Thunder In The Valley Airshow Nelson 2014 officially kicks off Saturday at 10:45 a.m. with opening ceremonies.
But according to Airshow Nelson 2014 chair, Case Grypma, local aviation buffs should gear up for some mid-air practice runs as soon as Thursday afternoon as early arrivals prepare for Saturday’s show
“The bulk of the planes arrive Friday, but the early arrivals Thursday will be going through some practice runs in the afternoon,” Grypma said on the eve of what promises to be an amazing weekend spotlighting aviation in Nelson.
“Friday, the bulk of the planes arrive for demos in preparation for Saturday’s main show.
Grypma said everything is falling into place in regards to Thunder In The Valley Airshow Nelson 2014.
A host of volunteers have climbed aboard the show to help make the event a success with food vendors lining up awaiting the arrival of spectators to the Nelson Airport.
As for the performers, Grypma said the public is going to be impressed female pilot Anna Serbinenko, who is flying Canadian Flight Centre’s Super Decathlon — a plane built by American Champion Aircraft for the purpose of aerobatic training.
“Being a female pilot, which is not very common, Anna Serbinenko performs a show call “SkyDancer” that has been opening to rave reviews on the airshow circuit she’s performed at,” Grypma explained.
Other aircrafts Nelson Pilots Association are pleased to welcome is the North American Aviation T-28 Trojan, a piston-engine military trainer aircraft used by the U.S. Navy and Airforce beginning in the 1950s operated by Peter Herzig and the Sailplane Glider piloted by Paul Hajduk.
“Nelson is a very unique venue for an airshow. . .. There’s really not other place like it in the entire country,” Grypma said.
“(Nelson) is situated in a narrow, remote valley but luckily enough we have a lake, and that lake is mostly unoccupied so performers can do aerobatics right over top of the water.”
Grypma said the main “aerobatic box” extends from west of the (Big) Orange Bridge to about the (Kootenay Lake) Yacht Club so there really is no bad seat in the house.
“I definitely encourage people to come down to the airport because there’s a lot to see and do,” Grypma said. “This is a very grass roots, family orientated event allowing the public to get up close to the pilots and aircraft.”
The airshow culminates Saturday afternoon with the Nelson Pilots Association Heritage City Club Air Race.
The course will see five planes covering a five-lap course taking organizers from the Nelson side of Grohman Narrows to Troupe Junction.
For safety reasons, Grypma said from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Kootenay Lake west of the Big Orange Bridge to adjacent the airport, as well as the Nelson Dog Walk, will be closed to traffic.
Boaters will be able to watch near the shoreline but the middle of the lake will be off limits to all sea craft and patrolled by Beasley Water Rescue Team.
See full Thunder In The Valley Airshow Nelson 2014 schedule in PDF listed below.