FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The skies over Fort Lauderdale will be rumbling on Saturday and Sunday mornings as the Fort Lauderdale Air Show roars into town.
The skies will be filled with some of the most jaw dropping, death-defying aerial stunts and maneuvers you will ever see.
Here’s how Maj. Kevin Walsh, Operations Director for the Thunderbirds, sums it all up.
“It’s a blast,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t get old.”
The Thunderbirds will perform and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, new to the U.S. military, is making its’ civilian air show debut.
“Our afterburner is probably the loudest jet out there,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Ed Deleon. “So you can expect to be excited and you can expect to feel a rumbling in your chest.”
Deleon said their goal is to motivate the audience and display some good old-fashioned American pride.
“It’s a flight that honors our heroes, America’s heroes,” Deleon said. “We want to inspire young people out in the crowd watching who say, ‘I want to be a patriot, too.'”
The kickoff to the Air Show Friday night on Fort Lauderdale Beach featured a party, pilots and performers, and lots of patriotism.
The show has a distinct international flavor with the world renowned Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds set to perform, too.
Capt. Match Hatta and the other eight pilots are looking forward to some big crowds on the beach.
“It helps us put on a big performance,” he said. “It helps us get pumped up in the jets.”
Hatta said their pilots put in a tremendous amount of time and training into their performance.
“It’s a lot of teamwork,” he explained. “It’s a lot of physically demanding work and it’s just representative of a lot of the other trades and jobs in our military branch much like your military brand down here.”
The French Breitling Jet Team is also here, and the Thunderbirds never disappoint – with their diamond precision and solo stunts.
Walsh said the Fort Lauderdale show is special because of the crowds, the atmosphere and the venue.
“It’s really electric,” he said. “You can tell that people are excited for the show. We’re excited to be here.”
The gates open Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. and the shows begins at 11.
The jam-packed event 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.
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