Sounds of Freedom Air Show
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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Sounds of Freedom Air Show

    Come and enjoy the
    Sounds of Freedom Air Show

    Everything is looking up for Marine Corps Air Station New River! One of North Carolina's biggest and best-known public events, the Sounds of Freedom Air Show, will return in May and is expected to have more than 80,000 people attend the show.

    May 13th and 14th

    Take the opportunity to meet the pilots and crews of military & civilian aircraft, and more importantly talk with the young Marines and Sailors, who have been charged with the defense of your nation.

    Air Show Hotline: (910) 449-4173


    Mark and I are going...Anybody else?

  2. #2
    Marine Family Free Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    South Florida
    Speaking of Air Shows, this weekend the McDonald's Air and Sea Show will take place in Ft.Lauderdale, Florida. Since thursday the Ft. Lauderdale and surrounding areas heading towards the beach have witnessed those beautiful fly overs by the Blue Angels and Canadian Forces Snowbirds as they skirted over the skyscrapers while completing their practice maneuvers. They are real show stoppers. The U.S.M.C. will be represented by the V-22 Osprey and the AV-8B Harrier.

  3. #3
    Thanks Gary for that info...

    A Gunny that we know was telling us about the show last night, and especially the Canadian Forces Snowbirds....


  4. #4
    Posted on Sat, May. 06, 2006
    Awe at first sight at the Air and Sea Show
    Broward County students got an eye-opening sneak peek of this weekend's Air & Sea Show, an experience recruiters hope will inspire students to keep the military as a career option.

    Gloria Coronado is considered one of the most disciplined of her Army JROTC troop at Cypress Bay High School in Weston.

    But Coronado's eyes and attention couldn't help but wander from her drill sergeant's orders Friday as an F-16 fighter jet ripped through the sky above her on Fort Lauderdale beach.

    The blaring engines drowned the sound of two U.S. Navy helicopters hovering in front of her and the Marines storming the beach on the teenager's right.

    The reenactments and practice runs were part of Kids' Day for the 2006 McDonald's Air & Sea Show, which starts today.

    More than 3,000 Broward County school students got a sneak peek of what the hundreds of thousands of spectators who are expected to pack the beach will see over the weekend.

    Many of the students, like Coronado, were enrolled in JROTC programs, which teach students about the U.S. military, leadership, history and other subjects.

    'Just look at all the students' faces. They are in awe right now. To see the pilots do what they do in the sky is amazing,'' said Coronado, who is 17 and wants to enlist in the Army after she graduates. ``This is eye-opening. It shows us there is more for us in the military than just going to fight in a war.''


    The two-day event will showcase some of the military's finest technological and air wizardry, including aerial stunts by the world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. The show will also feature a powerboat race and a beach invasion by the U.S. Marine Corps.

    The Marines and Snowbirds gave students a little taste of what they had in store for the public over the weekend.

    Nine red and white CT-114 jets, flown by the Snowbirds because of their maneuverability, appeared out of the sky as if launched directly out of the sun, surprising the beach full of teenagers.

    Within a few seconds, the planes, which were flying in a tight formation, dispersed like the parts of an exploding Fourth of July rocket. Each left a stream of white smoke as it separated.

    Students barely had time to whip out cellphones and digital cameras to capture the moment before the planes vanished.

    ''They make it look so easy, but we know it's hard work to get to that point. That's what we are striving for,'' said Harold Petion, 17, and a senior and member of the Air Force JROTC at Northeast High School. ``This is what keeps people coming back.''

    And military officials hope events like the Air & Sea show will keep the military as an option once they finish high school. Recruiters will be on hand at the show, hoping to sign people up.

    In recent years, volunteer enlistment numbers have been down.

    Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team met with students to talk about the opportunities in the military just minutes after plunging 13,000 feet from the sky onto the beach in a demonstration.


    The team will perform today and Sunday in the afternoon.

    ''Kids don't often get to see the different facets and the inside of the military,'' said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Elliott, who took a jump with Broward Schools Superintendent Frank Till strapped to him on Thursday.``I am demonstrating the skills that every soldier can haveThis is our future right here.''

    While part of the focus for the day was the military, fun ultimately took precedence.

    Students jumped in and out of snapshots with the Golden Knights and joked about how they would not be afraid of free-falling at more than 120 mph.

    Others stood near the ocean's edge to get a better shot at planes doing acrobatic moves in the distance. Hundreds of students gathered near a guardrail to watch the members of the Navy and Marine Corps emerge from the ocean and onto the beach in amphibious vehicles.


