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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fairchild Air Force Base’s SkyFest returns this weekend

In Fairchild Air Force Base’s 82nd year in operation, planes will again take to the skies this week to perform precision skydiving and midair refueling in front of thousands of people.

Fairchild’s annual free-entry airshow, SkyFest, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with aerial performances starting at 11 a.m. The performances will go until 3 p.m., according to Fairchild’s website.

Among the performances, onlookers can observe midair refueling from the KC-135 Stratotanker, a “linchpin” plane at the base. The KC-135 provides refueling support to other branches of the military and allied nation aircraft and can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo. The B-52, a bomber that can fly at subsonic speeds and altitudes of up to 50,000 feet also will be participating in the show, according to Fairchild’s website. Other acts include the A-10 Demo Team, a Heritage Flight featuring the A-10 and Pyrotechnics and a C-17 Demo team.

Before and after the event, travelers should expect delays and plan ahead for traffic around the base. The main gate of the base will be the main point of entry for most traffic and the Graham Gate has VIP access and handicap parking, according to a news release from Washington State Patrol. Event goers should also plan ahead to pack water, essential medication, lawn chairs and other things for comfort at the event. No food is allowed inside the event since it will be provided, according to the base.

The National Weather Service forecasts sunny skies with temperatures in the 80s this weekend.