The Lethbridge International Airshow came back this weekend.
Dallas Harty, chairman of the board of directors of the Lethbridge International Airshow Association, said he was blown away by the support.
“In our wildest dreams, we never expected our attendance today. Harty said.
He estimated that up to 20,000 people attended Saturday’s event. Such a large amount means that traffic is backed up via Scenic Drive, which takes almost two hours to enter the program.
Danica Aggli has been going to the Airshow with her family since she was a kid. She has a dream to one day become a Snowbird. She’s a flight attendant now and she says she’s happy to see the Airshow back in Lethbridge, even with the traffic she has to endure to get there.
“It took us about an hour to get here from just in front of Costco this morning, but it was well worth it while you were here,” Aggli said.
Gordon Lowe displayed his Boeing-Stearman Model 75 in a static aircraft display. Stearman is known for training most of the US military pilots who fought in World War II. Lowe said he loves to see people get excited about planes.
“A lot of people, they walk out and they don’t realize what these planes are going to do,” Lowe said. “You can roll them and spin them and make the counter top hammer and have smoke come out.”
Julianna Ouellette attended her first Airshow at the age of three. She’s been keeping an eye on the skies ever since, and at 21, she got her commercial pilot’s license. Now that she can fly on her own, she said a plane caught her attention this weekend.
“The Canadian Forces F-18 Hornet, of course,” Ouellette said. “A lot of noise, a lot of power and I want to fly one someday.”
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Jesse Haggart-Smith, 2022 F-18 Demonstration Pilot, said flying the powerful aircraft was hard work, but it was a dream come true.
“The adrenaline rush just straight to the ground after a complete burn and pulling up just in time so you can recover, that’s a great thing,” says Haggart-Smith.
“I think I’m the luckiest person on earth to fly around the F-18 day in and day out.”
Harty said they learned a lot from this weekend after not having an Airshow for five years.
The Board of Directors is already preparing for the next Lethbridge International Airshow in 2024.
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