    And then there was 13-year-old Jaylen Davenport.

    The eighth-grader at Parkway Middle School sat on his beach towel alone with a bottle of water in hand and kept his gaze skyward.

    He was watching a pair of F-16 Falcons fly in tandem. One was upside down above the other, nearly cockpit to cockpit.

    With a quick burst, the two parted and disappeared into the skyline, leaving only the boom of their engines behind.

    Davenport's jaw dropped.

    ''I didn't know they could do that,'' he said. ``I got to see that again.''


  5. #5
    Thanks for posting about the Air show...was wondering when that would be. Yes, our crew will be there...Don't know which day yet, I have to check our game schedual.

  6. #6
    Marine Family Free Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    South Florida
    McDonald's Air and Sea Show in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. can be seen live by going to your computer and entering CBS4.COM. Now, I don't know if this pertains to anyone outside of South Florida but since it is on the internet it should be available to one and all. Saturday's show is over and done but manana, Sunday, is another viewing day.

  7. #7
    What a wingding!
    The 12th annual Air & Sea Show dazzles hundreds of thousands of South Florida spectators

    By Ken Kaye,
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Posted May 7 2006

    The two F-22 Raptors -- and their ferocious growl -- caught the crowd by surprise. The U.S. Air Force's most advanced fighter jets hadn't been expected to appear.

    "It's like a sonic boom," shouted Anne Massard, 21, of Pembroke Pines. "You feel it in your chest."

    "It just gives you chill, because you're proud," added Yolanda LaVerde, 21, of Sunrise.

    The Raptors were among several high-powered military jets that filled a sun-drenched blue sky with smoke and thunder at the McDonald's Air & Sea Show on Saturday. As usual, the seaside wingding drew hundreds of thousands to Fort Lauderdale's beach.

    As each fighter or bomber screamed overhead, fingers pointed and the huge crowd howled. Among the viewers were families, young people baring lots of flesh and grizzled war veterans. Thousands more observed from boats moored almost a mile offshore. "I like the noise; I like the power," said Jeffrey Ross of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

    The show continues today with Marine activities at 9 a.m., a Navy-Marine beach invasion at 11:30 a.m. and aerial performances at noon. The Raptors were not expected to be on the schedule.

    With competition fierce for space, the beach was filled towels, blankets and umbrellas of every color by 9 a.m. Saturday. When Alex Santos, 32, and his wife, Solange, arrived at the beach at 8:30 a.m., they hardly had room to lay down towels. "If you want the best place, you have to come early," he lamented. With little shade, lemonade, beer and bottled water were in demand, and the aroma of grilling hamburgers and hog dogs mixed with a salty sea breeze. Emily Bengels, 48, of Coral Springs, enjoyed the show from a landing at Thai-on-the-Beach restaurant.

    "It's a great spot," she said. "It's right in front of your face."

    The military personnel who participated in the show said they could feel the crowd's patriotism. After leading his fellow Marines to the beach in the mock invasion, with his M-16 rifle drawn, Sgt. Shamal Isaac, 23, of Miami was cheered.

    "In the past three years, I've been at war," he said. "I can see that they appreciate us and what we do for the country. It's a good feeling."

    Sam Abrams, 90, who served in the Army infantry during World War II, slowly worked his way to the beach area with the aid of a cane. He enjoyed watching a U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle pour on its afterburners and climb three miles straight up into the sun. "Anything military or aviation, I love it," said Abrams of Fort Lauderdale. "It brings back memories."

    Flying with wingtips inches apart, the headliner U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a squadron of six gleaming blue and yellow F/A-18 Hornets, performed precision loops, turns and rolls. They also wowed crowds when two planes would fly head-on and turn on their sides or upside down at the last second. "The Blue Angels are 25 percent deafening and 75 percent totally awesome," said Jerrod Mott, 28, of Fort Lauderdale, an emergency medical technician. "I like this better than Christmas."

    "That's prettier than a diamond ring," added Lauren Brown, 22, also of Fort Lauderdale. "It's amazing that they can be in a formation like that and be that close to each other."

    The Canadian Snowbirds, a team of nine trainer jets, waltzed in tight formation. The U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat, famous from the movie Top Gun, shrieked so loudly that spectators jumped. The bat-like Air Force B-2 stealth bomber glided quietly above.

