This past Memorial Day weekend, record breaking crowds attended the 2016 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach.
The popular joint event sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has become one of the largest events on Long Island welcoming in upwards of 400,000 spectators each year.
This year, for the first time three jet teams performed. Show headliners, the legendary United States Navy Blue Angels, returned for its seventh performance at the Bethpage Air Show. Joining the Blue Angels were the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds performing over 50 different formations and maneuvers for fans. Rounding out the three teams slated to perform was the Breitling Jet Team, the world’s elite professional civilian jet aerobatics team.
The new United States Air Force F-35 Lightning II, the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft, also performed for the first time in its inaugural year. The F-35 Heritage Flight performance featured the F-35 flying alongside WWII, Korean and Vietnam-era aircraft.
Other star-studded performers at this year’s Bethpage Air Show included the United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team; legendary air show pilot Sean Tucker in his custom-built Oracle Challenger II biplane; aerobatic pilot Matt Chapman; the John Klatt Airshows – Jack Links’ Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco Aerobatic Team; the world famous GEICO Skytypers and their flight squadron of six vintage WWII aircraft; the American Airpower Museum Warbirds; Long Island’s own David Windmiller; the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team; local hometown, 106th Air Rescue Wing; and the SUNY Farmingdale State College Flying Rams, flying seven of their 22 college-owned aircraft in a fly-by piloted by their top academic professional pilot performers.
“Each Memorial Day Weekend, we are honored to welcome and pay tribute to the men and women who so bravely serve our country,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of corporate affairs, Bethpage FCU. “We are pleased that the United States Navy Blue Angels have committed to perform for their seventh time for our show. This year’s show was nothing short of spectacular.”
It was announced that the United States Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the 2017 show.