Air show makes return to Coles County Memorial Airport Saturday

A+paraglider+flys+around+the+crowd+before+the+start+of+fireworks+at+the+Coles+County+Memorial+Airport+July+4%2C+2016.

File Photo

A paraglider flys around the crowd before the start of fireworks at the Coles County Memorial Airport July 4, 2016.

Cassie Buchman, News Editor

After not being put on since 2014, the air show performance at Coles County Memorial Airport is coming back this year with new acts.

Though the airport was supposed to have a show last year, they did not because of construction on one of their runways.

Because air show officials had more time to put into the air show, some changes are coming this year.

Andrew Fearn, manager of the Coles County Memorial Airport, said organizers of the air show put more money into the production — $16,000, to be exact.

The air show is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, with gates opening at 11 a.m.

The show is bigger, with an increased run time of two hours and eight minutes, and many new acts will be performing.

“Most of the show is new people, who have never been here before,” Fearn said.

One of these new acts is the Lima Lima Flight Team, a group of four aircrafts flying together in formation and a skydiver, who will be dropping from a height of about 2,000 feet.

People will be able to participate in the air festivities too with the B-25, T-6 and TBM aircraft and a R44 Helicopter giving rides.

The B-25 is from World War II, and several of the Skyraiders at the show actually flew in World War II and were used in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well.

Helicopter rides for $25 and monster truck rides for $5 will also be offered at the airport.

The Vampire Jet, also used at the end of World War II, flies about 180 mph.

“You don’t really see those flying anywhere,” Fearn said.

After not having a show for a couple of years, this year’s air show has gotten a good response, especially on its Facebook page, Fearn said.

“People are really interested in everything,” Fearn said. “When I put up a new picture people seem to comment and share (all the activities). It doesn’t matter what it is; it all seems to be getting a pretty good response.”

Fearn expects about 1,200 people at this year’s show.

Although Fearn said it’s mainly the adults who are interested in the aircraft, there will be activities for children at the air show too.

Kids can ride in little wagons pulled behind a lawnmower that will look like airplanes, and bounce houses will be available for a fee.

Admission to the air show is free, but people can choose to make a donation at the gates or purchase food from vendors selling corn dogs, funnel cakes and other treats.

The money taken from donations goes to paying for the air show, and the Coles County Memorial Airport also splits the proceeds with the Charleston Rotary Club.

 

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]