2000 McGuire AFB Open House and Airshow

Saturday, June 3, 2000

Written on June 3, 2000.

This is my first trip back to McGuire AFB since the 1996 show, and in expectations of a good show there (Is that, in today's standards, an oxymoron?). You'll see what I mean. And here is my 2000 McGuire AFB Open House and Airshow Review. Apparently, the main aircraft around the show was the C-141.

Show Review

We arrived a little late onto the base (all thanks to leaving at 8:30!!!). Goes to show that my original idea of leaving the house at 7:50AM was the best idea. Anyways, when we got there, the KC-10 had already made one pass over the base (about 300 feet from the ground and about 300 kts). Awesome pass as he climbed to an altitude of about 6,000 feet. As we parked the Buick, I caught the KC-10 landing on Runway 6. Then it was time for the C-17 demo. There was only one C-17 there, and my immediate reaction was, "Please don't tell me they cancelled that, TOO!" Nope. Apparently that C-17 was the demo airplane that sat at the ramp near the C-5. The engines were running and seeing that huge plane taxi out of its spot, with people right up to the roped-off plane, was awesome. Those four huge engines on the C-17 are loud when in reverse. The C-17 did its normal demonstration, with a short-field takeoff, high-speed pass, dirty pass, slow-speed pass, and a short-field landing.

After a gap of about 30 minutes, Drew Hurley was up in his Yak 55. For some odd reason, I found Drew's performance today rather dull. It could have been for many reasons. One of which is that I'm used to him performing at South Jersey Regional. Another could be the fact that I had to be at the C-141 when I taped his performance, and thus, not being able to hear what the heck he was doing (but thanks to a kid behind me, I had an idea of what he was doing). After another gap of about 30 minutes, the Thunderbirds did their engine run. It wasn't as lous as it usually is because of the direction of the wind. I should make a mention that a C-141 Starlifter made an unannounced departure in between Drew and the Birds engine run (this was the demo aircraft, the CDS demo aircraft, and the plane which the Wings of Blue would use as a jump plane). Then, around noontime, a the single-ship C-141 made the Container Delivery System demonstration, by dropping containers in an area where needed in times of war. After that, the three-ship formation of C-141s performed the 82nd Airborne paradrop. The first pass, each aircraft paradropped 20 troops each. The second pass was a repeat of the first, making a total of 120 paratroopers. The three-ship then performed a flyby before landing and "re-trooping".

After the three-ship landed, the lone 141 in the air performed an awesome demonstration showing the capabilities of the aircraft. The demonstration showed off a high-speed pass, a dirty pass, a 360ยบ turn, slow speed pass, and a profile flyby. The aircraft stayed in the air for the next gap (well, he was climbing to 4,000 feet for the Wings of Blue). Then came the Wings of Blue parachute team (Air Force Academy). The passes from 4,000 feet, 7,000 feet, and the two passes from 10,500 feet showed these cadets the perfect skill and talent in this parachute team. During the last jump (the Bomb Burst), the three-ship had departed for Pope AFB, NC. After another gap (this one very lengthy), the Thunderbirds were at hand with their perfect display and trust in flying close formation. This was the first time I had seen the Thunderbirds perform since the 1996 McGuire Airshow (the Thunderbirds were at Andrews AFB, but they never got off the ground). As a mention, before the Thunderbirds flew, USAFA cadet graduates were honored with being sworn into the United States Air Force. Awesome ceremony in front of the Thunderbird aircraft. That concluded the airshow for this year. Two more weeks to go till Willow Grove!

Overall Score

Entire show: 6.5



Also Featuring...

Static Display Aircraft