Saturday, April 05, 2014

RIVERSIDE: Air show ‘an adrenaline rush’

The aerial acrobatics left Angel Garcia with his mouth open and his heart racing.

“This is crazy,” said the Riverside resident, shaking his head as two planes nearly collided in mid-air. “You can’t pay me enough to even think about trying anything like that, not even a video game.”

The 23-year-old was among the estimated 88,000 spectators who enjoyed the 22nd Annual Riverside Air Show Saturday, April 5, at Riverside Municipal Airport.

“It’s an adrenaline rush and I’m not even flying,” added Allison Taylor, Garcia’s 19-year-old girlfriend. “It makes me want to get in the plane. I’ll be a passenger.”

Crowds packed the blacktop next to the runaway to watch stunts and nifty maneuvers in the sky and on the ground.

“I never knew an airplane could go up and free fall,” Garcia said. “It’s wicked. I’ve only been here 20 minutes. I can only imagine what the rest of the day has in store.”

The air show was started in 1992 to generate good will between the airport and the community, said Tom Miller, air show coordinator.

“The great thing about the air show is the community gets to be up close and personal with its airport,” Miller said.

Besides skydivers and aerobatic demonstrations, the free event featured a classic car show, rare military aircraft displays, a kids’ carnival, climbing walls, food stands and aviation vendors.

“It’s a wonderful day for Riverside,” Miller said.

Will and Yvonne Palencia, of Riverside, pointed to the sky as they held their two grandkids during one of the acts.

“Look how close,” Yvonne said to 5-year-old Tiffany. “It’s doing a loop. Isn’t that cool?”

Yvonne said her grandkids told her they were excited about going to the show.

“It’s awesome family fun,” Yvonne said. “Maybe one day they could become pilots themselves.”

A few feet away, Sonnie Anderson, 7, was enthralled with the roar of the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, which produced 20-foot flames, billowing smoke and mini sonic booms.

“That’s making the ground move,” the Riverside resident said as he watched a race between the jet car and a plane. “That car’s mean.”

Charlise Anderson, his 10-year-old sister, said she loved watching a plane known as a Taylorcraft perform loops and rolls with its engine off.

“It’s nice to see the different planes and different aerobatics they can do in planes that you don’t see normally,” said Vinnie Anderson, 36, their father.

Ken Hollenbeck, of Riverside, was captivated by the maneuvers of a high-performance aerobatic airplane called an Extra 300 with his daughter and niece.

“Watch, it’s going to fall backwards,” said Hollenbeck, 43. “It’s amazing what they can do with airplanes. Amazing.”

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