Several thousands of aircraft aficionados are expected to take off to Hemet-Ryan Airport this weekend to catch a glimpse of aerobatic prowess.
Warbirds and demonstration teams will be among those taking to the skies Saturday for a spectacle of dizzying displays during the annual Hemet-Ryan Air Show.
The Southwest Riverside event, organized by the Riverside County Economic Development Agency, begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to draw a crowd of 30,000, said Veronica Casper with the Economic Development Agency.
And as an event first, the Air Force will make an appearance with performances and the showcasing of an F-16 jet and their 80-by-80-foot mobile command center that includes an interactive 3-D exhibit.
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; gates open at 8 a.m.
Where: Hemet-Ryan Airport, 4200 Walden Weaver Road, Hemet
Cost: Admission and parking are free
Some highly anticipated U.S. Air Force performances are those from the A-10 West Demonstration Team. The team will soar over crowds with the A-10 aircraft, a twin-engine jet aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The Air Force will also provide a flyby from a C-17 Globemaster III, operated by the 452nd Air Mobility Team from March Air Reserve Base.
But Saturday’s show isn’t just about muscle-fueled aircraft.
The air show will also feature jaw-dropping performances by stunt pilot Melissa Andrzejewski and the 22-person Golden Stars Skydiving Team, along with aerobatic performances by aviator Tim Decker.
This year’s event will also feature a Kids’ Zone that will include hands-on activities for the little ones.
“It really is a wonderful family event,” Casper said.
Casper said the agency puts on the event to serve as an educational resource for the community.
“It’s two-fold really. They get to learn about planes and what the airport has to offer. There’s a flight school available and hangers for lease, some just have no idea.”
The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight program will close out the show with a flight scheduled for 1:35 p.m. The Heritage Flight will showcase modern fighter aircraft flying in close formation with World War II, Korean and Vietnam era fighters such as the P-38 Lightning and F-86 Sabre.