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F-16s to carry out daring maneuvers during weekend air show

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Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-27 00:12:34-04

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Air Force Thunderbirds will return to Utah skies this weekend for the first time in two years.

It’s an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the fastest jets in the military.

It’s called the Warriors over the Wasatch open house and air show, and it's a chance to see F-16s reach unthinkable speeds while doing what appear to be some pretty dangerous tricks.

“You’re going to be able to see what your airmen and women do on a day to day basis," Maj. Joshua Boudreaux said.

Boudreaux flies the left wing for the traveling team. The group of F-16 pilots performs daring tricks at unthinkable speeds, but Boudreaux swears it’s safe.

“I assure my mom every weekend it’s an optical illusion, it’s very safe, we cross about 50 feet from one another,” he said. “We use line of sight, altitude to ensure we’re not anywhere close to coming in close proximity from one another.”

Come Saturday and Sunday, these F-16s will put on a show for an estimated 400,000 Utah spectators. The impressive aircraft are just as loud as they are fast.

“We’re flying anywhere from about 120 miles per hour, we show low-speed handling characteristics, to as fast as about 700 miles per hour," Bourdreaux said. "The average speed you’ll see this weekend is between 350 and 450.”

The air show coordinator at Hill Air Force Base, Commander Kristopher Long, said the show is a great opportunity for the community to get out of the house, have a good time, and learn something in the process.

“For the community in general also it’s a great way for science education, technology and mathematics,” Long said. “It inspires people to learn more about sciences and math.”

The event is June 28 and 29. Gates open at 8 a.m., and the free show starts at 10 a.m. Click here for more details.