McGuire AFB, New Jersey
May 12-13, 2007 Airshow report updated on June 5, 2007.
Airshow report updated on June 5, 2007.
Making its first appearance at McGuire was the F/A-18F Super Hornet. The demo crew from VFA-106 flew a spectacular demonstration that was problematic in two ways. The first of which was McGuire's layout, which prevented anyone from getting any pictures of the takeoff sequence and the first part of the demonstration, as they were flown at least a mile away from the crowd line. I was hoping for a simulated takeoff/dirty roll to start the demonstration, but that did not happen. The other problem had to deal with Sunday's show, where there was a stiff breeze blowing away from the crowd, preventing all of the aircraft from making a ton of noise - it was probably one of the quietest airshow days ever (even with the amount of jets in the show). Two members of the demo team, Lieutenants John "TC" Desplinter and Lenny "Crack" Wise are both North Jersey natives, having been raised north of Exit 160 on the Garden State Parkway.
Team McGuire showed up in force this year over 2005. In 2005, the KC-135, KC-10, and C-17 each made one pass and the C-17 performed a demonstration. The three planes each performed two passes (the tankers performed the first pass clean and dipping their wings and the second pass in refueling configuration, with the C-17 being clean on both passes) and the C-17 performed a demonstration, but did not demonstrate backing up in front of the crowd like it did in 2005, which I missed. I'd love to see a landing configuration pass thrown in there for the tankers as well, as I know there's no way to get a dynamic KC-135 demonstration like the one I remember seeing in 1996. I wonder if there's a way to get the C-17 hanging off the boom of the KC-10 or KC-135 (not within hooking up distance but trailing less than 100 feet behind the boom).
Also returning this year were the Golden Knights, who were joined with the Canadian Sky Hawks. Each day was opened by a single Golden Knight and a single Sky Hawk jumper freefalling from the Golden Knights' C-31 and bringing down their respective country's flags. The Sky Hawks have one of the nicest and dynamic parachute team demonstrations, and I continue to enjoy the full show that the Golden Knights put on. I should note that the Golden Knights have combined the baton pass jump and the cutaway jump into one jump, with one jumper performing the cutaway after separating from his baton partner. It caught me off-guard, but was a nice change of pace.
Aerobatic performers were abundant this year, with Ron Saglimbene, Ed Hamill, and Patty Wagstaff (on Sunday only) performing. Dan Buchanan also brought his hang glider and performed both days, rounding out the larger names in the show. The Red Star Formation Team, flying a combination of six CJ-6s, Yak-52s, and one T-6 in formation was a nice touch, as all of the pilots were from South Jersey. What was real nice was the fact that the aerobatic pilots all used the taxiway in front of the crowd as a runway to take off and land from, which helped immensely. The Skytypers also performed, but they used Runway 6/24 over the entire weekend.
Air Combat Command provided one demonstration this year, which was a setback from 2005, when the F-15 and F-16 West Coast Demo Teams were in attendance. Major Jeff "Roadie" Yost flew a very nice demonstration in the A-10 the entire weekend, with Sunday's demonstration being the quietest A-10 demo I had ever seen (remember that wind I mentioned earlier?) and following the demonstration, he joined up with Jim Beasley Jr. in the P-51D Mustang Bald Eagle and Shamu in the Phantom for a Heritage Flight. Following Saturday's Heritage Flight, all three aircraft performed a rare second pass before recovering (and Shamu setting up for his demonstration). The Phantom demonstration consisted of three passes - a photo pass, a high speed pass, and a gear and hook down pass to a vertical climb. All of those passes emphasized how loud the F-4 is, as the old J79 turbojets still live and do their job like they were designed to do over fifty years ago!
As a side note with the Mustang, Sunday's crowd got to see the debut of Patty Wagstaff's performance in the P-51. While she was limited to her flying experience in the Mustang (she couldn't go lower than 100 feet rather than her surface level card for the Extra), she put on a VERY nice performance. Patty is supposed to fly a P-51 performance at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends in Columbus, OH this September as a dedication to the WASPS.
Finally, the Thunderbirds, returning for their first McGuire show since 2000, put on an absolutely spectacular performance. Saturday's performance was interrupted towards the beginning as Major Weeks' jet had an instrument problem, which was cleared up so that the remainder of the performance could continue as expected. Both Saturday and Sunday featured high shows, while Friday's practice was a flat show.
Overall, the 2007 show was much better than the 2005 show, but no matter how long the show is and how tightly packed the lineup is, there will always be gaps in the show. I'll tell you what - it was nice seeing a Hornet on static!
I want to thank Majors Greathouse and Markle, Lt. Lenny "Crack" Wise, and Ms. Angel Lopez for their help over the course of that weekend.
Static Display Listings for the 2007 McGuire AFB Open House & Airshow
|A-10 Thunderbolt II||103rd FW||Bradley ANGB, CT||81-0960|
|A-10 Thunderbolt II||103rd FW||Bradley ANGB, CT||82-0646|
|B-17F Flying Fortress||41-24485, N3703G||Memphis Belle|
|B-25 Mitchell||Farmingdale, NY||NL2825B|
|B-52H Stratofortress||Minot AFB, ND||60-0056|
|C-5B Galaxy||436th AW||Dover AFB, DE||84-0061||New stripe|
|C-17 Globemaster III||305th AMW||McGuire AFB, NJ||04-4130|
|C-21A Learjet||Bradley ANGB, CT||84-0103|
|C-21A Learjet||89th AW||Andrews AFB, MD||84-0119|
|C-54E Skymaster||BAHF||Queens, NY||N500EJ|
|Cessna 172||Civil Air Patrol||N19NJ|
|Cessna 172||Civil Air Patrol||N355CP|
|F-15E Strike Eagle||4th FW||Seymour Johnson AFB, NC||90-0228|
|F-16C Fighting Falcon||177th FW||Atlantic City, NJ||85-0457||GE F110 Engine|
|F/A-18A+ Hornet||VFA-87||NAS Oceana, VA||AJ-400, 162886|
|F-22 Raptor||Tyndall AFB, FL||02-4034|
|Gippsland GA-8||Civil Air Patrol||N613CP|
|KC-10 Extender||305th AMW||McGuire AFB, NJ||85-0032|
|KC-135E Stratotanker||108th ARW||McGuire AFB, NJ||58-0087|
|OE-1 Bird Dog||136889, N715DT|
|P-40E Warhawk||Brookhaven, NY||N740RB|
|P-51D Mustang||Brookhaven, NY||44-13903, NL751RB|
|Piper Cherokee||Medford, NJ||N83993|
|T-1A Jayhawk||12th FTW||Randolph AFB, TX||91-0099|
|T-28C Trojan||138245, N65491|
|T-37 Tweet||14th FTW||Columbus AFB, MS||57-0258||Reg. doesn't match.
|T-45C Goshawk||VT-9||NAS Meridian, MS||165603|
|TBM Avenger||Farmingdale, NY||N9586Z|
Military Demonstration Teams
Tentative Military Demonstrations
Announcer: Larry Strain
Gates Open: 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday
Showtime: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM Saturday and Sunday