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    MCAS Yuma Airshow Takes Community, Supporters by Storm

    MCAS Yuma Airshow

    Photo By Sgt. James Marchetti | Paul Smith, a freestyle motorcycle performer, jumps and does stunts on the flight line...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. James Marchetti 

    Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. - The only military airshow in Arizona for this year started with the evening Twilight Show at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2015. Open to the public, the event included aerial pyrotechnics, a concert and performances by civilian and military aircraft.

    Maj. John Gibson, the director of the Yuma Airshow, remarked that the Twilight Show was brought back due to its acclaimed reception in 2014.

    This year, a highlight of the event included an extraction demonstration by MCAS Yuma’s Search and Rescue unit.

    “With this SAR demonstration, what we’re trying to do is show the community what we do out in the wilderness, on an actual rescue,” explained Capt. Wes Urquhart, a HH-1N Huey pilot with the SAR unit. “We get a lot of our rescues at night, when it’s dark and hard to see, so we utilize the skills that we’ve trained in the fleet and showcase them to the community here.”

    On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 28, the airshow provided thousands of attendees with the opportunity to see Marine Corps aircraft, civilian air acts, aerial performances and tactical equipment. More than half a century of aviation was on display for all to enjoy.

    Civilian entertainers and military performers provided a wide scope of aerial capabilities to the public. The acts included the Circus School of Arizona, Chris Darnell’s “Shockwave” jet-truck, freestyle stunt motorcycles, the Misty Blues, an all-women skydiving team, and many others.

    Decorated Red Bull helicopter pilot Chuck “Malibu” Aaron, a prominent aerial stunt performer in entertainment during the last decade, who plans to retire soon, entertained thousands of spectators.

    “My mantra, so to speak, is that I want to get young kids excited about aviation,” said Aaron. “I want somebody to see me and what I do, start thinking outside of the box, hopefully get inspired to get passionate about aviation and dream up new instruments, aircraft or air dynamic designs; something that will help us expand our world.

    Demonstrations by military aircraft included the MV-22B Osprey, F-5N Tiger II, AV-8B Harrier and F-35B Lightning II.

    The F-35B showcase garnered a large audience. All attendees fastened their eyes on the Marine Corps’ joint strike fighter and its vertical landing capability.

    “The opportunity to take the newest tactical jet in the Department of Defense’s inventory and showcase that in front of the home crowd here, in Yuma, is exciting,” said Lt. Col. Steve Gillette, the commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121.

    The airshow served as an opportunity for the air station to thank the local community for their continued support.

    Gibson stated that the partnership is what makes the airshow such an important event for the station.

    “This is a large opportunity for us to give back to our supporters, far and wide, so our staff really makes it a point to provide the best of the best,” said Gibson. “It’s been successful for years. We keep capitalizing on our successes and it keeps growing - so there’s no reason to think it’s going to slow down any time soon.”



    Date Taken: 02.28.2015
    Date Posted: 02.28.2015 22:17
    Story ID: 155636
    Location: YUMA, AZ, US 

    Web Views: 173
    Downloads: 2