People planning to attend Sunday's Wings Over Tyler Air Show should bring a little cash, a couple of bottles of water and a tolerance for drama.
But leave the nerves and pets at home.
“This could really be a Fourth of July trend that no one else in the state has,” MiG-17F pilot and show organizer Randy Ball said Thursday. “It's been 27 years since East Texas has had a demonstration team to perform — this is highly unusual.”
The event is expected to include death-defying maneuvers mixed with explosive pyrotechnics and a Pearl Harbor re-enactment by Tora! Tora! Tora!
Viper F-16 pilot Capt. Garrett Dover said sight surveys of the surrounding area are helping in pinpointing potential obstacles.
“We use that time to familiarize ourselves with the area,” he said.
Organizers expect about 20,000 people to attend.
Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County and Texas Wounded Warrior.
Gates are scheduled to open at 9 a.m. The show is planned from noon to 3 p.m.
Cash-only admission is $25 per carload to park at the airport or $5 per person for off-site parking at the Greater Tyler Auto Auction or Harvey Convention Center.
Correct change is encouraged, organizers said.
Satellite parking fees include a shuttle bus ride to the airport and admission to and from the event.
Visitors also are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, umbrellas, bottled water and sunscreen, but no personal coolers or family pets.
“There are no free bottles of water, but there will be thermoses available” at strategic locations at the event in case of emergency, Carolyn Verver, event organizer and Historic Aviation Memorial Museum board president, said. “If people want to bring their own bottled water, they may do so, but we aren't allowing ice chests.”
Portions of Dixie Road (County Road 1143) near the airport will be closed during the event.
“People need to prepare for slow traffic,” Don Martin, Tyler police spokesman, said. “As far as traffic control is concerned, there will be no road closures” on Highway 64 West.
Guests coming to the air show can access the event by way of Airport Drive from Texas Highway 64, the only entry to the air show.
Barry Barnett, an air show committee member and organizer, said guests should not plan to arrive before 8 a.m.
“The Smith County Sheriff's Office will be managing all the parking lots,” he said. “As they become full, (guests) will be directed to the next lot.”
Special reserved parking opportunities will be extended to buses carrying large groups, Ms. Verver said.
Sunday's event is Tyler's first waivered air show, meaning aircraft appearing at the event have permission to perform aerobatic stunts and exceed limits typically not allowed under federal law, organizers said.
Other invited performers include Jan Collmer's EXTRA 300L acrobatic plane; the Trojan Phlyers T-28 flight demonstration team; Herb and Ditto's Smoke Ring Acrobatics; C-130 from the Fort Worth Air National Guard; L-29 Delfin; Matt Yonkin's Twin Beech; Chris Avery's CAF F4U Corsair; Curtiss P40 and Jack Pyland Jumper with a 45-foot American flag.
A “meet the pilots” gala is planned from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the aviation museum, 150 Airport Drive. Gala admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children at the door. No advance tickets will be sold.
For more details about the event, visit www.wingsovertylerairshow.com.