News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Thrills and nostalgia hallmarks of air show

If you’ve never been to an air show, you might reconsider. The perception held by many is that they are only for aeronautic buffs and pilots, or that they feature only airplanes. That is not the case with Airshow of the Cascades scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 26-27 at the Madras airport.

“What folks need to think of is not a textbook air show but a festival,” said Joe Krenowicz, who heads the Madras Chamber of Commerce. “If planes don’t interest you, then bring the family for the fireworks, live music, a sunrise breakfast, a fish ’n chips dinner, or car show,” he beckons.

Naturally, aircraft are the centerpiece of the two-day affair. A large cadre of airplanes will be on the ground and in the air. Pilots from several nearby states will fly in to kick things off. Their planes will be a mixture of vintage models, the kinds made famous in movies like” “Out of Africa” with open-air cockpits, to high-performance stunt planes.

Add in war planes, including the Mustang P-51, and Sentimental Journey, originally manufactured and delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces for war service in 1944, where she flew missions in the Pacific Theater. After the war she flew for training, testing, and at-sea rescue missions and was eventually sold for surplus and used as a fire bomber. In 1978, the aircraft was purchased by a Commemorative Air Force (CAF) member and donated to the newly formed Arizona unit of the world-famous CAF.

Not everyone can visit the Airbase Arizona Museum for an up-close and personal inspection of the B-17. So, the Commemorative Air Force will be bringing her to the Airshow of the Cascades. They are offering rides and tours, but be sure to book your seat in advance because they’re sure to sell out fast.

If B-17 rides sell out, don’t fret. Ever wanted to soar across the beautiful blue skies of Central Oregon in a glider? Come to the Airshow of the Cascades and make it a part of your experience.

The High Desert Soaring Club will be offering glider rides during the airshow. They will release from approximately 2,500 feet in altitude resulting in about a 25-minute flight if there’s no lift; longer if there are thermals.

And if you don’t catch a ride in a glider, well, there are helicopter rides by Leading Edge Aviation.

Returning for 2022 are crowd favorites The Golden Knights, one of only three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams, along with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The team is composed of approximately 95 men and women, including four parachute units, an aviation unit, and a headquarters.

The Airshow of the Cascades will showcase an elite demonstration team of 16 soldiers at the 20th Anniversary event. They will be jumping both night and day Friday and Saturday and will be mingling with the crowd from their onsite booth.

For adrenaline buffs, the Airshow has you covered. But you may need to cover your ears. The new Navy aircraft, the F-18 Growler, is a prominent aircraft in the recently released “Top Gun-Maverick” movie and will be in this year’s lineup both days. The Growler will be performing at speeds short of exceeding the sound barrier.

Army Golden Knights, Navy F-18. What about the Air Force? An A-10 Air Force demonstration team is bound to leave spectators dazzled. The Airshow of the Cascades will be one of only 20 shows in which this team will be performing in the United States and Canada in 2022. The two A-10 aircraft will be performing and on static display throughout the Airshow.

A car show has been affiliated with this airshow since the 1970s, when friends and family members began flying and driving to the Ochs family farm. Entries have been returning for years, in addition to newcomers who are registering for the first time. The Car Show is an exciting and free activity for attendees to enjoy as part of their airshow experience.

Kids will not be left out of the fun, Krenowicz promises. “We’ll have a bouncy castle and a video arcade and kid-friendly food,” he announced.

There’s onsite RV and tent camping space as well. The promoters have covered most all the bases it seems, for an up-close, in some cases hands-on, fun family experience.

It’s hard to beat the setting – outdoors with the Cascade mountains as a backdrop, making the airborne performances all the more striking. Be sure and bring your camera, binoculars, and sunscreen.

More information and tickets are available at


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