Saturday showers temporarily halt HAFB air show; Gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday for open house and air show

Published: Saturday, May 26 2012 4:40 p.m. MDT

A P-51 flies as Hill Air Force Base hosts an open house and air show Saturday, May 26, 2012. The two-day event is free and open to the public.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Some 85,000 people braved rain, wind and cold to attend the Warriors Over The Wasatch air show Saturday, which was temporarily suspended due to inclement weather.

The show resumed late Saturday afternoon, however, for a demonstration of the United States Air Force's precision flight team The Thunderbirds.

Officials suspended the show for nearly two hours shortly after noon. However, show officials opened two hangars to allow people to duck out of the pouring rain and encouraged them to enjoy static displays which included military aircraft and informational booths. Members of The Thunderbirds team conducted a lengthy autograph session for people who waited out the storm.

Earlier Saturday, the Hardman family of South Ogden braved cool temperatures and threatening skies to attend the air show and base open house.

Karissa Hardman demonstrated her mettle as mom, given she is due to deliver her third child any day. Still, she said she felt it was important to tag along with her husband, Dave, and two young sons.

"You come here for them, that's why," Karissa Hardman said, pointing to her young sons Carter and Trevor.

"I want them to have that feeling in their hearts what it means to be an American."

Carter, 5, said he enjoyed watching a member of U.S. Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue jump team land on the tarmac carrying the American flag. As the national anthem played, Carter recited the Pledge of Allegiance, which he learned accompanying his father to Boy Scout activities.

He paid special attention to members of the Wings of Blue ground crew as they carefully collected the flag once the cadet landed. The flag should not touch the ground, the boy said, "because it is so special."

Saturday's opening ceremonies included a tribute to Ogden police officer Jared Francom who was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 4 while serving a drug-related search warrant.

Five other officers, all part of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, were shot and wounded in the exchange of gunfire with the home's occupant. They, too, were honored Saturday.

Another air show attendee, Dixie Brenchley of North Ogden, snuggled under a blanket and pitched a bright pink butterfly umbrella over her head to cope with the weather. "You got to be prepared, right?" she said.

Brenchley said she attended the air show, in part, to thank service members for their sacrifices to keep Americans' freedoms intact. "I want them (her children) to learn about their country and to know we don't have these freedoms for free."

The airshow, which resumes today, included precision flying of a wide array of aircraft, including a MiG-17 and a P-51 Mustang, as well as a demonstration of the "Smoke-N-Thunder rocket car." The show also includes static displays of military aircraft such as a C-17, C-5 and an A-10 Thunderbolt II, a fighter aircraft.

The gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday and performances start at 10 a.m. Coolers are not permitted but there are several booths selling food and drink. There is no charge for parking or admission.

Utah Transit Authority will operate shuttles between its Clearfield station at 1250 S. State and Hill Air Force Base every 20 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Round-trip fare is $3 cash or check.

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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