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The overview of the Yuma Air Show reveals numerous static displays as seen from the wing of an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., March 27, 2010. Guests of the air show were allowed to step aboard the aircraft to look at the inside and get the crew's view.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison

Air show's variety draws crowds to Yuma

1 Apr 2010 | Cpl. Austin Hazard

The air station held its 48th annual air show March 27, 2010, drawing approximately 20,000 visitors from across the country, including the commandant and sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

Though no world records were broken, this marked the first air show in 13 years to feature a jet demonstration team and proved to be busier than previous years, featuring a wide variety of acts and performances and approximately 50 static displays.

“Overall, this year was a much more balanced show than previous years’ air shows,” said Roger Lopez, Marine Corps Community Services marketing director. “It wasn’t just one or two events at the end of the day that people came for. There were acts all throughout the day that people wanted to see.”

The main events of the day included the country’s premier civilian aerobatic group the Patriot Jet Team, a race between the School Time Jet Bus and a T-33 Shooting Star, which was the country’s first operational fighter jet, a comical flying skit by the Jelly Belly plane, an aerobatic racing challenge, a remote control aerobatic demonstration by the Yuma Aeromodelers Club and several other aviation performances.

“Three of our acts were very, very popular,” said Lopez. “People were lining up to see the jet bus, the Patriots and the Jelly Belly plane.”

While many of the pilots and displays were tested by Saturday’s harsh winds, the weather could not force an early end to the day.

“We had 30 mph winds out there, but that didn’t keep the air show from continuing,” said Lopez. “The wind was challenging, but everyone rose to meet it. Despite the weather, the show remained mishap-free and ran as planned.”

If spectators missed an event or if anyone missed the show altogether, they still have a chance to enjoy it, said Lopez. By Friday, the station plans to have the entire recording of the air show viewable via the air show’s Web site. The same feed viewers watched live during the air show will be available until next year’s show.

The air show also marked the first Yuma air show the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway ever attended and the return of actor and former Marine R. Lee Ermey.

“It was great,” said Conway. “I really enjoyed it.”

To view the air show footage, go to www.yumaairshow.com.

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