December 10, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will return to next year’s Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo. The show takes place April 13 to 18 in Lakeland, Fla.
Sun ’n Fun President and CEO John Burton said the flight demonstration team will headline the 2010 event. “We are delighted that the Thunderbirds will return to the skies over Lakeland, knowing the memorable impact their appearance made on all our guests in 2008, especially on the people and businesses throughout Lakeland, Polk County, and central Florida.”
The Thunderbirds plan to arrive during the second half of the six-day event. They may engage in individual media flights and a team training flight prior to their scheduled performances on Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18.
The Thunderbirds are part of America’s active combat force. If required, the team’s personnel and aircraft can be quickly integrated into a fighter unit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., where the F–16s can be made combat-ready in less than 72 hours.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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