TYLER, Texas — The first large-scale airshow of the year will take place Saturday as military jets and aerobatic planes salute America’s independence during the Thunder over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show.
U.S. Air Force jets have been cleared to perform, and will join warbirds and aerobatic planes during the single-day airshow. The flying is scheduled to start at about 5:10 p.m. CDT, and conclude four hours later.
“The Cedar Creek Lake air show performance takes place entirely over the water,” Lynn Thomas, president of the Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation, told AvGeekery.com on Monday. “You can watch the action packed evening free from your boat on the lake or the surrounding area.”
The F-16 Viper, A-10 Warthog, and F-35A Lightning II will thunder across Cedar Creek Lake. The popular military aircraft were recently cleared to perform on July 4th.
Led by pilot Maj. Garret “Toro” Schmitz, the F-16 Viper will demonstrate the multi-role fighter. Sporting a new viper snake paint job, the jet will perform tight maneuvers and fly near the speed of sound.
Maj. Cody “ShIV” Wilton pilots the A-10C Thunderbolt II. The crowd-favorite aircraft will join other aircraft for the Air Force Heritage Flight.
F-35A Demo pilot Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe will showcase the handling of the nation’s fifth-generation fighter jet. Capt. Wolfe, who serves as the team’s commander, is the Air Force’s first female single-ship demonstration pilot.
“The F-35 demonstration team serves to showcase the capabilities of the F-35A Lightning II, but also to showcase our Airmen and the Air Force way of life,” Capt Kip Sumner, F-35 Demo Team spokesperson said on Monday. “When we travel to different air shows across the country, we’re there to recruit, engage and inspire the next generation.”
The 15th annual Cedar Creek Lake event was started by local MiG-17 pilot Randy Ball. World War II-era aircraft attending include a B-17 Flying Fortress, C-47 Skytrain, and P-51 Mustang.
Aerobatic pilots Matt Younkin, Mike “Spanky” Gallaway, Kevin Miller, and the Texas-based formation flying team Falcon Flight are also scheduled to perform.
The air show has grown to become a popular charitable fundraiser for local veterans.
“Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake is a fundraiser hosted by the CCVF and proceeds go to assist East Texas veterans,” Thomas said. “CCVF is making a difference in the lives of veterans, donating almost $300,000 to veterans’ charities since its inception.”
“Many people enjoy the airshow each year not realizing that the purpose is to raise money for East Texas Veterans,” she added.
Thomas said air show guests and those interested can donate online. CCVF is a 501c 3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)