On the weekend of April 28–30, the heart-stopping Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow will return to Lake Charles for unforgettable aerobatic performances. This family-friendly event has captured audiences since its return in 2013, and this year’s Airshow will be the best yet. "Thrillseekers will have their eyes glued to the sky during the weekend’s fast paced lineup of first-time performers as well as returning event favorites,” said Randy Robb, Airshow board president. "We are pulling out all the stops for this year’s Airshow.”
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet demonstration team will return to the Chennault Airshow for an exciting routine. The squadron is internationally recognized for their hard-charging demonstrations of precision formation flying and pushing their F-16s to the limit. The team was activated in 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona during the infancy of military aviation when the jet age was just beginning to boom. More than 120 enlisted personnel representing nearly 30 career fields, form "America’s Ambassadors in Blue.” The squadron is made up of 12 officers, eight of which are fighter pilots with extensive combat experience. A Thunderbirds air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The four-jet diamond formation demonstrates the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft highlight some of the most impressive capabilities of the F-16.
"But the thrills don’t stop there,” Robb said. "We’re happy to announce the return of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. In addition to performing during the regular weekend show, the team will also perform a night jump during our Twilight Show on Friday.” The Twilight Show will be an abbreviated evening show that takes place as the sun sets, and will promise awe-inspiring, night-time performances.
Guests will also be excited to see old-time warbirds perform; AeroShell Aerobatic Team; CAF Red Tail Squadron, who educate audiences on the history of the Tuskegee Airmen; Randy Ball, who routinely pulls 8Gs and reaches speeds approaching 700 mph while, at times, flying less than 100 feet off the ground in a Russian MIG-17F jet; Kevin Coleman, a Louisiana native and one of the youngest pilots around; Gene Soucy, a former member of the record-setting Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team; Julie Clark, whose sparkling personality and graceful aerobatics have endeared her to legions of faithful fans; and so much more.
The Airshow will take place at Chennault International Airport, and will include various static displays of vintage aircraft and warbirds, interactive exhibits and the McDonald’s of SWLA Kids’ Zone. "At the end of the day, the Chennault Airshow and its proceeds invest in STEM education—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—which acts as the backbone of Southwest Louisiana’s next generation workforce,” Robb said. "We want to inspire, delight, encourage and educate area youth with all we have to offer at the Airshow.”
To purchase tickets online or to learn about the 2017 event lineup, visit the Airshow’s website at www.chennaultairshow.com.