One of the highlights of Ocean City’s fall “second season” happens this weekend with the return of the annual Air Festival on Saturday and the Aerobatic Air Show on Sunday.
Both events are free to the public.
The Aerobatic Air Show on Sunday (Sept. 14) is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. with planes performing stunts over the beach and boardwalk between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Much of the action centers around 11th Street, where an announcer broadcasts show highlights over the boardwalk speaker system.
Some of the highlights of the show include:
- Team AeroDynamix: Billed as “the world’s largest air show team,” up to 10 planes put on a display of precision formation aerobatics flying as little as three feet apart.
- Bill Gordon Flying His Stearman: Bill Gordon performs a dazzling routine in a 1930s/1940s-era biplane.
- Kevin Russo SNJ-6: A pilot since he was 15, Russo is a U.S. Air Force combat veteran with more than 100 missions in several different campaigns. Russo performs aerobatics in a restored SNJ-6 that was built in 1944 and delivered to Pensacola Naval Air Station in August 1945.
- Raiders Flight Demonstration Team: The team provides a unique and exciting three-aircraft formation aerobatic demonstration.
- Andrew McKenna P-51D Mustang: McKenna performs in the single-seat fighter plane made famous in World War II and the Korean War.
- Scott Francis MXS: There are only 12 MXS stunt planes in the world today, and Francis displays the craft’s versatility.
- Jason Flood: Flood survived a banner plane crash several years ago and puts on an aerobatic performance in a Pitts S1-T plane.
The free show lets visitors enjoy spectacular stunts while taking advantage of what is typically good beach and boardwalk weather. It usually lasts about two hours.
The Air Show on Sunday is preceded by the city’s annual Air Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 13) at the Ocean City Municipal Airport (Bay Avenue at 26th Street).
The free show will feature a ground display of a B25J Mitchell World War II bomber and a World War II Grumman TBM Avenger.
The airport runway will be covered with interesting aircraft including classics, antiques, ultralights, warbirds and homebuilts. There will be military vehicles and antique cars on display. Also scheduled are air demonstrations, a paper airplane contest for children, face-painting, music and refreshments for sale. Helicopter and airplane rides will be available for purchase.
An exciting feature of the festival is the Model Airplane Demonstration by the New Jersey Pine Barons RC Club of Mt. Laurel. Miniature Jets will zoom at 100 miles per hour and model planes will ascend and plunge over the runway.
A Bubble Mania event will be held by the Ocean City Board of Realtors featuring bubble-blowing activities for children of all ages. The event raises funds for Pediatric Care at Shore Medical Center.
There will be free parking and shuttle service to the festival from the Shelter Road lot off Bay and Tennessee avenues.