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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Alliance Air Show 30th Anniversary

As a child I always was fascinated by military jets and fighter pilots. Growing up my favorite movie was Top Gun and I swore that one day that would be me in the cockpit of an F-16 in a dogfight over the oceans. Well life took other courses and I am still that little kid today when I see and hear the sounds of a jet zoom past in the sky.

This year marked a milestone for the Alliance Air Show in many ways. Not only was this the air shows 30th anniversary but we also did it while living in a pandemic and social distancing. The volunteers and staff that help put together this drive in air show did so in a way that was unbelievable and the 4000 plus fans each day loved it.

The 30th anniversary Alliance Air Show started out on Thursday with the arrival of the US Air Force Thunderbirds and a special media day landing where we got a private show and the chance to meet the pilots and crew that make up one of the most amazing air teams in the world. We were greeted by the Public Affairs Officer Capt. Remoshay Nelson as she told us about the team and gathered us all for one on one interviews and photo opportunities.

As the Thunderbirds arrive they put on a mini show and wowed us with their speed and how close they can fly together with such precision and accuracy. Talk about thrilling!!! The team lands one by one and as the do you can see the crew working on getting the pilot out and the jet clean. Never have I ever seen so many people work together so harmoniously and together.

The pilots are like rockstars as the climb out of the cockpit and make a slow walk to the media area. It as if you are watching the worlds most amazing band walk off their tour bus for a special meet and greet. These guys were so down to Earth and you can see how much they truly love what they get to do for a living. I had the opportunity to hear one of the pilots Maj. Zane Taylor say when asked what it is like flying the F-16 and his response was “This jet is so fun and easy to fly. It flys itself and is very comfortable.” Needless to say that sparked my desire to get in and fly with them even more.

The interview session ends with a group photo and the team being taken off to dinner and their hotels to prepare for the next couple days of majestic ariel maneuvers and high speed fly overs. This I could tell was going to be an amazing weekend.

Friday was practice day and I stayed home fearing ip for Saturday and Sunday as I knew I would have what I need at that point. So waking up on Saturday and heading out to the airport I had a feeling of excitement and nervousness because wow this is it and this air show has been voted the best air show in the US so no pressure at all…

The show on Saturday and Sunday were pretty much the same with just a few small differences. It goes like this.

Air National Guard Band of the Southwest
All Veteran Parachute Team (only Sunday due to wind)
Bell 407 GXi
U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II
U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster II
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor
U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II
U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Both days were amazing and as for my personal favorite I loved the F-22 and F-35 along with the Heritage Flight. I mean of course I was amazed by the Thunderbirds but that is needless to say. All I know is that is was one of my favorite assignments and I look forward to shooting more like this in the future. Please share this with all of your friends and be sure and attend the next Alliance Air Show and show them some support. They have several learning opportunities and flight museum for people to come see the amazing planes and jets from all different time periods. Thank you to the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show for having me out and God bless the U.S.A.

Keith Higgs