Promoting Alaskan Air Power!

Arctic Thunder 2010 Announced!

1. To enhance community relations by thanking the community for their support of the Air Force in Alaska by offering a free world-class air show, as well as the opportunity for community team-building through direct involvement in the Air Show.2. To educate the Alaska about military and civilian aviation as well as the mission of The US Air Force Alaska while promoting a positive image of both to the public, community leaders and decision makers.

3. To support military recruiting efforts.

Energize patriotism in Alaska and spark the fiery passion of flight in tomorrow

Gary Ward 2010

Gary began his airshow career in 1998 in a Pitts S2-B. In 1999, he moved to the Giles 202 and in 2006, he became the first pilot to begin flying airshows in the awesome new MX2! The MX2 is the absolute latest in unlimited aerobatic aircraft. It is strong, fast, and very agile! The entire airframe is constructed of aerospace quality carbon fiber to provide maximum strength and stiffness with minimum weight. The MX2 is powered by a Lycoming engine modified by LYCON to produce more than 350 HP! Please check out our website for more information about one of the most exciting and entertaining performances you will ever see in any aircraft.

Gary developed an interest in airplanes as an early teenager, soloed at age 16 in a Piper J-3 Cub and has been passionate about aviation ever since. After high school and a tour with the USAF as a jet engine mechanic, Gary graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He worked as a design engineer on the Cessna Citation for Cessna for about a year before “switching hats” to work in a family operated lumber manufacturing business.

Gary started flying airshows in 1998 in a Pitts S2-B and then flew airshows in the Giles 202 from 1999 through 2005. In 2006 he became the first pilot to fly airshows in the awesome and exciting new MX2! The MX2 is an all carbon fiber monoplane powered by a 6 cylinder Lycoming engine “pumped up” by Lycon and is truly “state of the art” in all out aerobatic aircraft.

You can visit his website:


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Thanks From Jon Melby

Jon MelbyPerforming at the Arctic Thunder 2010 airshow was the hi-light of my airshow season. The adventure of flying my plane to Alaska was a portion of the fun, but the airshow itself was spectacular! Since I am an Air Force veteran, I take special pride at performing at Elmendorf AFB. During my military career, I had the opportunity to fly into Elmendorf several times. So for me, it was like going home.

I want to particularly thank you, the Alaska Air Show Association, the Air Force, and all of the sponsors. Without the close working relationship between all involved, Arctic Thunder would not be nearly the success that it is. I also want to mention that one of my roles as an Airshow pilot is to be an ambassador for aviation. My performance in the air is just a portion of my job, the rest I do while on the ground. As I visit the VIP area and the crowd, I enjoy the opportunity to share with them that they too can pursue their dreams, just like I have. I have many instances where I receive e-mails or regular mail from children who have chosen to pursue their dream (no matter what that is) because I provided encouragement. So the airshow is not just a community festival event, it is a platform for so much more.

Again, thank you for your invitation to have me fly for you. I hope that you will consider me as one of your performers in the future.

Best regards,

Jon Melby
Jon Melby Airshows

Thanks From Gary Ward

Gary WardIt was a great pleasure to be a performer in Arctic Thunder 2010. I had really been looking forward to this event and the air show as well as my 9 additional days in Alaska exceeded my expectations!

I want to say a special thanks to the Alaska Air Show Association and your sponsors for the outstanding job you are doing in promoting aviation in Alaska. While I am sure the organization is involved in many events in Alaska, my first hand experience is with your involvement in bringing civilian performers to the air show and providing the VIP facilities during the show. I can

Third Strike Wingwalking

Carol Pilon is the owner, operator and primary wing-walker of Third Strike Wingwalking. This aerial adventure at the Battle of Britain Air Show will be incredible.

This is one of the most challenging and entertaining acts, and certainly a highly anticipated highlight of the Air Show. This 15 minute aerial act includes precision flying and death defying wing walking before your eyes.

