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AASA Scholarshp WinnersThe Alaska Air Show Association supports aerospace educational activities for young people of all ages, as part of it’s educational mission as a non-profit organization. In 2006, AASA established two scholarships for aviation majors at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Alaska residents who are full-time students enrolled in any aviation degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage are eligible to apply for the Alaska Air Show Association Aviation Scholarship.  The scholarship is administered by UAA Full-time students enrolled in the UAA professional piloting program are also eligible to receive an Alaska Air Show Association Flight Training Award.  Flight Training Awards are administered directly by the UAA Flight Operations Department.

For children ages 10-12, AASA provides four scholarships to Anchorage area children to attend week long camp at the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai  The Challenger Learning Center inspires students to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math by providing a series of fun, hands-on science experiences during the camper’s week long stay.

AASA has also awarded up to two scholarships to participating teens at the Aviation Challenge Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center located in Huntsville, Alabama

For 2016, AASA is working with sponsors for matching UAA educational grants to broaden the number of scholarships young aviators.

2006 Update: Four children won trips to the week long science and technology adventure camp were drawn by lottery at the 2006 Arctic Thunder Air Show.   They completed “Trainee Selection Cards” by visiting various static displays to learn about the aircraft and get their cards stamped.  Two teens in the 13 – 18 year group that attended Arctic Thunder 2006  earned scholarships to Aviation Challenge.  Three UAA students, Desiree McIntosh, Glenn Roose and Maria Terrazas each received $2000 AASA Aviation Scholarships for academic year 2007-2008.

2008 Update: In 2008, AASA contributed $12,000 to UAA to support aviation Scholarships. There were four $2,000 scholarships and a $4,000 flight training incentive award.

2010 Update: For 2010, AASA again contributed $12,000 to UAA to support aviation scholarships. In 2010, there were four $2,500 scholarship and $2,000 in flight training incentive awards.

2012 Update: In 2012, AASA supported 4 scholarships to the Challenger Learning Center, and $2,500 to UAA Aviation Technology program, supplemented with a $7,500 matching grant by the Historic Flight Foundation.

2014 Update: AASA provided $4,000 to UAA in support of the AASA Aviation Scholarship, and four scholarships to the Challenger Learning Center.

2016 Update: AASA intends to fully support four scholarships and flight training incentive awards to the UAA aviation technology program, as well as to provide scholarships to the Challenger Learning Center. Check back for further updates.

US Navy Blue Angels

Blue Angel-SingleMaking their first appearance since Arctic Thunder 2010, the Association is thrilled to have the Blue Angels as the featured jet team for Arctic Thunder, 2016 at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The Blue Angels showcase demonstrate the Unites States Navy and Marine Corps’ commitment to professionalism, excellence and service through these world-class flight demonstrations and community outreach.

The Blue Angels are comprised of 16 officers fill the flying and support positions. Jet pilots have aircraft carrier qualifications and at least 1,250 tactical jet flight hours. Over 100 enlisted personnel support the demonstration squadron, with such specialties as airframes, avionics, aviation medicine, crew chiefs, logistics, among others.

The Blue Angels fly the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.

Fat-Albert-0 BlueAngel-4 BLUEANGEL-B

Please visit their website at for more great information and exciting videos.

Gary Ward

GaryWardGary 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, an all carbon fiber monoplane powered by a 6 cylinder Lycoming engine producing 350 HP.

Gary puts the MX2 through one of the most exciting performances you will ever see. The action starts on take off as Gary pulls steeply up and goes into a spectacular take off maneuver! The entire sequence is jam packed with breathtaking gyrations that range from zero speed hovers to dives in excess of 250 mph!

MX-2 Specifications:

Engine Lycoming/LYCON IO540 350 HP+
Propeller 3 blade MT-Propeller
Empty Weight 1,307 lbs
Wing Span 24 ft
Length 21 ft 6 in
Cruise Speed 190 knots (218 mph)
Top speed level flight 210 knots (241 mph)
Max speed in dive 230 knots (264 mph)
Roll rate: Exceeds 400 degrees/second
Range 750 NM (862 miles)

Please visit Gary’s website at for more cool information and videos.

Jason Newburg & his Pitts Viper

6894061395_292ff53e8a_b Jason Newburg is an extreme aerobatic pilot who loves sharing his high energy performances nationwide and overseas with air show audiences. Jason’s first solo flight was at age 16 and he earned his pilot’s license at 17. Jason is committed to providing aviation leadership to young people who share his passion in aviation and aerobatics. He has served as Vice President for the Embry-Riddle Sport Aviation Club for numerous years.

