• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers: Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA - Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
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

  • Lifestyle

    Chugiak first responder thankful for community support after snowboarding accident

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 27, 7:30

    A Chugiak first responder who’s used to rescuing other people found himself on the other side of an accident last week. Peter Casey works as a flight paramedic for LifeMed Alaska and helps out with Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue. In his free time, the lifelong Alaskan enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family. But […]

  • Poll: US teens disillusioned, divided by politics

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 6:17

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A survey of children ages 13 to 17 finds that America’s teens are almost as politically disillusioned and pessimistic about the nation’s divisions as their parents. But they aren’t quite as quick to write off the future as adults. The poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds […]

  • News

    Hostetler Park renovation project includes new plan for Alaska Victims Memorial

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 26, 18:45

    A small park in the northwest corner of downtown Anchorage will soon have a new look. Hostetler Park is located where Third Avenue becomes L Street. Since 1994, the eastern portion of the park has been occupied by the Alaska Victims Memorial. It includes the names of more than 350 Alaskans who died because of […]

  • Weather

    Alaska Weather Forecast – Feb. 26, 2017

    by KTVA Weather on Feb 26, 18:38

    Meteorologist Melissa Frey says most of the state will see some amount of snow, but Southeast will stay dry through Monday. Follow KTVA 11’s Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Got a weather-related photo or story idea? Email the team at weather@ktva.com.

  • News

    Officials readying for Eielson F-35s to spur housing crunch

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:18

    Officials are preparing for a possible housing crunch in 2020 that is expected to coincide with an influx of servicemen tied to the two new F-35 squadrons coming to Eielson Air Force Base. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports one part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough is estimated to need 800 units of housing by […]

  • Politics

    White House to propose slashing agency budgets

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:07

    The White House is moving to propose slashing cuts to longtime Republican targets like the Environmental Protection Agency in a set of marching orders to agencies as it prepares its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Capitol Hill aides say the White House budget office on Monday will send agencies proposed levels for the 2018 […]

  • Politics

    Agency publishes timetable for Mexico border wall

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 18:04

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The agency said Friday on a website for federal contactors that a request for bids would be published on or around March 6. Companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build […]

  • Lifestyle

    2017 Fur Rondy snow sculpture winners announced

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 26, 17:49

    One of the most popular events at Fur Rendezvous is the snow sculpture competition. On Sunday, Fur Rondy officials announced the winners of this year’s event. While the competition is over, the public will be able to see each of the snow sculptures through the end of Fur Rondy on March 5, weather permitting. They are […]