    Police made five arrests, all for misdemeanor offenses, mainly disorderly conduct. They also reported 29 lost children; all were re-united with their parents. Firefighters responded to 35 emergency calls, with most of those for dehydration. Three people were taken to Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, all for dehydration, said show spokeswoman Elaine Fitzgerald.

    Military jets weren't the only attraction. Several aerobatic pilots put on rough-and-tumble performances. Meanwhile, the Goodyear blimp buzzed the beach and an American Airlines 767 and a vintage DC-3 performed an odd aerial two-step. Planes aside, spectators said they simply enjoyed the festive atmosphere.

    "It's awesome," said William Harris of Miami, who, along with his buddies, set up lounge chairs in the middle of State Road A1A.

    Ken Kaye can be reached at or 954-385-7911.


  8. #8
    Military Flies High For Ft. Lauderdale AirShow
    Mon, 08 May '06

    Spectators packed a four-mile stretch of beach and spilled into the street here to watch military and civilian air teams show their stuff this weekend.

    After a morning of power boat races and a beach invasion demonstration by the Navy and Marines, all eyes turned to the skies, where the Army's Golden Knights parachute team kicked things off, jumping from a height of 12,500 feet and landing on a target on the beach.

    Single jet fly-bys dotted the afternoon schedule. One in particular fascinated Narda Hernandez, 10, of Lake Worth, Fla.

    "I really liked the spy thingy," she said referring to the Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber that made a slow, graceful pass along the beach.

    Aerobatic teams drew gasps with formations so tight onlookers thought they'd touch.

    The beach wasn't the only place to find a military presence. Along Sunrise Boulevard, a usually busy artery to the beach that was closed for the festivities, military services were issuing challenges to those in the crowd willing to put their reputation on the line.

    Matt McConville of Dumont, N.J., thought a hat was a worthy prize for doing 60 pushups at the Army display. He gave them an extra 15 just to seal the deal. In town for the air and sea show, he thought the event was a positive thing for the military. "A lot of times (servicemembers) seem so far away, people don't understand them," he said.

    These types of events narrow that distance between military and civilian, he said.

    Other services were offering other physical challenges along with recruiting information.

    For some, the military event had a more personal meaning. Nancy Hurlbut, a self-described "Florida Snowbird," has a son-in law in Iraq.

    "I'd like to think that all these people are out here supporting the troops," she said.

    The event also provided the chance for parents to show their children what the military has to offer. Victor Farran of Fort Lauderdale wanted to make sure his foster sons are aware of all that's available to them. Because of the situations that land children in the foster system, they often have very little hope for the future, Farran said.

    "I bring (the kids) to all the events I can," he said.

    "I like ... for them to see opportunities, for example the Air Force, Marines, all the armed forces. This gives them the opportunity to see beyond hopelessness." [ANN Thanks Samantha L. Quigley, AFPS]


  9. #9
    Mark and I are going to the Show today...

    Pix's will follow later..

    Ellie and Mark(fontman)

  10. #10
    B-25 bomber stuff of legends
    May 13,2006

    Panchito gleams when the sun hits it right, so bright it’s almost impossible to look at with squinting.

    Yet no matter how the B-25 Mitchell gleams, it can never match the brilliance of its legend.

    The World War II-era bomber was the plane that undertood the legnedary Doolittle Raid, when 16 modified B-25s took off from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific in 1942 and flew the plane’s longest flight, a bombing mission over mainland Japan.

    While that mission is long over, the B-25 now has a new one: to travel across the country and visit air shows, so people can see it, hear its stories and remember.

    Today and Sunday, spectators at New River Air Station’s “Sounds of Freedom” Air Show will get that chance when Panchito takes to the skies one more time.

    Reporters and special guests got a chance Friday to take a ride in Panchito, one of only a couple dozen airworthy B-25s still around. A refurbished B-25J that’s sponsored by the Disabled Veterans of America, this Panchito never saw combat, but its original namesake did. In fact, it was scheduled for one more raid the day the Japanese surrendered.

    The current Panchito, which was delivered to the military too late to see combat and saw most of its action as a fire bomber in Arizona and a crop duster in Florida, now serves as a window to the past. The engines roar the same way they did back in the 40s. And while the guns the fake, they are a visual approximation of the real thing.

    As far as real things go, that’s what retired Marine Brig. Gen. George Bartlett is for.

    Bartlett, who served as a navigator and bombardier aboard a B-25 during World War II, comes along with Panchito and tells spectators war stories that went along with the plane and the 75 combat missions he flew in it. He talks about loading 14 guys into the six-man plane to go on liberty in Australia, about watching the percussion from impacting bombs and numerous rough landings.

