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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The sky-high thrills of Fort Lauderdale Air Show’s main event is still a couple days away, but excitement is building at Mach speed as the pilots practiced Thursday.

CBS4’s Ted Scouten captured as U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds The US Airforce Thunderbirds flew high and low over Fort Lauderdale Beach after taking off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

“It’s just the speed and amazing how they do what they do,” said Audry Moskow.

The skilled pilots doing their death-defying routines are one of the main attractions at the Air show.  And they have plenty of company.

“The big deal, the really, really big deal is we’ve got the first civilian flight performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in history.  And that is going to be something to see,” said Brian Lilley with the Fort Lauderdale Air Show.

And Canada is well represented with their world-famous Snowbirds – nine planes doing some precision flying.

“The Canada burst is actually one of our most popular, people love it, it’s where all the aircraft do a burst in the sky.  I think people are going to love all our maneuvers,” said Canadian pilot Maj. Indira Thackorie.

The French are also participating with the Breitling Jet Team.

“We try to keep our taste of European flavor, French flavor with artistically syncs.  We play music, we have special surprise at the end,” said Breitling Jet Team’s Jacques Bothels.

Expect to share the beach with about a million people over two days – and you can also expect to be impressed.

The best spot to watch the show, which runs May 7th to the 8th, is on the beach from Sunrise Boulevard north to NW 14th Court.

Organizers say those who want to be right in the middle of the action can purchase a ticket for “Drop Zone Beach” which will put them at the ‘aerial 50 yard line’ for all the action. Those tickets are $24 per day through December 14th.

Boaters trying to get a glimpse of the action will have to watch out for designated “no anchoring and safety zones” marked by buoys.

This weekend is turning out to be a show of military might as it’s also Fleet Week.

The jam-packed events will take a toll on traffic flowing in and out. Closures already began Wednesday and will continue until Monday, May 9th.

State Road A1A will be closed for thru traffic from just North of Sunrise Boulevard intersection to Northeast 14th Court. Residents in the impacted show area will have a check point to access that area at Northeast 20th Street. North and Southbound motorist should use U.S. Route 1 (US 1) between Oakland Park Boulevard and Sunrise Boulevard.

For more information, click here.

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