News: Yuma’s Airshow: A Twilight Showcasing For All
Story by Lance Cpl. James Marchetti
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. - On Friday evening aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., the gates opened to the local community for an inaugural nighttime performance, serving as the opening ceremony for Yuma’s 52nd annual airshow. With a lineup of gliding and soaring acts on the flight line, the evening was a flurry of light and sound meant to amaze spectators, young and old.
Dubbed the Twilight Show, this performance was constructed to bring a new asset to Yuma’s airshow not seen in years past, explained Col. Robert C. Kuckuk, Commanding Officer of MCAS Yuma.
“We’re always trying to come up with something [for the airshow] that’s a little bit different to make it feel fresh,” said Kuckuk. “What we wanted to do this year was open the station up for an evening show in which the young people of Yuma, along with the families around base, could come and watch a smaller version of the airshow and have something a little bit different than in years past.”
Lieutenant Col. Brent Weathers, the director of operations for MCAS Yuma and the airshow, ensured that what the Twilight Show lacked in duration was compensated for with bright lights and colorful imagination.
Kicking the evening off at 6:30 p.m. was the 3rd Marine Air Wing Band based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. The 3rd MAW band played the national anthem and was immediately followed by tunes from local favorites “Tommy and the Drifters.”
The music entertained the crowd for just under an hour before the aviation demonstrations began. Featuring the likes of Roger Buis with his comedic Otto the Helicopter performance, Bill Braack manning a jet-car in a Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Show, Dan Buchanon’s hang gliding, and a finale of breathtaking fireworks, the Twilight Show lit up the skies of MCAS Yuma for all to see.
Weathers and Kuckuk both agree that this year’s Twilight Show will set a precedent for years to come.
“We decided to have this shortened nighttime airshow to attract a wider audience,” said Weathers. “Our mission was to create a ‘party on the flight line’ kind of atmosphere for a younger audience and to appeal to those who can’t make it for the Saturday airshow or those who honestly just don’t want to sit through a show that long … We wanted to renew interest in the airshow and make it feel new.”