"Airpower over Altus Airshow” set for September 9 - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

"Airpower over Altus Airshow” set for September 9

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO)- The "Airpower over Altus Airshow” is just one week away. It's free and features nearly 50 aircraft shows and demonstrations. 7NEWS spent the day with pilots and crew members.

Staff Sergeant Anthonie Owens is the boom operator for the KC-135 at the Altus Air Force Base. Since 2010 Owens has trained to connect a refueling mission between the KC-135 and the C-17 Globmeaster III.

"Coming through Altus they do an excellent job training you making sure you don't hit outside the receptacle. When it comes to day to day basis it’s like anything else. Practice makes perfect,” said Owens.

During the mission pilots flew to Texas and Mexico, before turning around at the border. Owens says connecting the KC-135 to the C-17 can be tricky. Communication plays a key role in how the refueling mission works.

"Especially grabbing controls of the boom...the communication key is the biggest part in my opinion. Talking to the aircraft behind you, the pilot up front and making sure everything is good to go,” said Owens.

"Well just about any communication between two air crews needs to be a top priority. Between the boom operator and the pilot its really needs to be there because we don't really know what’s going on in the back. the boom, operator can see everything so if the receiver is coming in too fast or not coming in at all we have to figure out what’s going on that way we can adjust ourselves,” said Lunger.

Air Force Pilot Jason Lunger has flown several aircrafts in his 6 years of experience. Lunger said he's proud to serve at the Altus Air Force Base.

"I love the Air Force I love the community, the culture, and the job that I do. It’s given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to do,” said Lunger.

Following the re-fueling mission, Deputy Director of the Altus 2017 Airshow Captain Pete Robinson talked about the different opportunities the show will offer the public.

"Our goal is to have as many aircraft open with pilots or aircrew available to go through the airplane and take a look, ask questions,” said Robinson.

Robinson said its takes a lot of preparation to host the show.

"I've been involved with the show since September of last year and there were predecessors to me that have been involved since early 2016 getting everything lined up,” said Robinson.

Robinson said he looks forward to many shows including the Tora, Tora, Tora, Thunderbirds, and The Wings of Blue. Their goal is to have about 25-thousand people attend.

The air show kicks off Saturday, September 9, and its free. This year the headliner is the Thunderbirds.
More information about the Altus Air Force Show can be found on the Altus AFB Airshow 2017 website.

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