Air Show Report : Rhode Island Air Show 2012
The 2012 Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show was held at the Quonset Point Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, RI, on June 16-17. Report by David Clifton and Tyler Clifton of the aircraft displays at Quonset ANGB, which included the USAF Thunderbirds.
Rhode Island Air Show 2012
The Rhode Island Air Show always draws the aircraft enthusiasts from around the area. From the static displays to the air show, from civilian and military performers, from aircraft of yesteryear to aircraft of today, this show certainly has it all!
A special surprise of the show was a ceremony in which 44 men and women took the armed forces oath and were sworn into the United States Air Force and the Rhode Island Air National Guard. The family and friends of these 44 men and women were present for this special event.
The weather for both days of the event was spectacular! Both military and civilian pilots and performers were present for the crowds' enjoyment. Some of them included Lt. Col. John Klatt, Sean D. Tucker and Michael Goulian. Some of the teams that performed were the USAF Thunderbirds, the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Jump Team - the Black Daggers.
The aircraft displays were from the large C-5 Galaxy to the Jelly Belly Cadet, which was flown by Cornelia Fort in 1941 on December 7th at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (read full story). Kent Pietsch flew the Interstate Cadet in a spectacular performance when he landed the plane on the top of a moving RV. He also performed a "dead-stick" aerobatic routine which ended with the Jelly Belly plane landing on the runway and rolling its nose into the hand of the show's announcer!
The Black Daggers' performance demonstrated how soldiers can be dropped behind enemy lines without detection. The P-51D Mustang - Never Miss - showed the crowd why it has been used in nearly every combat zone from Europe in 1943 to the Korean War in 1953. The Geico Skytypers demonstrated low level precision maneuvers while the EA-6B Prowlers showed their unique ability to gather electronic intelligence over combat areas. The F4U Corsair, fighter aircraft saw service during World War II and the Korean War. The aircraft was brought into the limelight by the television show Baa Baa Black Sheep as being flown by the famous Black Sheep Squadron, out of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.
There was a Combined Arms Demonstration, and the Rhode Island Air National Guard showed their UH-60 Blackhawks and C-130J Hercules.
The "stars" of the show were the USAF Thunderbirds. With Thunderbirds 1-4 flying close quarter formations and Thunderbirds 5-6 (lead and opposing solo) were highlighting some of the capabilities of the F-16 aircraft. When the six Thunderbirds were back on the ground, the 2012 Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show came to an end. It was an exciting weekend and we can hardly wait until next year's show. Thanks to everyone who made this year's show the success it was!
We would like to thank the 143rd air wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard for hosting the Open House and Air Show, along with thanks going to Lt. Col. Peter Parente, Lt. Col. Bruce Fletcher and Sgt. Megan Burmeister of the Rhode Island National Guard Public Affairs Office for the opportunity to attend the 2012 Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show.