Parachutists, civilian stunt pilots and a military aerial demonstration team will fill the skies over Fairchild Air Force Base on Saturday.
Fairchild will hold its first Aerospace Day in two years, throwing open its normally secure gates for the public to view aircraft on the ground and in the air.
The air show, which will begin at noon, will open with the Wings of Blue, the Air Force’s parachute demonstration team.
Air Force and Coast Guard teams will demonstrate helicopter rescue techniques, and civilian acrobatic pilots will perform aerial stunts. The show will close with the Air Force’s A-10 aerial demonstration team at about 3:30 p.m.
Ground displays will include a F-117 Stealth fighter and a U-2 spy plane, plus other military aircraft.
The air show/open house is an annual event at Fairchild. Last year, the base canceled Aerospace Day after a B-52 bomber crashed, killing its four-member crew while practicing unsafe maneuvers for the show.
Since that time, the Air Force has warned all bases to adhere strictly to rules governing the use of large military planes in aerial exhibits. A KC-135 tanker will perform a fly-by during the air show, but a B-52 will remain on the ground as a static exhibit, a base spokeswoman said.
Previous Aerospace Days have attracted crowds of more than 100,000. Base officials said extra security police and sheriff’s deputies will be on hand to direct traffic.
Spokane residents should enter the base through the main gate off U.S. Highway 2, while Cheney and Medical Lake residents are encouraged to use the west gate off Graham Road.
A Spokane Transit Authority bus also will be operating for the event. The Fairchild Flyer will make stops at Mead, Five Mile and Valley Park and Ride lots, the Valley Transit Center, Ferris High School, the west Coliseum and Jefferson Street-Interstate 90 lots and in downtown Spokane, as well as at Lefever Street and Brooks Road in Medical Lake.
The buses will run every half-hour starting at 10 a.m. Round-trip tickets will cost $1.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Air show entrances