Blue Angels make return visit to Cape Girardeau during Air Festival May 18-19

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Southeast Missourian file The Blue Angels fly in formation over the crowd Sunday, June 20, 2010, during the final day of the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron — The Blue Angels — is returning to Southeast Missouri for the third time to demonstrate a variety of high-energy airborne aptitude the team will perform along with several other flyers during the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival on May 18 and 19.

The event will be at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport at 860 Limbaugh Drive.

The Angels consist of six pilots flying the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet to “showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” according to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels website.

This year marks the team’s 73rd anniversary and also the Blue Angels’ 33rd year flying the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.

Since 1946, the Angels have performed for nearly 500 million people, according to the website.

Following the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performances May 18 and 19, the U.S. Army Golden Knights; the Phillips 66 Aerostars; Skip Stewart; Shockwave Jet Powered Truck; Air Force A-10 Aerial Attack Demonstration; Warbirds — including the B-25, TBM, AD-5, and TP-40 Warhawk — also will take off.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights — one of three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams — formed in 1952 and comprises nearly 95 men and women who take to the skies around the nation performing skydiving routines. The team also has broken 348 world records, according to the air festival website.

Chris Darnell of Springfield, Missouri, will be in the driver’s seat of Shockwave both days of the festival. The race truck — custom-built and equipped with three J34-48 Pratt & Whitney Jet Engines — has a combined horsepower of 36,000 and a total of 21,000 pounds of thrust, the festival website states.

And flying for more than a decade and now in a new Extra 300L aircraft, The Phillips 66 Aerostars Aerobatic Team is set to take control of the sky with speeds up to 250 mph, according to the website.

Additional exhibits and activities also will be available during the festival, including on-site helicopter rides and Warbird rides in the TP-40 — one of five known to exist, the website states.

Concessions also will be available.

The Cape Girardeau Pilot’s Club originally hosted the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival in the 1980s and early 1990s, City of Cape Girardeau public information specialist Jessica Sexton said by email Tuesday.

“The Festival began being organized by the City of Cape Girardeau and the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport in 1992 and again in 1995,” she said. “The show was held annually until 2008, at which time the decision was made to have a show every other year or so.”

Parking will be available at West Park Mall at 3049 William St.; Cape Girardeau Central High School at 1000 S. Silver Springs Road; QC Corp. at 5566 Nash Road in Scott City; Midwest Agri-Chemico Inc. at 4868 Nash Road in Scott City; Rhodes 101 Stop at 3508 Nash Road in Scott City; Animal Emergency Center at 3257 E. Outer Road in Scotty City; and Lawless Harley-Davidson at 2100 E. Outer Road in Scott City, according to the air festival website.

Shuttles are set to run every 5 to 7 minutes from the lots. Gates will open at 9 a.m. both days; opening ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets and all information may be found online at www.capegirardeauairfestival.com.