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‘We really improved:’ Air Show Atlantic showcases newest aviation performances

They call themselves the largest homeless air show. But no matter where in the Maritimes they set up, people come out in droves to the Air Show Atlantic.

Air Show Atlantic once again landed at CFB Greenwood on Saturday and gave aviation enthusiasts two full days of excitement.

The organizing committee behind the event often jokingly call themselves a ‘homeless air show’, travelling to locations such as Miramichi, Moncton-Dieppe and Summerside in recent years.

Their previous show took place at the Annapolis Valley area base in 2017, and while they called it a success they say this time around they have brought an even better event.

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“We really improved on it this time around,” said Colin Stephenson, executive director of Air Show Atlantic. “The parking and traffic has been improved so it really proves the concept of coming to a show a second time.”

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Returning to location certainly comes with such benefits, but Stephenson indicated that wherever they go the support is overwhelming and helps make their shows the best they can be.

“We’re really privileged to have so many places wanting to host us,” he said. “What it takes is a team that is willing to move around with that show and really create a new volunteer group in each town, new local sponsors in each town.”

READ MORE: Atlantic Canada Air Show returns to Miramichi

Groups who volunteer to assist in the various roles required to make the show happen are also given a financial boost, making Air Show Atlantic a bit of a win-win.

“You get a high school group raising money for their graduation, we’ve got a group from a church that’s raising money to build a house in the Dominican Republic, we’ve got the Lions Club driving cars for us to continue their good work in the community,” Stephenson explained. “And we’ll be leaving $15,000 with these groups.”

This year’s event showcased the most impressive parts of the Canadian forces from the Skyhawks descending back to Earth in formation, to Griffon helicopter demonstrations, to a CF 18 Hornet fighter jet breaking the sound barrier at speeds of 2,400 km per hour.

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But the main event of the weekend was a performance by the U.S Navy Blue Angels, a fighter jet demonstration team who hadn’t appeared in Nova Scotia since 2004.

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It also marked their only Canadian date in 2019, making it all the more special.

But Stephenson is quick to point out that not only do the crowds get to watch the nerves-of-steel pilots do tricks, defy gravity and fly at incredible speeds, it’s also an opportunity for fans to learn more about what our brave men and women do.

“This show is about showing off the Canadian Forces,” he explained. “But also educating people about what our Canadian forces do every working day.”

Follow @Jeremy_Keefe

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