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Angels take wing; 2009 MCAS Beaufort Air Show roars into town

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. — Those who are fond of the noise they hear above them are in for an earful as the 2009 MCAS Beaufort Air Show dubbed “Blues Over Beaufort,” soars into the Lowcountry skies, May 16 and 17.


By Cpl. Jenn Farr.

The two-day event, which is free and open to the public, has a world-renowned roster featuring numerous aerial acts and demonstration teams from around the globe.

Gates are scheduled to open at approximately 9 a.m. on both days, and performances are slated to begin around noon.

“We are excited about this year’s event,” said Mark Hamilton, the coordinator for the Air Show. “We have a number of static display aircraft that are aimed at providing a truly interactive experience. Not to mention, for the actual Air Show, there’s not a bad seat in the house because the action happens overhead. There is something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Navy’s premier demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, will be headlining the Air Show. Several other high-caliber aerial demonstration acts lined-up to wow the crowd include Patty Wagstaff Aerobatics Champion, the F-15E Strike Eagle demonstration team, Skip Stewart, the CF-18 demonstration team and the F-4 Phantom. Returning this year are the U.S. Air Force Reserve Jet Car Team, Jurgis Kairys, Tinstix of Dynamite and Rich’s Incredible Pyro.

“Hundreds of people have worked tireless hours to make this Air Show a fun, safe and memorable experience,” Hamilton said. “The event’s aerial demonstration line-up features many of the premier performers in the industry.”

The Air Show will also feature more than a dozen exhibits of various military and civilian aircraft including an AH-64D Apache, the Boeing B-52 from the 8th Air Force Museum Airpark, a 1969 Piper Cherokee 180 nicknamed Hound Dog One by the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue, an EA-6B Prowler, the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 consisting of AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Huey’s, and much more.

The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival team will roll onto Fightertown to display a broad range of vintage cars from local car clubs. Whether a fan of muscle cars, antique classic, luxury or sports cars, racecars or hot rods, there is sure to be one or two polished beauties on site to rev auto-lover’s engines.

Admission, parking and blanket seating are free. Bleacher seating is also available and free on a first come, first serve basis. Box seating is available at $15 per person and VIP seating, which includes access to a private VIP Hospitality Lounge with complimentary food, beverages and full-service restrooms, are $50 per person though tickets are limited.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Visitors can expect family-priced stadium fare such as hot dogs, nachos, hamburgers, french fries and beverages including soft drinks, water and beer. Fun foods like corn dogs, elephant ears and cotton candy will also be available as well as bottled and canned beverages, ice cream, fresh lemonade and jumbo pretzels.

Active duty service members are in for a treat this year, according to Mark Story, Marine Corps Community Service’s Air Show Tiger Team leader. Though large inflatable toys will be on site for all visitors of the Air Show, active duty service members and their families will have access to an air-conditioned pavilion with free water, entertainment by TUX the Clown as well as face painting and temporary tattoos for children. Smaller “bouncy houses” will also be near the pavilion so parents can watch their children play while escaping the heat themselves.

“This is going to be a fabulous show and this year we jumped at the chance to do something special for active duty members,” Story explained. “Marine Corps Community Services wanted to have a place where service members could get out of the sun. Our mission is to take care of our Marines and sailors, and their families, this is just another way that we can accomplish that mission.”

Whether getting a first-hand look into the world of aviation history or keeping eyes in the sky for some roaring aerial demonstrations, the 2009 MCAS Beaufort Air Show is here for all to enjoy.

“It is our pleasure to invite our neighbors in the Lowcountry and beyond for this year’s Air Show,” said Col. John Snider, the commanding officer of Fightertown. “Inviting everyone to attend this free, family event is our way of thanking the community for the outstanding level of support they show us year-round.”

For more information visit the Air Show’s Web site at www.beaufortairshow.com or call the Blues Over Beaufort hotline at 228-7700.