squadron is made up of 12 officers, eight of which are fighter pilots with extensive combat experience. During the Chennault Airshow, you’ll see Thunderbirds 1-6 performing jaw-dropping maneuvers during the demonstrations. Thunderbirds 7 and 8 will be on the ground serving as operations officer and advance pilot, respectively. Thunderbirds 9-12 act as the support crew, which provides public affairs, maintenance, administrative and medical needs. “We are incredibly fortunate to have the Thunderbirds this year,” said Airshow President Randy Robb. “Only 40 airshows have this honor annually, and we can’t wait to see them flying over Lake Charles.”
A Lineup of Thrills and Chills If the Thunderbirds team is any indication of the quality of this year’s Airshow, then audiences will be in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A dozen additional performers will take to the skies to shock and awe Southwest Louisiana. The U.S. Army Golden Knights have spent the last half-century as the Army’s only official demonstration team. The team was formed 1959 by 19 Airborne Soldiers from a range of military units who sought to compete in the new world of skydiving, which was dominated by the Soviet Union at the time. During skydiving competitions in the early 1960s, the parachute team earned the nickname “Golden
Knights”—“Golden” for the countless gold medals the team won and “Knights” for their bold performances that conquered the skies. But the excitement doesn’t end there. The AeroShell Aerobatic Team is made up of four men flying the World War II North American AT-6 Texan/Harvard/ SNJ and the NA-16 aircraft, which first appeared in 1938. Pilots Bryan Regan, Mark Henley, Steve Gustafson and Gene McNeely combine skill and flair in their precision formation aerobatic maneuvers, including moves like the bomb burst, vertical rejoin, avalanche, graceful loops and rolls and the breathtaking “Switch Blade.” Other first-time performers and demonstrators include the pyrotechnic Tinstix team; Skip Stewart’s high-flying aerobatic symphony; Matt Younkin’s Beech 18 performance; and the Shockwave Jet Truck. Several fan-favorites from the 2013 Airshow will return, including Melissa and Rex Pemberton of Pemberton Aerosports and Kevin Coleman.
Tickets Now Available Online
The Airshow will continue on the tarmac with various static displays of vintage aircraft, interactive exhibits and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury 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.” General admission tickets give ticketholders access to one full day of aviation fun and are
FEATURING THE U.S.A.F. THUNDERBIRDS & U.S. ARMY GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Children 12 & under free • Free Parking
VIP Tickets (Limited Number Available Online Only)
Includes entry to VIP Tent with free food, wine, beer and soft drinks. Good for one day.
OCTOBER 24–25, 2015
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Chennault International Airport Lake Charles, Louisiana
Thrive Magazine for Better Living
October 2015 Issue of Thrive