Folks all over the Council Bluffs/Omaha area will be hearing the swoosh of high-performance jet engines this weekend. The Defenders of Freedom Air Show is at Offutt Air Force Base along the Missouri River in Bellevue, Nebraska. One highlight of the show will be a demonstration by the U.S. Air Force F-16 Team.
Major Jason "Buzzer" Koltes will pilot one of the Falcons, a very versatile aircraft. Koltes says: "One day we can be going out doing air-to-air. The next day we can be going out doing air-to-ground. The array of weapons this aircraft carries is something that keeps us pilots busy." Koltes says even with the cloudy and rainy weather, they are prepared for a great two-day show.
Koltes says, "Of course they are going to get into some high G-turns up to 9 G’s. We’re going to get some high speed passes. We’ll still have plenty of room to dazzle the crowd." The air show is free to the public and runs today and Sunday. Koltes says it’s always a thrill — for the audience and for the pilots.
He says: "We’re going to be putting on a tactful demonstration. That means we are going to take the aircraft and show the crowd what it can do." Dozens of performers are scheduled including the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and the Golden Knights parachute team.
Another highlight will be a B-2 stealth bomber which is scheduled to fly over the base during the show. There will be a number of aircraft on display on the ground, including a B-52 bomber. The Blue Angels canceled this weekend’s appearance after a recent fatal crash.