Grant County, and Moses Lake in particular due to the former Larson Air Force Base, is a region that is heavily steeped in aviation. From crop dusters to U.S. Air Force planes, the Grant County International Airport, training programs at Big Bend Community College and the myriad different companies that are involved with aviation in some way, the region has remained a hub for the industry for decades.
This weekend another chapter will be added to the Columbia Basinís aviation history book when the first annual Moses Lake Airshow is held. The Grant County International Airport/Port of Moses Lake has held open houses in the past and allowed the public to view planes on the runway, but this event is different. The Airshow will be the first in the area that includes flying acts in the sky and static aircraft displays on the ground.
Just in time for Fatherís Day, the Airshow opens tomorrow morning and runs through Saturday. Aviation buffs can look at the list of those who are scheduled to appear/perform at the show and instantly recognize that event organizers put in some serious work to make the show big. On the docket to appear are Vicky Benzing, a stunt flyer from California, Canadaís Yellow Thunder acrobatic team, stunt pilot Mark Peterson, who will be performing in a European-built Alpha jet, self proclaimed ďRock ní Roll Airshow ManĒ Will Allen, and the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team.
Organizers are hoping to have an Air Force KC-135 tanker and C-17 transport on the runway, Army and Customs and Border Patrol helicopters, a possible appearance by an Air Force F-15 fighter-bomber from Portland, a EA-18G Growler, and a T-33 trainer jet that was used by Boeing. We say organizers are hoping to have the planes at the show because with military planes anything can happen due to the aircraft and crew being active in the military and they could be called away at the drop of a hat.
Organizers strategically planned the airshow for Fatherís Day weekend, but left Sunday, when Fatherís Day actually falls, open for dads to enjoy with their families after taking in two days of aerial fun. Tickets are still available for the event and we hope locals can make it out to both days. Admission is $15 a day for adults, $12 a day for seniors and military, $5 a day for children ages 6-15, and $42 per day for a family pass. Children 5 and under can attend for free.
We hope to see the event filled both days with Columbia Basin residents and visitors from outside our region as well. The first annual airshow is a big deal for those involved with aviation and organizers have put together a show that is sure to impress attendees and remind people of the Columbia Basinís longstanding relationship with aviation and just how important it was in the past, still is today and will continue to be in the future.
ó Editorial board