Viper Pitts S2S Specifications:

Engine 400 HP
Propeller 3 blade MT-Propeller
Empty Weight 1,150 lbs
Wing Span 20 ft 6 in
Length 18 ft 6 in
Top speed level flight 300 mph
Roll rate: 400 degrees/second
Range 600 miles

Pitts Viper-a Pitts Viper_b Pitts Viper3_b Pitts Viper-3f_b

Learn more about Jason and Viper Airshows at

Marcus Paine

Marcus Paine

Following in the footsteps of former Alaskan aviator legends, Marcus brings the thrill of aerobatic flight to his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years. Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is the founder and Chief Flight Instructor of Unusual Attitudes LLC, a flight school that teaches Unusual Attitude Recovery, Stall/Spin Awareness and aerobatic flight. Marc is a skilled instructor adept at teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principals of flight and mastering the airplane in every attitude. He is an FAA Safety Counselor, and a regular speaker on Stall/Spin Awareness at FAA Safety Seminars held throughout Alaska, and nationally at aviation events including Oshkosh and Sun N Fun. Marcus will be flying his 1941 Stearman for Arctic Thunder 2016.

Marcus was recently featured in Discovery Channel Canada’s Airshow! Television series, which documented the risks, dangers and lives of air show professional performers. The show provided a unique, behind the scenes look at those who regularly risk it all in performances throughout North and South America.

Stearman Specifications:
Empty Weight 1,931 lbs
Wing Span 32 ft 2 in
Length 24 ft 9 in


Marcus over Columbia Glacier Photographer Joe Prax
Marcus over Columbia Glacier
Photographer Joe Prax


Wings of Freedom *


Wings of Freedom, founded by Mr. Chuck Miller, is dedicated to providing a collection of flyable ArcticThunder140723-07warbirds that played a role in shaping Alaska’s aviation heritage. Housed in a WW-II era hangar at Merrill Field, Wings of Freedom will be providing a T-6 and L-13 at Arctic Thunder 2016. Wings of Freedom had previously been the home of one of the world’s last remaining Mitsubishi Zero, which flew in the 2012 Arcitc Thunder Air Show as well as in the 2013 Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration.

The AT-6 Texan is a single-engine, advanced trainer aircraft used during WWII. The prototype first flew in 1935, and the first models were put into production in 1937. More than 17,000 were built. The aircraft being flow at Arctic thunder was built in 1943, and is in the Aleutian colors of aircraft flying there in WWII.

The L-13A was manufactured by Consolidated Vultee, and first flown in 1945. It was used for observation, liaison, and air ambulance duties. Like the L-2, man were later converted for civilian use in the Alaska bush.



Arctic Thunder 2016

Blue AngelsArctic Thunder 2016 Air Show

July 30 & 31, 2016

Open to the public Admission Free

The 2016 Arctic Thunder Air Show and Open House is coming July 30 & 31.

Patty Lafond

Copyright 2013 by Patty Lafond.

The Association is dedicated to providing aviation inspiration to all generations of Alaskans.

Sponsorship Opportunities for Arctic Thunder 2016:  Donate Online

New! Arctic Thunder 2016 News Reports & Other Media:   Click Here

Arctic Thunder 2016 Performers:    Click Here

Arctic Thunder 2016 Schedule:    Click Here

Frequently Asked Questions:   Click Here

Super Cub STOL Demonstration *

Super Cub STOL
Super Cub STOL


The Super Cub is one of the most popular aircraft in all of Alaska and is well suited for the variety of conditions and rugged terrain encountered in rural and remote areas of the State. The plane is known for its incredible short take-off and landing capabilities, and is the star of the Valdez Fly-in, held in May. For Arctic Thunder 2016, we are privileged to have Mr. Bob Breeden and Mr. Hank Swan. Bob Breeden is the record holder, landing his Super Cub in a world record 20 feet, and a take-off distance of 24 feet. Hank flies an experimental hot rod Super Cub called “Got Rocks” and is making his second appearance at Arctic Thunder. They will be joined by a 1941 L-1 aircraft and the L-13 for a joint civilian and military short field take-off and landing.breeden1

Breeden_Cub maxresdefault Super cub1

Commemorative Air Force *

img012The Commemorative Air Force was founded in 1957 and chartered as a non-profit in 1961 to restore, preserve, operate and maintain WWII-era aircraft. The CAF also provides museums to protect and display aircraft, as well as to perpetuate their memory and heritage. The Alaska Wing is dedicated to preserving the military heritage of Alaskan aviation, and flies the bright yellow AT-6 Harvard Mk IV, the yellow and blue BT-13, and the L-2 Grasshopper. The Harvard MkIIB was built under license in Montreal for the Royal Canadian Air Force, the RAF and the USAAF, with a total of 2,557 built. The Harvard was known to fly to Annette Island in Alaska during WWII, where Canadian units were stationed, adding strength to the 11th Air Force. The BT-13 was first flown in 1939, and was the WWII-era basic trainer flown by most pilots. Pilots would graduate to the advanced trainer, the AT-6, prior to being assigned to their main fighter aircraft or bomber. The L-2 Grasshopper was manufactured by Taylorcraft beginning in 1941 and was used an observation aircraft during WW-II to spot enemy troops and supplies, as well as direct artillery fire. After WWII, many aircraft were converted to civilian use and flown around bush Alaska.
Formation flying over Eagle River, AlaskaVultee BT-13