I am a proud Air Force BRAT, my father having served 23 years in the United States Air Force (USAF). My father’s Air Traffic Controller career took us all over the world, but my favorite place, and the place I consider “home” growing up, was the United Kingdom. The one thing I remember most is attending military air shows with my family. While in England, I had the opportunity to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo, hosted on the base in which my dad was stationed.
The sights in and around were amazing, as different countries from across the world brought in their very best fighters to unbelievable aerial demonstration — a king from Saudia Arabia had his own grandstand erected to watch one of the shows I attended! Pure excitement, pure adrenaline, and one of my favorite childhood memories.
I had the opportunity to cover the Atlantic City Airshow, Thunder Over the Boardwalk, last week, and made sure I brought my son and my dad along to experience the show.
It was a hot and hazy day, with visibility less than optimum and temperatures soaring, but it didn’t hinder the crowds. Thunder Over the Boardwalk opened with the US Army Golden Nights paratroopers jumping with the US flag, beginning the show with our national anthem. From there, the show ‘dove’ right into demonstrations of various air craft, including helicopters and various vintage craft performing aeronautical acrobatics.
You won’t find unbiased coverage from me, as we were looking forward to the USAF F-22 demonstration (I love the fighter jets!) and the US Navy Blue Angels (we’re USAF Thunderbirds fans, but love seeing any fighter jet demonstrations). The USAF Heritage Flight was an amazing comparison of technology, with today’s USAF F-22 flying alongside World War II’s equivalent fighter, the P-51 Mustang.
Perhaps my favorite part of the day was when we were waiting for the Blue Angels to perform. After ten minutes or so, my dad turned from looking out over the ocean, looked at me, tapped his watch and said, “Any time now, Blue Angels!” At that moment, I saw them speeding towards us from out over the sea, just over my dad’s shoulder — “Look behind you, dad!” Haha!
We left the show tired, weary, sun-burnt and smiling, like most of the other spectators. It was a wonderful day out, and even more special to share the Atlantic City Air Show with my son and father.
If you’re interested in attending next year’s event, and you should, stay tuned to their website HERE, or follow them on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
Check out one of my clips of the Blue Angels below: