Keep an eye on the sky

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — The dis­tinc­tive blue and gold F/A-18 fighter jet from the U.S. Navy’s Blue An­gels aerial demon­stra­tion team ar­rived at Gen.

Wil­liam J. Fox Field Tues­day af­ter­noon, af­ter a thrilling fly-by to her­ald the re­turn of the Los An­ge­les County Air Show this March, af­ter a one year hia­tus.

The pop­u­lar pre­ci­sion aerial demon­stra­tion team was fea­tured in the in­au­gu­ral air show in 2014 and again in 2016. They will re­turn for a third time at the March 21 and 22 air show.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the air show in March,” events co­or­di­na­tor Lt. Cmdr. Adam Ker­rick said. “It will be our first air show on the road.”

Lt. Julius Brat­ton will serve as nar­ra­tor for the

flight demon­stra­tion.

“We love this South­ern Cal­i­for­nia weather,” he said. “You guys can ex­pect to see the epit­ome of team­work; we’re work­ing on that right now down in El Cen­tro.”

Donna Ter­meer, field deputy for Los An­ge­les County Su­per­vi­sor Kathryn Barger, said the county is hon­ored to of­fer Fox Field for the air show.

“It’s been a priv­i­lege to wel­come back the Blue An­gels,” Ter­meer said. “And I’ve been told this show is go­ing to be the best and great­est ever.”

The L.A. County Air Show has the largest STEM expo in the air show in­dus­try.

Ter­meer ex­tended Barger’s thanks to the Air Show com­mit­tee, the part­ner­ships with Ed­wards Air Force Base and the vol­un­teers who make it hap­pen be­cause it bol­sters the lo­cal econ­omy.

Lock­heed Martin is the ti­tle spon­sor for this year’s air show, themed “Aero­space Val­ley, USA.”

“We are very proud to be the ti­tle spon­sor for the L.A. County Air Show,” Jack O’Ban­ion, vice pres­i­dent for Strat­egy & Cus­tomer Re­quire­ments for Lock­heed Martin’s Skunk Works said. “We’re very proud to call the Aero­space Val­ley our home.”

He said, in ad­di­tion to say­ing thanks to the com­mu­nity by spon­sor­ing the show, they want to en­sure they are in­spir­ing the com­mu­nity by ev­ery­thing go­ing on now in the aero­space in­dus­try.

“We hope to in­spire through STEM, the next gen­er­a­tion out there that are in­ter­ested in see­ing their ca­reers take off,” O’Ban­ion said.

In ad­di­tion to the Blue An­gels, the other head­lin­ers in­clude the U.S. Air Force F-22 Rap­tor demon­stra­tion team and Tora! Tora! Tora!, a pop­u­lar per­for­mance at pre­vi­ous air shows, will re­turn with its recre­ation of the Dec. 7, 1941 at­tack on Pearl Har­bor.

The show uses py­rotech­nic ef­fects sim­u­lat­ing ex­plo­sions from the aerial bom­bard­ment, as well as a sound­track filled with air raid sirens and the sounds of ma­chine gun fire and the replica air­craft div­ing and swoop­ing past. Spec­ta­tors get a taste of the sights, sounds and smells of the bat­tle that day.

“We have an­other head­liner that’s go­ing to be su­per ex­cit­ing this year,” Los An­ge­les County Air Show Board Pres­i­dent Mike VanKirk said.

He said they will be able to an­nounce the per­former in a cou­ple of weeks, once it is of­fi­cial.

Other per­form­ers re­turn­ing to the skies above Fox Field in­clude Rob Har­ri­son, known as the Tum­bling Bear and Vicky Ben­z­ing in her bright red Stear­man bi­plane.

Ad­di­tional per­form­ers will in­clude pi­lot Ja­son Somes in a MiG-17 and the comic an­tics of Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys, cul­mi­nat­ing in land­ing a small plane on a mov­ing truck.

“The STEM is con­tin­u­ing to grow,” VanKirk said. “Our part­ner­ship with Ed­wards is only go­ing to grow the ac­tiv­i­ties that we have with STEM.”

The He­roes and Le­gends his­tory pan­els will in­clude pre­sen­ta­tions on the F-22 and U-2.

“Stay tuned also for ex­cit­ing static dis­plays,” Van Kirk said.

The sixth L.A. County Air Show in March, will be one of two in the An­te­lope Val­ley this year. A sec­ond air show is planned at Ed­wards AFB in Oc­to­ber, which will fea­ture the U.S. Air Force Thun­der­birds.

New this year, is pre­ferred and pre­mium seat­ing along the show cen­ter. Chil­dren 15 and younger will get in for free. Mil­i­tary vet­er­ans and spec­ta­tors 65 and older will also get in for free.

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets for the L.A. County Air Show cost $20 for those ages 16 and older.

Pre­mium box seat­ing, lo­cated di­rectly on the flight line, is avail­able for $45, with chil­dren ages three and younger ad­mit­ted for free.

Flight Line Club tick­ets for the Satur­day show are avail­able for adults for $150 and $135 for Sun­day.

The Flight Line Club tick­ets for chil­dren ages four to 12 are $85 for the Satur­day show and $75 for Sun­day; those age 3 and younger are ad­mit­ted free.

The Flight Line Club tick­ets in­clude cov­ered and out­side seat­ing in an ex­clu­sive view­ing area, catered buf­fet lunch, un­lim­ited wa­ter and soft drinks and pri­vate “pre­mium” re­strooms.

Photo tour pack­ages are also avail­able.

Park­ing vouch­ers are avail­able for pur­chase on­line for $10. The same park­ing fee ap­plies at the event but is cash-only.

To pur­chase tick­ets visit www.la­countyair­show.com

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THOMAS SPANOS

The Blue An­gels flew over Gen­eral Wil­liam J. Fox Air­field on Tues­day af­ter­noon, prior to a press con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the Los An­ge­les County Air Show March 21 and 22 at the Lan­caster air­field.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THOMAS SPANOS

Lt. Cmdr. Adam Ker­rick (left) and Lt. Julius Brat­ton of the Blue An­gels aerial demon­stra­tion team talk at a press con­fer­ence Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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