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Pilots will showcase skills, incredible aircraft during show this weekend

Posted at 6:59 AM, Jun 28, 2024

OGDEN, Utah — Planes and pilots from across the country are flying into Utah this weekend to participate in a showcase as thousands of spectators watch from the ground.

WATCH: Everything you need to know about Warriors Over the Wasatch air show

Warriors over the Wasatch airshow is happening Saturday and Sunday at Hill Air Force Base. This free event will include performances from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, F-35A Demo Team, Para-Commandos and more.

One of the pilots participating in the massive showcase is Paul Strickland. He will be one of the performers in his L-39 Albatros.

"It's probably one of the most prolific civilian airplanes out there that somebody can purchase," Strickland reflected.

Strickland has been performing in air shows since the 1990s, but says it's a treat every time he hops into a plane. But the show this weekend will be extra special.

"I live in Layton which is just super fun," he said. " I had the privilege of commanding two squadrons here at Hill Air Force Base...It's unique to come home to Hill Air Force Base."

Among the expected thousands of guests watching the airshow from below will be Strickland's own family.

"We've forced them into watching grandpa come up and fly in an air show," he chuckled.

During his prolific career, Strickland said he was privileged enough to fly with the Thunderbirds, who will also be wowing crowds this weekend.

"I mean, the F-16 is an incredibly powerful aircraft," explained Maj. Tyler "Slasher" Clark, who will be operating Thunderbird three. "Let alone you put six of them together in an incredibly tight formation...So you put that kind of power on a clean aircraft in this airplane will take you to the moon and back."

The pilots of these sleek aircraft are well-trained and ready for anything.

"Each of the demonstration pilots on the team has about an average of 1500 flight hours in some form of a fighter aircraft," Clark said.

And all their training is so spectators on the ground can be transported during the show.

"What I hope the spectators get out of the show is some form of inspiration," Clark reflected.

The airshow will undoubtedly draw thousands of people to Davis County this weekend, which could make for road congestion around Hill Air Force Base. Event leaders recommended that people utilize Utah Transit Authority Frontrunner and a shuttle to travel to the event.

"It's an opportunity for the greater Salt Lake Valley public to come up...actually see what their military does. put their hands on it, enjoy it," Strickland said. "Have a great weekend out here."