May 22, 2018

It’s Airshow Season!

It’s Airshow Season!

Vincent “Jell-O” Aiello
U.S. Navy (Retired)

…aaahhh, spring is fully here. Flowers are blooming, the kids are almost (or, in some cases, already) out of school, and you know what that means: it’s airshow season!

All around the country—and indeed, the world—regional and military airports open their doors to welcome aviation enthusiasts for a day of fun in the sun. From young children to old salts and everyone in between—it’s difficult to not have a great time at an airshow.

Perhaps you’ve heard me mention various airshows on recent episodes and are curious why. Well, a couple reasons:

First, I realized early on that the type of folks who enjoy airshows would also enjoy The Fighter Pilot Podcast. I have reached out to airshows nationwide with a simple offer: you help me promote my show, I’ll help you promote yours. Some organizers never respond, but others are happy to team up. And so, for a few mentions and social media posts alerting existing podcast listeners to airshows in their area, we are afforded a small ad in a corner of their airshow program, which hopefully draws more listeners. It’s a win-win.

Second, airshows are good, wholesome family fun! Here are just a few of the reasons why I think this:

  1. The death-defying aerial performances are amazing to watch
  2. The static displays are cool to explore
  3. There are plenty of yummy eats to indulge in
  4. You can buy hats, shirts, and other fun aviation merchandise
  5. You can meet the brave men and women who selflessly defend the freedoms we enjoy
  6. Parking and admission are normally free (particularly at military facilities)
  7. And last but not least: you never know what lasting effect attending an airshow may have on a young one…
Young Vincent and Family
That’s 8-year-old me in the red shirt

In the fall of 1978 my stepfather took our family to a Southern California airshow—and that was it: I was hooked!

That singular experience irrevocably altered the trajectory of my life as I later went on to enjoy a rewarding career flying in the US Navy. See for yourself: take your son or daughter, or other young ones, to an airshow and watch their imaginations take flight!

Now, it should be mentioned that as with any crowd-pleasing event, there can also be some minor…shall we say, downsides, to attending airshows: performances can be quite loud (bring earplugs); too much sun exposure can be damaging to your skin (bring sunscreen); the aforementioned food can be a pricey (bring money); and traffic getting in and out of the venue can be heavy (bring patience).

But, hey, these challenges are easily overcome and well worth it for the experience!

So do yourself a favor and go attend a local airshow this year. Schedules are available online for major headliners like the US Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds, but even the smaller shows feature exciting performers.

And if you do go, look for our ad in the airshow program. Share a picture of you or a loved one with our ad via email or on social media and we’ll mail you a cool 3”x3” FPP sticker!

As always, thanks for your continued support of the podcast. See you around the site!

Vincent “Jell-O” Aiello