Roaring Skies

Riverside City College’s air show raises levels of excitement

Written by Tyler Reese

From a low humming tone to a deafening roar, various planes in formation made many runs in the skies over Riverside City College’s Wheelock Stadium.

“I thought it was wonderful the way we worked with Riverside and the people that do this sort of show, that we had the chance to see what happened in the past and we’re celebrating our hundred years so it’s right in line with that,” said Doug Graham, ASRCC adviser.

To kick off the show, 11 skydivers jumped out over the stadium and proceeded to rocket down toward the earth below them, each had a different array of smoke trails and pattern of aerial maneuvers for the crowd below to enjoy. After deploying their parachutes the sky divers deployed their own streamers and banners that glided effortlessly behind them.

“Fun! Oh my gosh, it was so great just watching them, one of them had like the longest tails and luckily one carried one of our banners, so that was nice,” said Graham. “It’s something I would never want to do but it’s so interesting.”

Soon after the sky divers landed on the field, the aircraft were called in and flew over the stadium with a thunderous rumble. Many planes were seen such as a C-53 Skytrain, L-4 Grasshopper, a P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang.

“Awesome, I overuse the word but the facilities are looking in great shape and the football field was great for the paratroopers to land and we had no trouble getting the planes over the targeted area,” said Air Boss Col. Pete Downes, Jr.

The aircraft’s made several runs over the stadium ensuring the crowd below got several views of the various planes in the show. For the last run of the air show a squad of four T-6 Texans flew in a missing man formation which is where one of the four planes turn away from the other three and let the three man formation take the lead.

“I think it met my expectations and I don’t think it could’ve been too much better, maybe the timing of the aircraft but sometimes that’s the way it happens in air shows,”  Downes said.