Air Show Report : Rhode Island Air Show 2017
Rhode Island National Guard Air Show 2017
Photo report by Dave O'Brien from the Rhode Island Air Show 2017 at Quonset Point, North Kingstown. The annual show hosted by the RI National Guard this year took place on May 20-21.
A week before the Rhode Island Air Show news broke that the Canadian Snowbirds were canceling shows because of a close call at the prior show. The team decided, rightfully so, that they needed more practice and training so they canceled their next 4 shows starting with Rhode Island.
Luckily Rhode Island’s line-up this year was already jam packed and with the help of the other demo teams they were able to still put on a fantastic air show. The F-16 Viper Demo of the 20th FW based out of Shaw AFB, SC, the F/A-18F Super Hornet Demo of VFA-106 Gladiators based out of NAS Oceana, VA, and the AV-8B Harrier II Demo of VMM-264 based out of MCAS New River all flew their display routine twice a day.
To start the show the 143rd AW took to the sky with the USSOCOM Parachute team. The initial jumper descended with the American Flag while the anthem played. Then three more jumpers came out on the next pass.
Sean D. Tucker was up next with his ribbon cutting performance and a teaser of things to come later in the afternoon. The Harrier followed Sean for his first demo, the noise that this little plane brings during his hover is just ear shattering.
Capt. John “Rain” Waters of the F-16 Demo went up next. The 20th FW F-16 used for the display featured the special 50th Anniversary tail of 2015 for being a “Wild Weasel” unit since 1965. Mike Goulian & Rob Holland shared the skies after the first Viper demo. The Geico Skytypers went up next in their North American SNJ-2’s. “Purple” and “Hot Gun” took off next in the F/A-18F Super Hornet to perform their first demo.
The Rhode Island National Guard Dynamic Military display came next. It wasn’t the Combined Arms Demo we’ve had in years past, as they added two AH-64 Apaches from Fort Drum’s 10th Aviation Regiment as well as a CH-47 Chinook from the 104th Aviation Regiment, CT Army National Guard. Local UH-60 Blackhawks of the 126th Aviation Regiment and C-130Js of the 143rd AW filled the skies. It was my first time seeing an Apache demo and I thought they a pretty good job, but I missed the A-10s with the mock airfield gun runs seen in previous editions.
John Klatt in “Sasquatch” went up next and after his show raced the Shockwave Jet Truck. Mark Murphy followed next in a repainted Corsair dedicated to John Glen. After Mark Murphy’s display of the Corsair, Randy Ball took off with his MiG-17F. This was another first for me, Randy flew this jet like a rocket and reminded me of Dale “Snort” Snodgrass with as low as he got this thing flying.
The second half of the show was all three military demo teams going back up again. First the Harrier, followed by the Super Hornet demo and “Rain” closed the show with the second F-16 Viper demo. With all the military demos going up twice on both Saturday and Sunday, I felt like a kid again going to the air shows back in the 80’s when the military aircraft were all they had flying at the shows. All that military power was simply awesome.
Thanks so much to the 143rd PAO for allowing me the media access on Friday and getting me on for the media flight on the UH-60 to start out Sat morning.
Report and photos by Dave O'Brien ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 16 June 2017