    Bartlett got connected to Ponchito’s owner, Larry Kelley, a few years ago when he sent him an e-mail and told him his story.

    “(Kelley) said, ‘Would you please come fly with us and share your war stories?’ ” So Bartlett began going to the shows, riding in the plane with guests and telling stories.

    His favorite story, it seems, is talking about the plane he knew so long ago. When the engines growl to life, a prideful smile stretches across his face.

    “If you’re not deaf, you will be after this,” he says.

    Feast for the eyes

    During this weekend’s show, the B-25 will fly at about 2:16 p.m. on both days. The routine is scheduled to involve pyrotechnics simulating a bombing raid.

    It’s one of 14 air demonstrations that spectators will get to feast their eyes on. Performers ranging from lone stuntmen like Jim LeRoy and Scott Gerow in their biplanes to the elegant freefall of the Army Special Forces Black Daggers to the aerial precision of the nine-plane Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

    The Marine Corps will also show off its firepower, with a simulated attack on the flightline and aerial demonstrations of the MV-22 Osprey and AV-8B Harrier.

    Jim LeRoy, who flies a modified biplane called the Bulldog, said the air show has something for everyone.

    “They are going to see a wide spectrum of all different kinds of aviation,” he said. “We’re going to send people home with a smile on their faces.”

    Capt. Mike French, who flies the No. 7 plane with the Snowbirds, said he enjoys coming to New River and entertaining the Marines and the people of Jacksonville.

    “We have a great relationship,” he said. “We enjoying coming to bases and putting on shows.”

    The air show is free to the public and anyone can come even if they aren’t affiliated with the military. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Aerial performances begin at noon.

    For more information about the show, go on line to

    Contact staff writer Chris Mazzolini at or 353-1171, ext. 229.


  11. #11
    Air show draws a big crowd
    May 14,2006

    Suzy Ford of Jacksonville grew up as a “jet jockey.”

    Her father, a pilot in the Royal Air Force, always made it a point to take her along to his performances. But that was years ago.

    On Saturday, Ford, dressed in bright yellow and orange, took her 5-year-old grandson, Bryson, to the New River Air Station’s Sounds of Freedom Air Show. They were among an estimated 22,000 people who attended.

    “When dad flew in the Royal Air Force, he always knew where I was,” Ford said, pointing to her tri-colored cap with spinning propellers. “Wasn’t that a heavenly show?”

    While gates at the air station opened at 9 a.m., traffic was still backed up on U.S. 17 coming from Jacksonville for more than an hour by 1 p.m., an hour after the flying demonstrations began. Still people did not seem to mind.

    Tails of smoke trailed the blue skies as an A-10 Thunderbolt flew by about 400 mph, just slightly above the tarmac. Children plugged their ears or screamed.

    The combination of high and low-speed maneuvering, rapid rolls, high-in-the-sky climbs and simulated weapons gave the audience a glimpse of the Thunderbolt II’s capabilities. It was brought to New River by members of the Air Combat Command of the U.S. Air Force.

    Next, it was the Flying Tigers from Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville. The F-86 rose high above the clouds and dropped down past birds skittering across the sky. Thick, dark clouds of black smoke followed shortly after a large explosion made some in the crowd jump.

    An AV-8B Harrier showed its muster as it hovered slightly above the tarmac, tilted one way then the other. And in less than two seconds did a complete 360-degree turn.

    But it was Canada’s Snowbirds who had the crowd out of its seats and raising their hands to the sky. Nine small jets did unbelievable maneuvers, passing within four feet of each other’s wing tips.

    Minutes after disappearing over the horizon, white clouds of smoke behind them, the Snowbirds came to the crowd head on. Lights illuminated gave the appearance of a diamond in the sky.

    Six-year-old Kelly Proudfoot liked the way the jets flew in circles around each other, she said.

    Her mother, Dana Proudfoot, said she and her two children had a great time.

    Kim Lindsay, 16, and her friends were having a good time, too.

    “I think it’s awesome,” she said. “I like everything here.”

    Lindsay said she’d been attending the air shows for at least six years.

    “I really liked when they drew a heart,” she said of the Snowbirds’ aerial demonstration.

    Her friend, Lisa Kennedy, 17, said she “liked the boys best.”

    For Terrance Och, 14, it was all about noise and smoke.

    “I liked when they dropped the missiles because of all the noise they made,” he said.

