Milwaukee Air Show (Almost)


Native Gardener
Jun 13, 2014
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United States
For those of you who don't know, air show season is one of my favorite times of year. Around here, we have a couple great shows. The Milwaukee air show is more of a standard show. It takes place in Milwaukee on the shore of Lake Michigan. The other show is EAA Airventure, one of the largest, if not the largest, air convention and fly-in in the world. More than 10,000 aircraft fly in to the event.

This past weekend was Milwaukee's air show. I went on Sunday. The weather was less than ideal, but the rain stopped almost as soon as I got there. Unfortunately, the wind and low clouds stayed, but the weather was expected to improve in the afternoon. The show was scheduled to start at noon, but didn't. Here was my view for the afternoon:
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Not long after noon, a fighter jet could be heard above the clouds, but never seen. It made one pass and no one was really sure what it was. It might have been the F-15 that was scheduled to perform, or maybe it was one of the USAF Thunderbirds' F16s. Everyone's best guess is that it was checking weather conditions.

After a three hour delay, a plane was finally seen heading our way. A KC-135 Stratotanker. It made three or four passes, as expected.
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A few minutes later, a Pitts bi-plane flew in and did a performance. I've seen this guy perform before and could tell this act was his "bad weather show". All stunt performers have at least two variations of their shows, which allow them to fly a little safer in less than ideal conditions.
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After that, A C-130 came in and did a few flybys and a wave. If you look closely, you can also see people waving, as well.
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After the C-130 left, it seemed like we were in another delay. After about 20 minutes, I saw something headed toward show center. It was one of the Thunderbirds. That wasn't a good sign. The Thunderbirds don't enter like that. Plus, there were other acts that were scheduled, and they would've flown before the Thunderbirds came out. I immediately knew what it meant. The single Thunderbird made three passes and headed back to the airport. Show cancelled. Winds were too strong and the clouds were too low. Mother Nature won. About 15 minutes after the show was cancelled, the sun came out for awhile. The wind was still strong, but it's salt in the wound to see sunny skies after four hours of clouds.

I look forward to the air show every year, so it was disappointing to see it get cancelled. I appreciate that they tried everything they could to make it happen. Here's some video I took of the few planes that actually got to fly:

EAA Airventure starts today and goes through the rest of the week. I won't be going this year, but they show all nine airshows live in their website, so I'll be watching as I do every year.

If anyone is interested, their daily airshows start around 2:30 CDT (night shows on Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm CDT), and can be seen on the Live Air Show cam, which you can find here:

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