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Olympic Airshow 2012

Brandon Farris reports from Olympia, Washington........... Rain and clouds was not enough to keep air show fans from flocking to the annual Father’s Day Show that is put on by the Olympic Air Museum at Olympia Regional Airport.
This show is put on by the many volunteers that assist with the event; this year’s main act was the US NAVY F/A-18 Demonstration Squad from the VFA-122 Squadron out of Lemoore California who took to the skies despite the low ceiling and rain.About half way through the demo on Sunday they were forced to call it off as the visibility and rain created an unsafe condition for the jet to continue flying at the high speeds and altitude that is required for its demonstration.

There were patches of blue skies throughout the day but it just never cleared up, among the other acts that were put on by the museum, they included the L-39 Trainer Jet, an AH-1 Cobra and UH-4H Huey, the only remaining Kaman HH-43 Huskie in the world that you will only see at this air show, an Mitsubishi A6M Zero that took to the skies with a classic P-51D Mustang that would eventually end up racing Smoke-n-Thunder, a JetCar piloted by Bill Braack where weather would again play factor.

Thankfully the skies held out just long enough prior to and at race time to allow it to go on. The race between Bill and the P-51D, sadly, was not even close as the P-51 came in extremely fast and there just wasn’t enough runway for Bill to put the JetCar up to its full 450MPH to catch up, he was only able to hit about 300MPH before having to deploy the chutes. Just after they got to the end of the racetrack, the rain made a quick and heavy return.

We would like to thank Bill for taking us out to get up close pictures while he puts the pedal to the metal and races these amazing aircraft. We appreciate everything that he does for us at shows all across the country! Smoke-n-Thunder is made possible by its main sponsor CoinForce and the USO.

 

One of the main events that was supposed to be at the show, A Boeing B-17 named Sentimental Journey from the Arizona wing of the Commemorative Air Force, had mechanical issues in Medford and was unable to make it up to Olympia leaving many Air Show gathers disappointed as they came out to see the classic warbird take to the skies! However, Grumpy, a B-25 from the Historic Flight Foundation in Everett was able to make it down and provide four passes piloted by its owner John Sessions to make up for some of the disappointment.

Also we have learned through numerous sources that due to the weather issues that this show seems to have every year, it is being considered to be moved to either August where it is warmer and dryer, or even as late as September where they would have the opportunity to bring the Canadian Snow Birds down from Canada to partake in this event!

Brandon Farris

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