Tyler hosts air show July 4th weekend

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Wings Over Tyler Air Show is just days away and organizers are making last minute preparations as aircrafts arrive.

All the way from Hill Air Force base in Utah, F-16s gave a small crowd at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport a preview of what's to come this weekend.

"We fly to a different strip of concrete every weekend so we use that time to familiarize ourselves with the actual area and then when it's time to fly the actual demonstration it's not brand new to us," said Captain Garrett Dover.

Dover has been in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years and flying F-16s for four.

"When I was six or seven years old I became completely addicted to aviation and set it as a goal to become a pilot. Now to have actually have made it into aviation, it's great to come back to other air shows to see other little kids who look upwards in awe," Dover said.

He said attendees are sure to leave impressed if you make it out to Sunday's show.

"We'll fly the F-16 single ship and basically I'll show just what the F-16 can do. I'll go as slow as 120 knots and up to 650 knots... just under the speed of sound. We'll go from 200 ft up to about 15,000 ft.. that transition takes just a matter of seconds and the whole time I'll be holding up to 9 G's or 9 times my normal weight in the seat. I get a pretty good work out and I think It's a fun show to watch," Dover said.

The F-16s will fly in two shows this weekend.. At Cedar Creek Lake and here in Tyler.

Organizers have made special arrangements for the crowd, which they said could be about 20,000 people.

Parking will be available at the old Tyler Pounds Terminal where the show will take place. However, that's not going to be enough for everyone.

Organizers said overflow parking will be available at the Greater Tyler Auto Auction, the Wal-Mart on 64W and Loop 323 and Harvey Hall Convention Center.

Randa Conner, one of the Wings Over Tyler Air Show organizers, said there will be shuttles running about every 15 minutes.

"They'll go from site to site and when they get a full load, they'll come to the airport and then turn around and go back," Conner said.

Admission is $25 per carload if you park on airport grounds or $5 per person if you take the shuttle. But, don't forget to bring cash.

"We will have tickets available to purchase for your food items. Everything is cash only to purchase your tickets for vendor items," Conner said.

And organizers said it's probably going to be very hot so they're asking people to plan accordingly.

"Bring lots of sunscreen and bring law chairs. We will have some tents up that they can get under and I keep praying for a small cold front, but I don't think that's going to happen," Conner said.

Items not allowed into the air show include: ice chests, alcoholic beverages, pets and firearms.

On Sunday the gates will open at 9 a.m. and the show starts at noon. But, organizers said if you want to take photos of the planes you should probably arrive early because some of the aircrafts will be taking off immediately after the show.

Saturday night you can meet the pilots at the Meet the Pilots Gala. Find more information at their web site HERE.

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