Airshow stars clear for takeoff

VIENNA – The 2014 air show featuring the Thunderbirds at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station has been given the green light by higher authorities.

On May 17 and 18, the 910th Airlift Wing will host an air show and open house, “Thunder Over the Valley 2014,” presented by the Youngstown Air Reserve Station Community Council. In addition to aerial demonstrations by the Thunderbirds, the event will include other flying acts and ground displays.

“We are proud to open our gates to the public and highlight our world-class personnel and facilities,” said U.S. Air Force Reserve Col. James D. Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander.

“It is more important now than ever to invite the residents of the Mahoning Valley and beyond to YARS and let them see not only what we bring to the national defense but to the local community as well,” Dignan said.

The Thunderbirds released their 2014 itinerary with the Vienna location on the list in early December, though final approval to host the show had not yet been confirmed.

It has been five years since the airlift hosted an air show; attempts to have one in 2013 were squelched by sequestration cuts.

During the most recent 2009 show, about 70,000 people were in attendance. This year’s show is expected to bring out a similar-sized crowd.

The May show will be free and require no tickets. A public air show website will also be launched in the near future and information on the show will be kept up to date on the 910th website,, and on their Facebook page,