Air show returns to Aspen’s skies
After an absence of a few years, the Aspen Air Show is back.
The air show, featuring the Snowbirds, Canada’s top precision jet team, will return Tuesday, Sept. 28 to Sardy Field in Aspen. Air Show ’99 is dedicated to children, and all children under the age of 18 will be admitted free.
Leading off the show will be Joel Zane and his Airborne Skydiving Team, with their 640-square-foot American flag. Other attractions will include Howard Pardue’s WWII Grumman Wildcat and Kent Pfleider’s Russian Sukoi 26 aerobatic plane. A performance by the 69th Battalion Special Operations Group will feature pyrotechnics and a synchronized aerial display with four different planes.
Show director Kim Bracher said the air show this year will be attended by numerous school classes from the area. “We’ve gotten tremendous support from the schools,” she said.
Despite a valleywide shortage of school bus drivers, school classes are coming from around the valley to take in the show. One class from Glenwood Springs will arrive by RFTA bus to watch the action, Bracher said. Several school groups from Carbondale have said they will attend.
One pilot and a technician from the Canadian Snowbirds team have agreed to speak to classes at Aspen Elementary School the day before the show.
Bracher said she’s really excited to have the Snowbirds performing in Aspen. The straight-winged aircraft flown by the Canadian group are slower and more maneuverable than those used by American teams such as the Blue Angels, and more suited to a show in mountainous terrain.
A military C-130 transport plane will be dedicated to the city of Aspen at the show. Bracher said the plane will be decorated with “nose art” depicting the Maroon Bells and other Aspen scenes.
The plane will be christened by Mrs. Tom Sardy, 91, the widow of Tom Sardy, for whom the airport is named.
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The coronavirus pandemic provided an unlikely springboard for the Aspen Brain Institute’s programs, allowing them to go virtual and global and sustain a large audience outside of its Aspen bubble.