• 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

  • Weather

    Records fall as snow accumulates across Southcentral

    by Melissa Frey on Jan 22, 13:40

    The latest round of snow across southcentral Alaska is setting new records. The snow started falling in Anchorage around 6 p.m. Friday and continued to fall through Saturday night. As of 9 p.m., 12 inches of snow had fallen at the National Weather Service office in west Anchorage, with more on the way. Most of […]

  • Politics

    Consultant raises concerns about Alaska gas project

    by Associated Press on Jan 22, 12:34

    A legislative consultant is raising red flags about Alaska taking the lead on a major proposed liquefied natural gas project, even as Gov. Bill Walker has said he’s comfortable with it. Legislators are scheduled to hear a project update Monday. In a recent report to lawmakers, consultant Nikos Tsafos outlined challenges threatening the project’s potential […]

  • Sports

    Pete Kaiser wins third consecutive Kuskokwim 300

    by Anna Rose MacArthur/Ben Matheson on Jan 22, 12:24

    Pete Kaiser made it three in a row Sunday morning, winning the 2017 Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race. Kaiser crossed the finish line in Bethel at 10:37 a.m. to loud cheers from his hometown crowd, according to a story published by KYUK Public Media. His leader, Palmer, brought home the nine-dog team. Brent Sass, who […]

  • Sports

    Soldotna hockey captain suspended for racist Twitter posts

    by KTVA Sports on Jan 22, 12:21

    Racist comments posted on Twitter recently by the captain of the Soldotna Stars hockey team created a firestorm on social media and have cost the player his spot on the team. Soldotna High School student Ethan Brown used his personal Twitter account to denigrate Alaska Natives and homosexuals while also making a racist remark about former first family, […]

  • News

    4 more survivors pulled out of Italy’s avalanche-hit hotel

    by CBS/AP on Jan 22, 11:57

    Emergency crews pulled out four more survivors from the rubble of a hotel crushed by an avalanche and were searching Saturday for more who may still be alive as family members awaited word if their relatives were among the lucky ones. The overnight operations raised to at least nine the number of people found alive […]

  • News

    Alaska National Guardsmen take part in presidential inauguration

    by Bonney Bowman on Jan 22, 11:30

    Forty-seven Alaska National Guardsmen took part in Friday’s presidential inauguration, representing our state on the national stage. Capt. Jason Walter, area security force protection officer with the 297th Regional Support Group, told KTVA it was a long day for the Guardsmen. They started at 1 a.m. and were on duty until after the parade. The […]

  • Weather

    Dangerous avalanche conditions for southern, western Kenai Mountains

    by Melissa Frey on Jan 22, 10:30

    Dangerous avalanche conditions are expected Saturday evening through Monday in the southern and western portions of the Kenai Mountains. That includes areas like Summit Lake, Carter Lake, Lost Lake Snug Harbor and Bear Creek. The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center in Girdwood says the two to five feet of snow that fell on mountain […]

  • Lifestyle

    Can breakfast help keep us thin? Nutrition science is tricky.

    by Associated Press on Jan 21, 18:45

    Cereal makers have happily encouraged the belief that eating breakfast can help keep us thin and bring other benefits, partly by paying for studies that seem to support the idea. So, does that mean breakfast is bad for you? Not that either. What it does show is how difficult it can be to sort the […]