Ocean City Air Show returns this weekend

Ocean City Air Show returns this weekend

(June 12, 2015) Ocean City’s eighth annual Air Show takes off this weekend bringing international performers, World War II bomber planes and numerous other acrobatic displays to the resort.

“We’ve pulled off the air show version of a hat trick with the addition of the F-22 Raptor Demo Team. We have three of the biggest acts in the air show industry, all performing in the same year [U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Breitling Jet Team],” OC Air Show President Bryan Lilley stated in a press release.

Although the show does not officially begin until Saturday, events have already kicked off, including breakfast with the performers starting at 8 a.m. today, Friday, at Layton’s Family restaurant on 16th Street.

“Layton’s is kind enough to offer breakfast to our performers who love the opportunity to mingle with all the fans in Ocean City,” said Cathy Bassett, press officer for the show. “Depending on the day and time you go, you could bump into a member of the Blue Angels team, a pilot from the Breitling Jet Team from France, or Mike Wiskus or John Klatt, our two aerobatic pilots, and get an autograph signed.”

Tonight, a free and open to the public Jack Daniels Fire Take Off Party will take place at Cowboy Coast on 17th Street beginning at 7 p.m. It will feature musical entertainment and a chance to meet pilots, jumpers and flight crews.

On Saturday, the Ocean City Air Show launches with performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber, an L-39 Albatross Cold War era jet and more high-flying acts.

The display village lining the Boardwalk from 13th to 19th streets will open at 9 a.m. for guests to visit various information booths and talk to military recruiters about the Blue Angels and other performances.

Weather permitting, the air show will officially start at noon with the Blue Angels taking to the sky at 3 p.m. for a 45-minute performance.

“This is the first year that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are performing in Ocean City and with our close proximity to Annapolis and the Naval Academy we know there is a lot of hometown support for these amazing pilots and their entire support team,” Bassett said. “We think Ocean City will be amazed by the show they put on.”

For the first time, the Ocean City Air Show will feature an international jet team, Breitling, who has made Ocean City a stop on its first U.S. tour, she added.

“I have never seen the Breitling Jet Team and there is just a powerhouse of a line-up,” said Jonathon Billie, who will fly the F-22 Raptor in the show this year. “With the Blue Angels, it’s going to be a really good show.”

Billie will give a single-ship demonstration with the F-22 Raptor to show audiences what it can do. He said that although it’s a large aircraft, audiences will see it perform tricks expected of only smaller planes.

“You will see the superior maneuverability of the aircraft, moving fast and slow, going from 90 to 600 knots,” he added.

“Nothing can compare to the power and noise of the F-22 Raptor as it screams across the beach and demonstrates what this most advanced fighter jet can do in the sky,” Bassett said.

After Saturday’s Boardwalk activities, an Air Show Performer Party will take place at Ocean Downs Casino, off Route 589 near Ocean Pines, starting at 7 p.m. and will feature a twilight jump by the Lucas Oil Parachute Jump Team and a fireworks display at dusk.

“The Air Show Performer Party will be the place to meet all the teams as they mingle with the crowd outside at Ocean Downs,” Bassett said.

The air show continues Sunday at noon with more performances by the Blue Angels, World War II P-51 Mustang, C-130 Fat Albert and other favorites.

The public will have a rare opportunity to take rides in the B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber during the air show. For a $425 donation to the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation, visitors will get the experience of what it was like to fly onboard the B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Panchito.”

The flights will take off from the Ocean City Airport today through June 14. The plane can seat up to five people and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 443-458-8926 or email panchitoB25@aol.com to save a seat on the 30-minute flights.

In addition, the Coast Guard will bring along its MH-65 Dolphine helicopter to demonstrate search and rescue missions for the crowd.

Every year, thousands of people watch the Ocean City Air Show from the Boardwalk, hotels, on the beach or on a boat in the ocean, Bassett said.

“The 2015 event will be our best show yet,” Lilley said. “With the inaugural performance of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Breitling Jet Team we expect to have record crowds.”

“Everyone should come out, and I speak for the team, we are really excited to show Maryland what we do,” Billie said.

At the Air Show’s “Show Center” on the beach at 16th Street, spectators can hear commentary and enjoy great views from most spots along the Boardwalk and beach. Others take their boats on the water to catch a seaside view.

Some special packages are still available for the Air Show, but they are selling quickly. Tickets start at $22 for “Drop Zone” seating and $109 for a Flight Line Clubhouse ticket. The VIP Penthouse is sold out for Saturday and Sunday.

“We just want to thank Ocean City for their continued support of this air show and we ask everyone to please come early and stay late, and wear plenty of sunscreen as they kick back and enjoy an amazing day of flying right over the beach in Ocean City,” Bassett said.

Visit www.ocairshow.com for more information.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, June 13

8 a.m.: Breakfast with the performers, Layton’s Family Restaurant, 16th Street

7 p.m.: Air Show Jack Daniels Fire Take Off Party, Cowboy Coast, 17th Street

Saturday, June 14

8 a.m.: Breakfast with the performers, Layton’s Family Restaurant, 16th Street

9 a.m.: Display Village and Premium Viewing open, 13th to 19th streets on the Boardwalk

10 a.m.: Flight Line Club VIP and Corporate Beach Chalets open, Show Center Beach, 14th to 17th streets

12 p.m.: Air Show begins featuring L-39 Cold War Era Jet Demo, Fat Albert C-130, B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, P-51 Mustang Demo, USAF F-22 Raptor Demo, USAF Heritage Flight, USCG Search and Rescue Demo, Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, Brietling Jet Team and Lucas Oil Jump Team.

3 p.m.: U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance

7 p.m.: Air Show Performer Party, open to the public, Ocean Downs, featuring the Lucas Oil parachute team twilight jump and fireworks display

Sunday, June 15

8 a.m.: Breakfast with the performers, Layton’s Family Restaurant, 16th Street

9 a.m.: Display Village and Premium Viewing open, 13th to 19th streets on the Boardwalk

10 a.m.: Flight Line Club VIP and Corporate Beach Chalets open, Show Center Beach, 14th to 17th streets

12 p.m.: Air Show begins featuring L-39 Cold War Era Jet Demo, Fat Albert C-130, B-25 Mitchell “Panchito” WWII Bomber, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, P-51 Mustang Demo, USAF F-22 Raptor Demo, USAF Heritage Flight, USCG Search and Rescue Demo, Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts, Brietling Jet Team and Lucas Oil Jump Team.

3 p.m.: U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance

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