replaced as she seems to show favoritism for some at the expense of certain others, who actually contribute to the success of the show. However, I will ignore her incompetence and my rating does not reflect her discourtesy, as it would not affect the general public.
I would like to thank Lt. Col. John Klatt of ANG for his invitation for a seat in the chase plane on Friday, for air-to-air photography, and for his wonderful staff! I would like to thank Roger Bishop, David Rothenanger, and Dave Jackson, who all have supported my quest for better coverage of the air show, and for the B-17 Yankee Lady flight over the city Friday evening. I would also like to say thanks to Mark Westra, Dean Carlton and their the hot air balloon team for my first time “uplifting” experience in the CaZoo-ee Cameron Z-90 – 90,000 cu. Ft. hot air balloon.
Saturday: it was a write off. It rained so hard before the show opened, that the parking areas on the field were several inches deep with standing water, and the organizers very wisely cancelled the event. The foul weather continued till mid morning, but the actual sky did not clear up enough for any type of flying until noon. The noon fly over of the B-2 bomber was cancelled much earlier due to the weather too.
In the afternoon a couple of the warbirds went up for a bit of practice, including the 369 Huey group of two Vietnam era helicopters which served in that conflict. My ever lasting thanks goes out to the founders John and Alan Walker, Founders and all the members of the American Huey 369, who showed such wonderful hospitality and introduced me to the historic helicopters, and the experience of flying in them.
Sunday: started off with a dark overcast sky, but there was no rain, thus the organizers decided to put on the air show, with some modifications that were necessary due to the soggy fields, where attendees would normally park. The gates opened on time and people started to arrive slowly but surely. However the attendance was definitely affected by the previous day’s rain and the possibility of more rain for the event. However, this time the weather cooperated, and by noon it was mostly sunny but with a relatively low ceiling and very humid as the water was evaporating from the drenched fields. The air show started on time with the the E Team Skydiver jumping and displaying a large American flag while the National Anthem was being sung The jump was followed by several civilian acts, then by the F/A 18 Super Hornet, followed by various warbirds first, of the WWII era, the highlight was the B-17 with a P-51 Mustang flying close support. This was followed by Vietnam era aircraft and with a downed pilot rescue simulation with the two Hueys, and Skyraider and C-123K “Provider”, nicknamed “Thunder Pig”, as gunship support with a bit of pyrotechnics for added realism. For me this was the highlight of the event. The East A-10 Team flew also, having seen both the East and West A-10 Teams, and, sorry guys, but the West Team is much better! The Horsemen were the main attractions with their three Mustangs flying in tight formation, and the show ended with a heritage flight consisting of the A-10 with two P-51 Mustangs.
There were several aircraft no shows. Again, this is very typical these days, however, the event seemed to me to have less warbirds this year, perhaps due to tighter budgets. There were some WWII era military vehicles on display, including some replica German vehicles, namely a PzKpfw VI Tiger Ausf E, (built on a Russian T-34 chassis) and a Hanomag SdKfz 251 APC, (built on a Czech version).
Although this year’s air show was not as big as last years when it came to performers, and the weather certainly was no help either, it still ranks as one of the best due to the hospitality, friendliness and willingness to help to make the visitors welcome and an excellent value for the $20 admission with free parking! There are too many outstanding people involved with this great organization, I cannot name them all here, but I certainly want to mention the ones who have helped me the most; Mindy Goble, Beth Vahle in the Office, Doug and Janet Cross, Guy Eoff, Angie Clover, Dennis Smith, Roger Bishop, David Rothenanger, Dave Jackson, Ted Brindle and Nancy Leslie – you all are the BEST!
The Indianapolis air show is highly recommended for any air show enthusiast! I rate the event a solid 10 out of 10 for their over all efforts despite the bad weather, as the organizers truly cared about the attendees and tried to make the best of the situation for everyone on Sunday.
Some of the participants were:
  • The Horsemen
  • A-10 East Demo Team
  • F/A-18F Super Hornet aka Rhino
  • B-17G Yankee Lady
  • B-25 Mitchell "Axis Nightmare"
  • LT. Col. John Klatt ANG
  • Douglas A-1 Skyraider
  • Kent Pietch
  • Younkin Twin Beech 18
  • Kyle Franklin - Pirate WACO Mystery Ship
  • Red Eagle
  • Michael Goulian
  • USAF Heritage flight
Rating: 10 out of 10

 

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