Chilliwack Airshow a soaring success

While the weekend has come to a close, Atkins and others at the Chilliwack Airport are already thinking about next year.

A Harvard trainer from the Langley Museum of Flight flies past a B-17 bomber awaiting on the tarmac during Sunday’s Chilliwack Flight Fest. The two Second World War-era planes were joined by dramatic aerial acrobatics

A Harvard trainer from the Langley Museum of Flight flies past a B-17 bomber awaiting on the tarmac during Sunday’s Chilliwack Flight Fest. The two Second World War-era planes were joined by dramatic aerial acrobatics

In case you missed it, last weekend’s Chilliwack Airshow was awesome.

“I honestly believe that it was one of the best shows we’ve ever had,” said Garry Atkins, manager at the Chilliwack Airport and a director with the Chilliwack Airshow Committee.

“The saturation of people was more than we’d ever expected,” Atkins continued.

The weather worked out for the airshow on both days. On Saturday, the skies cleared mid-day, providing enough time for the performers to do some practice runs before the show. On Sunday, the weather broke around noon, and the program began an hour later.

Planes that arrived early were asked if they’d be willing to do a ‘teaser act’ during the day on Saturday. Even the B-17 bomber provided some pre-show fly-arounds, which evidently were helpful in drawing a large crowd the following day.

Amazingly, this year’s show brought in “the highest amount of donations at that gate,” that Atkins can recall.

Saturday’s twilight show included an “outstanding pyro performance by Team Rocket”, said Atkins. However, Super Dave was unable to perform pyrotechnics due to mechanical issues that arose in Comox.

The P-51 Mustang made it to the show this year and put on a great performance. Even just sitting static on the pavement, the “war bird” was a beautiful sight. Those who were able to score a ‘sponsor ride’ in the P-51 had a “tremendous grin from ear-to-ear when they climbed out,” said Atkins.

The crowd had a huge response to the CF-18 Hornet, flown by Cheech. Several videos have been posted to Facebook showing the Hornet in-flight, turning every single head in the audience with its unbelievable speed and sound.

The Hanger Dance was also a great success. “The food from Garrison Bistro was fantastic, as usual, and the dance exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Atkins explained.

While the weekend has come to a close, and the airport has been turned back into an airport, Atkins and others at the Chilliwack Airport are already thinking about next year.

“The entire Flight Fest committee thanks the sponsors, volunteers and community that helped make this year’s show a success,” Atkins said. He would also like to include that “the next Flight Fest meeting will be held within a week, where we’ll be starting plans for the 2016 show.”

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