Wash. pilots be alert for military's aerial rodeo

July 13, 2011

Washington-state pilots, be advised: You will be sharing the airspace over large portions of the state with C-17s, C-130s, and T-1s competing in an international military flying competition July 18 through 30.

Military airlift and airdrop crew from around the world will compete in the Air Mobility Rodeo, an event sponsored by the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. The Rodeo takes place at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 24 through 29, but pilots should be alert for increased activity at the airport and over large areas of the state July 18 through 30.

Competing in categories such as aerial refueling, time control, low-level routes, and airdrop operations, the crews will fly 24-hour VFR low-level flights over large areas of Washington state and are not limited to special-use airspace like military operations areas (MOAs) or restricted areas. The Air Mobility Command said more than 150 teams and 3,000 people from the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and allied nations are expected to participate.