Newcomers and regulars alike told KRCG 13 Sunday they thoroughly enjoyed this year??s Salute to Veterans Air Show.
Fayetteville, Arkansas resident Tony Miller said while he has been to a number of air shows nationwide, this is the first time he has been to Columbia??s. He said he liked the predominance of propeller- as opposed to jet-driven aircraft. He said the Canadian Forces?? Snowbirds were the main reason he came to Columbia.
??It??s a very rare opportunity to see the Snowbirds,?? he said, noting that squadron will appear at just five shows in the United States this year.
Thena Franssen said she brings her family to the show every year. She said the air show is perfect for families because of its free admission, timing and variety.
??My favorite part is when they have the stunt planes in the air. I really enjoy that,?? she said.
Sunday??s sunny skies and warm temperatures brought throngs of people to Columbia Regional Airport. Thousands watched and cheered passes by the Trojan Phlyers, a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, and a PV-2 Harpoon maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The crowd applauded the U.S. Army??s famed Golden Knights parachute demonstration team as each member touched down and waved to the Snowbirds while they taxied down the runway to launch the show??s finale. Several people watching the show said the stunt performances were their favorite part.
Dedan Gighegi was another newcomer to the show. He said his relatives were visiting from Springfield and he decided to bring them out.
??They??ve traveled in planes, but they??ve just never seen planes do tricks,?? he said.
Frank Griggs drove shuttle buses at the last two Salute to Veterans shows and decided to go as a spectator this year. He said he was glad some of the pilots let children sit in their planes.
??They look up in the sky and the sun kind of hurts their eyes. But they get to sit in the seat of a plane and they go, ??Wow, this is neat!????
Columbia??s Salute to Veterans celebration concludes on Monday with a parade in downtown Columbia. The Golden Knights will ??jump start?? the festivities shortly before 10 a.m.