Lethbridge International Airshow 2010

.. or, “How to get goosebumps on a very hot, sunny day.”

Until this past summer, I had never been to an airshow. I made up for that oversight in style by attending the Lethbridge International Airshow. The final clincher in my decision to make the 3.5 hour trip was learning that my favourite aircraft of all time, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, would be there.

A-10 Thunderbolt II - A-10 West Demonstration Team
A-10 Thunderbolt II flown by the A-10 West Demonstration Team

I had never seen one before in person and when it finally flew over, I had goosebumps despite the fact that it was a very hot day.

Unfortunately, the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet wasn’t at the airshow as scheduled… It was there as a burned out wreckage as it had crashed two days before. It must have been a bit unnerving for the other pilots performing that day as they all had to taxi right past the wreckage.

There were a number of historical aircraft, including a P-51 Mustang, and a FG-1D Corsair. It was a real treat to see these aircraft in action at the Lethbridge Airshow.

P- 51 at the Lethbridge Airshow

As a bonus, the TORA TORA TORA team was there, reenacting the Pearl Harbour attack with Japanese Zero fighters and Nakajima B5N “Kate” bombers. Their show was narrated and had lots of sound effects, plus many large explosions. After a bit, the smoke was so thick it was getting hard to see the aircraft as they kept buzzing the ground in simulated attacks.

TORA TORA TORA at the Lethbridge Airshow

We also saw lots of very entertaining stunt flying and tricks, and even the Canadian Army Skyhawks Parachute Team were on hand. I left the kids at home as it was a long drive and was forecasted to be hot (which it was) and figured the explosions would be too much for them right now. Instead, I had a real good time hanging out with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. It was a really great day and I’m looking forward to the 2011 show!

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