Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Best Fighter Pilots in the World to Converge on Salina

Public can get tickets to get up-close view


Thu 03:35 PM 10/02/2008

Todd Pittenger

The Salina area will have a chance to see some of the best fighter pilots in the world up close and personal in a couple of weeks. Hawgsmoke 2008, a "Top Gun" type of combat air competition, will be based out of the Salina Municipal Airport October 14th through October 17th.

Hawgsmoke is a biennial bombing and tactical gunnery competition, and reunion of the A-10 Thunderbolt II community. Active duty, guard, and reserve squadrons from around the country, and the world, will compete.

The public is welcome to view the apron activity of Hawgsmoke 2008 during set viewing times and dates. Members of the public that would like to be admitted into the viewing area will need to pick up a pass at the M.J. Kennedy Air Terminal prior to Hawgsmoke. Passes are free and can be picked up in the main lobby of the Terminal building Monday, Oct. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ; Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ; Thursday, Oct. 9 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ; and Friday, Oct. 10 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The times that members of the public can view Hawgsmoke apron activity are Thursday, Oct. 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ; Friday, Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ; Saturday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The gate to the public viewing area will be located just west of Arnold Court at 2734 Arnold Court.

The defending champions, who will be the hosts of the event in Salina, are the 442 Fighter Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Literally hundreds of people, including pilots, crew, and spectators will converge on Salina. They will stay both at the barracks at the airport industrial area, and at Salina motels.


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