You can visit her website:

Dan Buchanan

Dan was a New England home builder and flat-track motorcycle racer, and enjoyed the thrill of flying off mountain tops, when in 1981, he paralyzed his legs trying to land in stormy weather. Losing his ability to walk, he returned to college to pursue a career in mechanical engineering and worked in Silicon Valley, CA.

Despite his handicap, Dan returned to flying within six months, and since then his tenacity and adventurous spirit has allowed him to accrue more than 2,800 hours of flight time in hang gliders and sailplanes. His recreational flights are typically 3-6 hours long thermal soaring as high as 18,000 feet over the western mountains.

After his first air show performance at Medford, OR in 1989, his appearances increased each year, and now he shares his thrill of flight with millions of people around the world during his annual 25+ city Airshow tour.
Performing principally across North America, his international venues have included Australia (8 times), Japan, Thailand, El Salvador, The United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Mexico.

Dan is also a Federally and State licensed pyrotechnician trained by Hollywood experts. He installs, wires and sequences all of the special effects on the fabric wing himself. Can you blame him?

He is also a FAA Commercial Glider pilot, enjoying sailplane aerobatics and giving glider rides to friends at Minden, Nevada when not on the Airshow tour. Dan took instruction from Sky Sailing near San Diego, CA from airshow performer Brett Willat, whose school has one of the few “rudder hand control” equipped sailplanes in the US.

Some of his other adventurous pursuits still include flat-water kayaking, SCUBA diving on wrecks and caves, and long distance ATV cross-desert riding and racing.

When asked why he flies, Dan’s usual smiling response is,
“I have to fly… I can’t walk!”

You can visit his website:

Team Rocket

A two ship combination with Eric Hansen in the F1 Rocket, and Ken Fowler in the Harmon Rocket II. Precision, speed, and high performance aerobatics at it’s best….a spectacular show that will bring the crowd to their feet.

Ken and Eric have been performing together in formation for 5 years. As a team they are dynamic and fast. They are the only team of this aircraft type, in the Air Show industry.

Team Rocket has also performed combined routines with Jerzy Strzyz, and Dan Buchanan. If you are planning on booking Team Rocket for your show, don’t forget to ask about combination acts. It is a great way to integrate performances, and provide tons of excitement for your patrons. We’ve been told you can feel the crowd surge.

Ken Fowler
Ken grew up in British Columbia and started his aviation career by first earning his glider license in 1977. In 1978 he joined the Canadian Military as an airframe technician and worked on T-33’s, CF-101 Voodoos, and CF-18’s before becoming a flight engineer in 1988.

Ken has built 5(five) of his own aircraft, and is now building one of his own designs. To date he has over 5000 hours of flying experience as a commercial pilot and flight engineer. Ken retired from the military on May 15/98 with 20 years of service, and is now the Airport Manager at Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. During his last five years with the military he toured the air show circuit with the Skyhawk Parachute Team as one of the crew members of the Buffalo aircraft. Ken has flown air shows from coast to coast, and can be seen throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Eric Hansen
Rumor has it..Ken has a partner. Many claim to have see him perform with Ken from time to time. However we have not been able to confirm any information on him, and even pictures remain elusive. There is talk of him losing his soul to a photo op, so it is understandable he would be a little gun shy.

As far as we know there is a small bio on him. We will try to fill in the gaps where necessary. If you or anyone you know can help us in providing detailed or current information on Eric’s wherabouts, life, occupation, or existence please don’t hesitate to contact our web designer. This is what we know so far…..He’s a Dentist!

Harmon Rocket II
Ken flys a Harmon Rocket II, which he built and maintains. This aircraft is a highly modified RV-4. Power is from a Lycoming IO-540, custom built by Progressive Air of Kamloops, British Columbia and produces 300 H.P. at 2800 RPM. The aircraft’s empty weight is only 1146 lbs, which gives it excellent high-speed aerobatic performance and awesome vertical performance. Although not an unlimited aerobatic aircraft such as the Extra 300 or Pitts, this Harmon Rocket will outperform all such aircraft going vertical.

F1 Rocket
Eric flys the F1 Rocket which is a sleeker, modified version of the Harmon Rocket II

You can visit their website: