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The Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival had a rocky recovery from the pandemic when the 2021 show was cancelled after a tragic crash at the airport that was not related to the air show.
The air show returned in 2022 to the Truckee-Tahoe Airport (KTRK) in California, with admission and parking free courtesy of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.
This was a very pleasant airshow to attend: It wasn’t super crowded, had lots of good food and drink at reasonable prices, and was full of friendly fellow air show fans. Also, did I mention that it was free?
A number of performers were featured at the air show, including Anna Serbinenko, who is known as the Sky Dancer in her Super Decathlon.
Ukrainian-born and raised, Anna is the only female aerobatic pilot in Canada. She has dedicated her 2022 air show season to supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and her morning performance was set to the Ukrainian national anthem.
Other performers included California native Vicky Benzing, flying a 1940 Boeing Stearman and making her Truckee Tahoe Air Show debut.
Californian airshow performer Rich Perkins, a retired Air Force U-2 pilot, flew his Marchetti SF-260 Italian trainer.
Coloradan Bob Freeman rounded out the slate of performers, taking to the sky in his Extra 330SC, a converted Red Bull Racer aircraft.
A pair of P-51 Mustangs performed a tribute to World War II ace Bud Anderson with a series of fly-bys during the morning session while two black T-38 Talons took their place in the afternoon.
Anderson, who lives in nearby Auburn, was the headline speaker at the event. The last living World War II triple ace fighter pilot, he celebrated his 100th birthday this past January. A special film created to mark his milestone birthday was shown to the packed hangar audience, followed by Bud fielding questions.
Anderson flew 116 combat missions with the legendary 357th Fighter Group, all without taking any damage to his aircraft or aborting a mission. All of his combat aircraft were named “Old Crow,” in honor of the Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
Along the static display line, fans clustered around the military aircraft that flew in for the show. The U.S. Navy brought one of its San Diego-based C-2A Greyhound carrier-capable cargo aircraft.
Parked nearby on the ramp was the C-2’s eventual replacement, the CMV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor. The CMV-22B is the US Navy variant of the V-22 Osprey, with increased range, faster cargo loading and unloading, increased survivability, and enhanced communications compared to the C-2A. Transition to this new aircraft is planned to be complete in 2024.
Fast mover fans appreciated a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-122 based at NAS Lemoore.
A pair of T-45 Goshawk jet trainers also flew in for the show, rounding out the impressive US Navy contingent.
General aviation aircraft were also on display, including the latest models from Cirrus Aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12NG, a Piper Malibu Matrix, and a trio of floatplanes, including two Cubs and a one very cool Turbo Beaver.
The air show also featured a STEM Expo and a family-friendly KidZone Museum’s Family Festival. One interesting activity was the opportunity to paint on a Cessna 182. The SafeLaunch program welcomes kids to paint their Cessna 182, while educating them about making the right choices regarding alcohol or drugs.
I was surprised to find out that the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board voted 3 to 2 in favor of putting on the 2022 air show, so keep your fingers crossed that this local tradition continues.
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