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Hamilton Air Show set to take off

Organizers say shuttle system will be much better this year

 By Mark Newman, News Staff

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CF-18 Hornet and more than 40 war birds highlight the Hamilton International Air Show on Father’s Day weekend in June.

“We’re pumped,” said Al Mickeloff, marketing director at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

The museum is hosting the event to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Last year the CWH brought the air show back to the John C. Munro-Hamilton International Airport for the first time in 10 years in preparation for this year’s celebration.

Mickeloff said a number of lessons were learned from last year’s air show, including the need to be able to move the thousands of spectators between the air show grounds and the general admission parking area at the Hamilton Sod fields down the road more efficiently.

He noted the air show has hired a parking consultant who has come up with a plan that will enable them to load and unload 20 school buses at a time as they shuttle spectators between the two locations.

In addition, Mickeloff said they have come up an electronic ticket that spectators can purchase in advance via the Internet.

“We figure 30 to 40 percent of the people will buy their ticket in advance,” said Mickeloff, who expects the advance sales should cut down on the line-ups at the gate.

“The key is still come early,” said Mickeloff, who noted the gates open at 8 a.m., with the show beginning at noon and running to about 4:30 p.m.

Unlike last year, the museum will not be open to the public during the air show.

Mickeloff said this year’s event should appeal to war bird enthusiasts and general aviation buffs alike.

Thirteen CWH aircraft will be flying in the show, including the Avro Lancaster and B-25.

Visiting aircraft include a B-29 Superfortress, B-24 Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress, Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, Canadian Sabre, T-33 Silver Star and a number of replica aircraft from the First World War.

Mickeloff said the Hamilton Air Show will give the public the very rare opportunity to see the Lancaster, B-29, B-24 and B-17 all flying together.

In addition there will be a number of demonstration and aerobatic teams including air racer Pete McLeod in his Edge 540, Matt Younkin in a Beech 18 (considered the most unusual act on the air show circuit today) and the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team.

Ground displays will include the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt, better known as the Warthog.

Mickeloff said at least 500 volunteers make the air show possible.

He noted they are still looking for volunteers and anyone interested in lending a hand, or for more information about the June 16 and 17 event, see: hamiltonairshow.com.

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