ANDERSON, SC — America’s Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt and Canada’s Air Force Snowbirds are a few of the top performers at the Bill and Jo Trent Anderson Regional Air show this weekend as they help bring the thrust and excitement to upper South Carolina.
The U.S. Army paratroopers known as the Black Daggers, the A-10 nicknamed the Warthog, and aerobatic pilots Scott Francis in his MXS aircraft and Clemens Kuhlig aboard his award winning Pitts S1S, will perform during the two-day show on May 19 and 20. On Saturday, the U.S. will observe Armed Forces Day.
“The Bill and Jo Trent Anderson Regional Airshow is unique in that it is a totally free airshow — free parking and free admission,” Butch Jones, Anderson Regional Air show director of operations said on Monday. “There will be plenty of food and drinks, a kids zone, vendors of all types, helicopter rides, Stearman rides all set in a family friendly environment.”
The pilots of the Canadian Snowbirds perform in Canadian-built C-114 Tutors jets which provide an individual thrust of 2,700 pounds. During a show, the guests will see the squadron perform with seven or nine jets in a close formation flight demonstration.
This weekend will mark the Snowbirds third appearance at Anderson. “This appearance is special in that they called us and asked us if they could come back,” Jones added. “Our reputation for a class airshow, family environment, and southern hospitality was not forgotten.”
The Anderson air show will mark the Snowbirds third show of their 47th anniversary season. These warriors of the air are a crowd favorite during each event they attend performing tight aerobatic maneuvers performed by Canada’s own Air Force.
“The Snowbirds’ show is the result of six months of intensive preparation and training and consists of over fifty different formations and maneuvers,” Snowbirds spokesperson LT Michèle Tremblay said. “Serving as Canadian ambassadors, the Snowbirds demonstrate the skill, professionalism, and teamwork inherent in the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Armed Forces.”
Clemens Kuhlig is known across the growing air show community as ChefPitts. The name he describes as a combination of his two favorite hobbies — cooking and flying. As he spent three years building his Pitts S1S, he was working as a professional chef. His lightweight IO-360 engine provides about 200 hp, combined with specially designed wings featuring longer ailerons.
“My parents took me to an air show when I was eight and the hook was set,” Clemens acknowledged as he stood near his popular red biplane. “It has taken about forty years, on a fairly circuitous path, to achieve my childhood goal of being an air show pilot.”
ChefPitts paused and then said with a firm tone, “If you never lose sight of a dream, it can be achieved.”
A growing air show crowd favorite, the Anderson show will be Clemens Kuhlig third of the season. He carries a fondness for the South Carolina community and the air show producers.
“This will be my second year flying in Anderson,” Clemens said with a big smile. “Gotta love a show that’s funded by the community for the community! Just goes to show what can be done when people get together to organize an Event that is not only fun for the family, but honors all those who serve the community and the country as policemen, firemen, and military.”
The air show entry and parking are free, however show organizers look to donations in support of aircraft fuel, food, and other costs of the performers and the airport itself. Donations of any size can be made by visiting this link or as you arrive at the air show each day. A free air show with several of North America’s top aviation performers is a true treat for everyone.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and science. Follow his updates on social media via @Military_Flight.)