Airshow of Cascades 15th annual event takes off Friday


Aerial performances, car show, entertainment

Photo Credit: SUSAN MATHENY - The new nose art for the Erickson Aircraft Collection's B-17 will be on display during the Airshow of the Cascades.Every year, more and more people are discovering the state's second largest air show — the Airshow of the Cascades, set for Friday and Saturday at the Madras Municipal Airport.

With the opening of the Erickson Aircraft Collection Facility, this year's event promises to be the biggest and best show in the 15-year history of the event.

"People are really excited about the World War II theme," said Mack Gardner, chairman of the show. "There's a lot of interest. Some people are coming in to see the Erickson Aircraft Collection."

The Madras air show is "up close and personal," Gardner said. "That's a fact; I think people who come to the air show like that."

Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, with the fish and chips dinner at 5:30 p.m. and 1940s music by the Betty Berger Big Band in the north hangar until 7:30 p.m., when the airfield closes for the air show.

The north hangar will also feature two World War II fighters: a P-38 Lightning and a P-39 Cobra, as well as displays.

Tickets are $10 per day, or $15 for a two-day pass, but veterans and children 12 and under get in free.

This year's aerobatic performers include both new and returning acts, inlcuding Super Dave Matheison in his MX2; Jacquie Warda in her Extra 300; Stefan Trischuk in his Pitts S2C; Jon Melby in his Pitts S-1-11B muscle biplane; Homeland Fireworks, with their 500-foot Wall of Fire; Central Oregon Skysports; Erickson warbirds, such as the F-4U Corsair, flown by Brent Conner, and the FM-2 Wildcat, flown by Mike Oliver; and a battle between Warda and drag racer Tom Stockero, in his 1967 Chevy Nova.

"We're anticipating a larger fly-in," said Gardner, noting that the Puget Sound Antique Airplane Club will fly in for the first time, with 15 aircraft.

New this year will be a group of World War II aviation re-enactors, who will set up tents for re-enactments.

"We really think these things we're trying to pull together are going to be exciting for the crowd," said Gardner.

In conjunction with the air show, the Car Show of the Cascades will attract at least 100 classic cars and hot rods, according to Tom Hansen, organizer.

Last year's event had 135 cars, said Hansen, adding, "We're hoping for more."

Judy Solso, who arranges for the vendors and booths, expects about 35 this year, compared to about 20 last year.

On Saturday, the gates open at 8 a.m., and the Elks Aviator Breakfast runs from 8-10 a.m. in the north hangar.

At 10 a.m., the Veterans War Memorial Plaza, adjacent to the General Aviation Building on Cherry Lane, will be unveiled and dedicated.

The airfield closes at 1:30 p.m., for the opening of the air show, which lasts until 5 p.m.

"There will be a particularly spectacular finish on Saturday," advised Gardner. "It has never been seen before."

Throughout the weekend, helicopter, airplane and glider rides will be available.

For more information, call the airport at 541-475-6947. (See the schedule for the air show on page 14.)