    In addition to the flying demonstrations, there were plenty of static displays that kids could climb on and explore. Tanks, helicopters, jets, trucks and other equipment were set up for the children.

    “I liked all the vehicles and weapons on display,” said Kyle Askins, 18. “The Apache helicopter, plus the cannons and rocket launchers were cool.”

    The air show repeats itself today with gates opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. Flying demonstrations begin at noon. To get to the air station, take U.S. 17 to the main entrance just south of Jacksonville. Parking areas are designated, and a trolley service will shuttle visitors to and from air show grounds.

    Contact staff writer Diane Mouskourie at or 353-1171, ext. 235.


  12. #12
    Giving air show its wings
    May 15,2006

    S.N. Smith and Floyd Brown hung out Sunday at the Jones-Onslow EMC tent at the New River Sounds of Freedom Air Show.

    They were treated to lunch and beverages and great seat to see the show front and center.

    Smith said he was aboard the U.S.S. Missouri when the Japanese signed the surrender to end World War II.

    Brown, a Delta pilot who lives in Richlands, was sharing stories with Smith.

    “Today, I’m just a spectator, but I fly a biplane the same as Jim ‘Bulldog’ LeRoy,” he said. “I know the shoes they try to fill out here. There’s only a handful out there who can do what we do, who have the nerve, the guts and the glory.”

    Smith and Brown were doing just what Jeanie Klezaras had hoped for when she started pulling strings in January to make the air show a reality. As marketing director for Marine Corps Community Services at New River, Klezaras knew she had to find at least eight corporate sponsors to bring the show to the people for free.

    “We wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” she said Sunday. “It would be hard to put together.”

    Sponsors for the show donate anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 in cash or in-kind services — or a combination of both. For their part, sponsors receive a tent with catering service during the two-day show.

    Of course, there are different levels of sponsorship, which determines what type of service will be included. Ten tents were set up this year, eight for the main sponsors — Boeing/Bell Helicopter, The Daily News, Progress Energy, Sprint, Bartley, Jenkins, Riddle, Hardee and Hardee, This Week magazine and Coastal Beverage in addition to Jones-Onslow.

    Two more tents were set up for the MCCS staff and volunteers and another for the base. Coca-Cola supplied all the beverages to the tents free of charge. Marine Federal Credit Union and Wendy’s restaurants furnished tram service to carry people from one end of the show to the other.

    “There’s a lot of hard work involved, but it’s a labor of love,” Klevaras said. “This is my fourth year and I love it.”

    The best part is seeing everything come together on the day of the show, she said.

    “It’s great to watch how much people enjoy themselves and the weather turned out perfect, too,” Klevaras said.

    Tent sponsors were given 100 tickets for each day to share their chalets. There were clients, company employees, husbands and wives and plenty of children. There wasn’t a sponsor who did not try to bring in uniformed military men and women to feed.

    Al Cloud, a business developer for Bell Helicopter, flew in from Fort Worth, Texas, to take advantage of both days.

    “It’s really not that expensive for us to do this, and it’s a great opportunity to interact with the Marine Corps,” he said. “It’s all on an informal basis, so everyone comes out to enjoy the air show.”

    And that he did. Cloud, a former member of the Air Force, said that besides the Osprey, he was particular to the Air Force jets, especially the A-10 Thunderbolt.

    “It’s been a good mix of people coming in and out all day,” he said.

    Next door, Paul Quinn, a veteran and director of MCCS, said it was his 11th air show at New River. One of Saturday’s sponsors was not going to return on Sunday, so he gave Quinn permission to set up a special area for disabled visitors.

    “We went out to find some folks in wheelchairs and started out with five people,” he said.

    By midafternoon, the tent was full with people enjoying the show ringside in the shade.

    “The best thing about being out here is seeing all the people from the community and the smiles on their faces,” Quinn said. “We were told not to expect too many people today because of Mother’s Day, but I think everyone went to church and then came out.”

    A few tents down, Dan Oliver, a community relations manager with Progress Energy, greeted guests at his company’s tent.

    “The military presence here is so significant that we are pleased to be part of it,” he said. “It’s a great day for the community and the military to enjoy some time together, and it’s a great family venue.”

    The show ran smoothly on Sunday until about 3:10 p.m. when the clouds turned gray and opened up with showers. The Canadian Snowbirds, a nine-plane team of airborne acrobatics and the show’s finale, got to take off. But the storm forced officials to cancel the rest of the performance.

    Contact Diane Mouskourie at or 353-1171, Ext. 235.


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