All eyes will be on the sky in north Fort Worth this weekend. The annual Fort Worth Alliance Air Show starts on Saturday and performers are already showing up.
All Civilian Air Show Lands at Alliance This Weekend
Military cuts and the government shutdown mean only civilian fliers will entertain.
All eyes will be on the sky in North Fort Worth this weekend for the annual Fort Worth Alliance Air Show which starts Saturday and performers are already showing up for this year's entirely civilian air show. (Published Thursday, Oct 17, 2013)
Updated at 4:31 PM CDT on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013
But things will be a bit different for this year's show, that's because you won't see any military performers and likely no active-duty military aircraft on the tarmac.
"This is the first year we've actually had an all civilian show," said Tom Harris, president of Alliance Air Productions. "We weren't able to get any military support this year because of sequestration and because of the budget shutdown."
The Blue Angels announced they wouldn't make their scheduled stop at Alliance, and many other air shows across the country several months ago. However, the nonprofit that runs the show decided to push forward.
"We did it in a large part because, we felt, if there was ever a year to support our military it was this year," Harris said.
There will be plenty of vintage aircraft on the display.
The headlining performance group is the Black Diamond Jet Team, a group of performers flying in L-39 aircraft and one of the premier civilian performing groups.
There will also be plenty of stunt performers and extreme aerialists, some of whom are giving rides to paying patrons the next few days and will dazzle thousands this weekend.
"I consider myself kind of an artist," said aerial pilot Kirby Chambliss. "This plane is my paintbrush, the sky is the canvass, I'm trying to paint the perfect picture."
Chambliss, a native Texan, is performing at Alliance for the first time. He says it has been different this year with military not at air shows, but that the show will be just as good and fun for the family.
"There's going to be a lot of things out here to see," Chambliss said. "You know, when people leave here they're going to say 'I've never seen airplane do that before.'"
While the military won't be performing, all the proceeds will go to support them through the USO.
"With all the craziness what's gone on in our nation's capital we just felt very strongly that we wanted to support our military," Harris said.
The show has asked for some last-minute military aircraft, but they're not sure if that will happen.
The show starts on Saturday, Oct. 19. Admission is free, but parking will cost $20.