Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona air show returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base this weekend

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:27 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona air show returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base this weekend.

You can expect to see some amazing things out here whether it’s the aerial displays or the aircrafts themselves. This year they have 13 performers and they’re expecting around 100,000 people at the show this weekend.

The air show is back for the first time since 2021. There are several new things to look forward to.

“The new things are the growler demo team is slightly different from the F-18 team we had last show. The Sea Star demo, combat search and rescue is a little bit different this show as well,” said Captain Luke Rockwell, the air show director. “There will be some new things there and then the Thunderbirds completely revamped their show during COVID. So that’s going to be completely new as well.”

Some of this year’s performers include the Thunderbirds, the Red Bull Skydivers, and the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team. All of the performers spent a lot time preparing for the event.

″It’s a lot of training. I’ve been in the Air Force for almost 12 years now so, all of this leads up to military training, getting used to flying in an airshow environment versus a combat environment,” explained Major Kristin “BEO” Wolfe. “Other than that, it’s about staying hydrated and well rested to be able to perform for everybody.”

Performers come from across the nation and even here locally, like Captain Shane Riley. He’s been dreaming of this moment for years.

″It’s a great experience,” Captain Riley said. “What made me want to fly originally was watching jets, F-16s fly out of here at Tucson International. I would come to these air shows as a kid and it’s great to be back flying a jet in the air show about 10 years later.”

Other than the performance itself, Captain Riley and the other pilots are looking forward to connecting with the Tucson community.

″If you come out, please stop by, thank a service member if you can, and anyone who’s interested in flying, this is why we’re here. We’re trying to get people interested in this career field,” he explained.

Gates open at 9 a.m. and the flights get started at 11a.m.

It’s free to attend but some of the ticket options for special seating areas are sold out.

You can find more details here.