Smoky Mountain Airshow returns to Knoxville

The Blue Angels performing during the 2016 Smoky Mountain Airshow. Photo from
The Blue Angels performing during the 2016 Smoky Mountain Airshow. Photo from

For the first time in 16 years, the skies over McGee Tyson Air National Guard Base were filled with fun, family-friendly performances on April 16 and 17.

Many people enjoyed the Smoky Mountain airshow during its two-day run here in East Tennessee. For months, people have been anticipating the return of aerial acrobats such as the Blue Angles and the Aeroshell Aerobatic team.

Military personnel geared up for an expected 100,000 people to be on the base to see the performances.  However, this number was exceeded. More than 120,000 people were in attendance for the airshow weekend.

This was the first airshow held in Knoxville since the September 11 attacks on the United States as military resources were needed overseas.

The Blue Angels were the most talked about performers of the weekend. They traveled here with their C-130 aircraft named Fat Albert. There were a total seven aircraft, but only planes one through six were used in the show. Number seven was just a backup in case one of the others was to face issues.

Other performances included Greg Koontz shows, Younkin shows, Jacquie B shows and Commemorative Air Force: Dixie Wing, the F-16 Viper, and the B-25.

The F-16 Viper was a crowd favorite. It was loud and fast, and that is why many people were there. While it was just a single plane, it made just as much noise as all six of the Blue Angel planes together.

Growing up at the airbase with my father, this was a very special event for me to attend. I was in attendance at the last airshow, however I was too young to remember it. I have heard about the amazing feats of the Blue Angels my whole life, but it was nice to see for myself.

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