Red Bull Air Force*

The Red Bull Air Force – consisting of four exceptionally gifted aerial acrobats -show which possibilities the playground of the third dimension offers. This show builds up the extra rush for sports events, concerts, business parties or product presentations. No matter if day or night, over land or water – with breath taking light and smoke effects this action is a perfect highlight for special occasions.


You can visit their website:


Arctic Thunder 2018

The 2018 Arctic Thunder Air Show and Open House

June 30 & July 1, 2018

Gates open at 8:30 a.m.
and Opening Ceremony at 10:00 a.m.


Arctic Thunder 2018 Flying Schedule:

  • Jon Melby & Will Allen’s Opening and Acro Squirrel Cage Act
  • Anthony Oshinuga
  • Kent Pietsch’s Comedy Act
  • Warbird Fly-By the Commemorative Air Force & Wings of Freedom*
  • AV-8B Tactical Demo
  • Joint Force Demonstration
  • Nathan Hammond & GhostWriter*
  • Short Take-Off and Landing Demo, Super Cub & L-13*
  • Kent Pietsch’s Truck Top Landing
  • F-16 Single Ship Demo
  • Will Allen’s Rock & Roll Act
  • Greg Colyer & Ace Maker II*
  • C-17 Single Ship Demo
  • Jon Melby’s Extreme Acro Act
  • F-22 Single Ship Demo
  • Kent Pietsch’s Deadstick Act
  • Red Bull – Kirby Chambliss & Red Bull Air Force*
  • United States Air Force Thunderbirds

*Alaska Air Show Association provided Aerial Act

Open to the public Admission Free

Frequently Asked Questions:   Click Here

Sponsorship Opportunities for Arctic Thunder 2018:  Donate Online

Copyright 2013 by Patty Lafond

Copyright 2013 by Patty Lafond


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

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.

Gregory W Colyer & Ace Maker II *

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Gregory “Wired” Colyer took his first flight at age 7 in a Cessna 172 with Dr. Lee Schaller out of the Schellville airport in Sonoma, California. Hooked ever since, Greg has been flying for almost 3 decades after earning his license in 1982 while serving in the US Army from 1982-1987. His passion for the cockpit never left him as he continued to fly as a hobby and an occasional airshow. After flying with his friend Kay Eckhart, in one of his Lockheed T-33s in 2007, Greg set his sights on an upgrade to the U.S. Air Force’s first operational jet and a real piece of U.S. aviation history, acquiring a T-33 and naming it Ace Maker in 2008. Greg holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi engine ratings as well as being a Certified Flight Instructor. Type rated in Aero Vodochody’s L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. A level I Aerobatic low level card and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications.

Lockheed T-33/Canadair CT-33 Specifications:
Engine: Allison J-33/Rolls Royce Nene 10
Power: 5200/5400 lbs thrust
Max Speed: 505 kts/.80M
Ceiling: 45,000 ft
Range: 1350 nm
Length: 37′ 8″
Height: 11′ 8″
Wing Span: 42’5″ w/tip tanks
Max weight: 16,800 lbs
Max Fuel: 677 imp/810 U.S. gallons

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Please visit Greg’s website at for more cool information and 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


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.

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.



President’s Letter

January 21, 2014 Bill Kontess, President

A belated Happy New Years to all our valued sponsors, supports, and visitors from Alaska and around the world, and to all Arctic Thunder Air Show Enthusiasts! Yes, Arctic Thunder is a go, and it’s coming this July 26 and 27th.
Before going further, our entire Board wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to all our sponsors who made last year’s Centennial Celebration of Aviation in Alaska such a resounding success. With your support, we put on nearly 20 fly-in events all around the state, and they were greatly attended affairs. The highlight was the Celebration flight on the 4th of July over the skies of Fairbanks, which celebrated the centennial. But each location, from Valdez to Nome, Kotzebue, Bettles and all locations in between were each special in their own way, and the huge turn outs made them all a great success.
A special thanks to Ms. Jane Dale who coordinated all the events, along with Ms. Dee Hanson over at the Alaska Airman’s Association. The travelling museum developed for the show was one of the highlights and provided keen insights into our State’s aviation heritage.
Beginning last fall, we met with the Base Leadership multiple times and have a wonderful lineup for Arctic Thunder, beginning with United States Air Force’s premiere jet team, the Thunderbirds. We anticipate possibly having the F-22 Raptor demonstration team on board. There will also be a joint forces display, featuring all fixed and rotary wing aircraft from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
We have a star-studded cast of some of the nation’s top aerobatic performers. The base has contracted with Skip Stewart, who is making a return appearance from his 2012 Arctic Thunder debut, along with Ms. Melissa Pemberton and her Edge 540 aircraft. Together, you are sure to enjoy their high-energy performances.
The Association has contracted with Mr. Steve Oliver, who will grace the skies over the city with his amazing sky writing, and making his first Arctic Thunder appearance, Mr. Bob Carlton, with his jet-powered sailplane.
In addition to aerobatic performers, the Association is providing historic civilian and World War-II aircraft. We feel that Arctic Thunder is likely to be one of the premiere events for Anchorages Centennial Celebration. And there’ll be a few more surprises.
We’ve all seen the austere budgets the Department of Defense with the recent cutbacks and sequestration. But more and more Arctic Thunder consistently succeeds because of the wonderful support of the Anchorage community and our incredible sponsors.
Please stay tuned to our website for updates—this show is going to be a world-class event!
Mark your calendars for July 26th and 27th, 2014. Here comes Arctic Thunder!