• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 38s

Thunderbirds fly into Anchorage for Arctic Thunder

By Bonney Bowman 9:11 PM July 24, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

The Thunderbirds are the big attraction this weekend at Arctic Thunder 2014, but for one of the pilots, Alaska is the main event.

“You can’t find more scenic, beautiful terrain and a great place again to put on an air show,” said Thunderbird pilot Maj. Curtis Dougherty.

For two years, Dougherty has thrilled crowds as the slot pilot with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

He’s been to Alaska before, to Eielson Air Force Base for training, and says he’s happy to be back in the air over the Last Frontier.

“Down here we’re at about sea level so the performance of these F-16s will be about as good as it is anywhere,” Dougherty said.

That performance was on display Thursday as the team flew their site survey over base, getting familiar with local landmarks.

The Thunderbirds demonstrate the pride and precision of America’s Air Force, and the team will draw thousands to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson this weekend. Dougherty says he thinks the crowd’s enthusiasm starts with the jet noise.

“I think anytime we fly over places like Anchorage, Alaska, you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, you hear the songs, you hear the narrator talk about what’s about to happen and then you hear the jet noise and see the planes come by,” he said. “It makes you proud to be an American.”

The air stunts may be what entertains, but Dougherty says it’s what happens on the ground — meeting spectators — that makes his job worthwhile.

“To get to interact with those people, hear those stories and tell those stories of the airmen that I’ve had the opportunity to work with on a day-to-day basis, to me, is the coolest part of being on this team,” he said.

The Thunderbirds will take to the skies at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Richardson and Boniface gates open this weekend at 9 a.m. and the flying kicks off at 11 a.m.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Juneau whale-watchers rescue swimming deer in distress

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 13:38

    Alaska tourists on a whale-watching cruise got a close-up view of a different aquatic species – a distressed, swimming deer. Naturalist Audrey Benson of Gastineau Guiding Co. tells Juneau radio station KTOO that the company’s 18-passenger boat Wednesday was west of Shelter Island when it heard by radio that two Sitka black-tailed deer were swimming in […]

  • News

    Officials to lift flight restrictions near McHugh Fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 29, 12:28

    Last updated at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29 With the return of wind, the McHugh Fire’s “hot pockets of isolated fuels” may continue to burn and cause smoke to be visible from the Seward Highway, according to the Alaska Wildland Fire Information website. However, flight restrictions in the fire area will be lifted Friday […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: The Jephries

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 29, 11:26

    A mix of rock and roll, psychedelic and progressive rock are the sounds the best describe the all-Alaska band, The Jephries. Sidney, Jason and Logan Jephrie make up the three-piece band and are preparing to release their second album. They have toured their home state of Alaska since 2013. Over the last few years, they’ve […]

  • News

    Neighborhood Fix-It aims to improve Fish Creek Trail

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 29, 10:06

    Two parks in the Spenard and Turnagain neighborhoods are getting a makeover. Anchorage Parks and Recreation workers are constructing new “tiny houses” at the Barbara Street Park, near West 32nd Avenue and Barbara Street. Another crew is working to level the ground at the Kiwanis Fish Creek Park, on East Turnagain Boulevard, for a new […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-a-Pet for July 29, 2016

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 29, 9:00

    From Anchorage Animal Care and Control Dogs: Hunter: “What are we doing today?”  “Are you having fun? You should be having fun. Let’s have some fun.” “Are we there yet?” These are few things you’ll hear from Hunter if you make him your dog. This handsome guy is energy-filled and ready to go! He’s also […]

  • News

    Kodiak pot regulators approve residential growing

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 8:32

    A group that advises the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on marijuana regulations has decided to allow commercial pot growing in some residential areas. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the borough’s Marijuana Task Force met this week to discuss pot cultivation and approved a pathway for growers to begin operations on residential lots. Growers would be […]

  • Crime

    Man armed with baseball bat robs Wasilla gas station store

    by Associated Press on Jul 29, 8:25

    Alaska State Troopers are looking for a man suspected of robbing a Wasilla gas station convenience store early Friday morning while armed with a baseball bat. Troopers say the man forced a clerk to empty the cash register into a garbage bag. The suspect fled with just $24.59. Troopers and Wasilla police took calls on […]

  • Crime

    Update: Anchorage police release name of early morning homicide victim

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 29, 6:27

    Updated at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29 A man is dead Friday morning from apparent gunshot wounds after a shooting in Muldoon near Duben Avenue and Bolin Street. Anchorage police identified the victim as Treyveonkindell Bobby Dwayne Thompson and have deemed the shooting a homicide. Residents in the neighborhood awoke early Friday morning to the […]