Monday, August 22, 2011

3rd annual Waterloo Air Show review by

Location: Waterloo International Airport, Ontario, Canada
Admission: $20 adults, $10 children over 6 at the gate. Online pricing discounted. VIP package $150.00/per day with food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Parking: Free on the airport and nearby grounds with free shuttle buses.
Value: Very Good

This was the 3rd annual Waterloo air show, held at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. For a regional air show it is a very good value and highly recommended. The Waterloo air show is a family oriented, two day event that entertains, educates and inspires anyone who enjoys the thrill of flight. Besides the air display from 1 pm to 4 pm, there were activities for kids in the amusement area, static display of aircraft, lots of food vendors and even a beer garden. Last year there was a public access to the hot ramp in the mornings to see and to take photos of the performing aircraft, however for this year this was NOT the case. Some of the attendees found this a bit disappointing. Even the media only had access to the hot ramp on the designated media day, prior to the actual air show days. Limited parking was available on the airport grounds, but the spectators were encouraged to park nearby using the free shuttle bus service provided. Walking shoes were in order, as there was a lot of walking involved to the flight line that was spread out quite far.

The headliners for this year, apart from the Snowbirds, included the USAF F-16 Viper East Demo Team, led by Maj. Ryan "Rider" Corrigan, one of the friendliest pilots one could ever meet! The CF-18 Demo Team was present too, with two jets, which was good thing, as on Saturday the back-up aircraft was used to perform. Unfortunately the back-up CF-18 has the standard air force camouflage, and not the interesting and very colourful paint scheme of the original demo aircraft. The Canadian Heritage Flight consisted of the CF-18 with the F-86 Sabre “Hawk One” and with the WWII warbird the P-40 Kittyhawk, piloted by Paul Kissmann from Vintage Wings of Canada. And lets not forget the Canadian Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team -- celebrating the team's 40th anniversary. The Harvard Aircraft Association based out of Tillsonburg, Kent Pietsch with his Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet aircraft that lands on the top of a truck, Mike Wiskus, a T-33 painted with a shark jaw motif and known as the "Mako Shark" and Wayne Hadath were the additional performers. The static was a bit larger than last year and included among them a C-130 Hercules, a CT-156 Harvard II, and a CT-142 Dash-8.

In conclusion it was a well organized show. We would highly recommend for any one who enjoys watching aircraft perform. We rate it at 8.5 out of 10 with potential for a higher rating if the event brings in more aircraft to perform and for display. Would like to thank Diana Spremo of Spremo Communications and Capt. Indira Thackorie, PA of the SkyHawks for their generous help.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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