Craig Maas: Blog en-us (C) Craig Maas [email protected] (Craig Maas) Tue, 30 Jan 2024 16:21:00 GMT Tue, 30 Jan 2024 16:21:00 GMT Craig Maas: Blog 120 120 2022 GFAFB, Thunderbirds GFAFB Airshow: Saturday, June 18, 2022

I was looking forward to this Airshow for six months. My cousin lives 30 minutes from the Grand Forks Air Force Base and was willing to join me. The day before the show I was concerned about the heat. But it was wind and dust that was the real problem. By 2:53 pm., it was 81°F, the wind was 36 mph from the SE with gusts of 53 mph.
I’ve never attended an airshow where not a single aircraft flew. Even the USAF “Thunderbirds” felt the SE cross-winds were too treacherous to fly. We waited all afternoon for the winds to die down or at least shift to the South. There was a nice collection of military aircraft on static display so the show wasn’t a total loss. With no arial demonstrations the narrator interviewed the pilots. The pilots appeared at the fence-line to sign autographs and answer questions in lew of their performances. Chris Darnell ran his Jet Truck, “Shockwave” a second time. It was the highlight of the show. Little did we know in two weeks he would run it for the final time. RIP


2022 0618 0192022 0618 019Chris Darnell's Shockwave Jet Truck with 3 J34-48 Pratt & Whitney Jet Engines.


I planned to travel light. I limited myself to a Sony a68 camera and Sony 70–300mm zoom lens. I would use my Samsung J7 phone for any wide photographs. The J7 display was almost unusable in the bright daylight. I wish I brought my Sigma 10–20mm ultra wide zoom. Later, I was glad I didn’t. With all the dust flying around, changing lenses would have been a disaster. I would have been cloning dust spots out of every photos. The dust also affected the lighting: everything is brown and it feels like you’re getting sandblasted.

See the Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the GFAFB Airshow: 83 in total with additional photo/airplane descriptions. My photos are ©2022.

Aircraft On Display

Time Aircraft Notes
1208 Nike-X ‘Sprint’ Anti-ballistic missile. Stanley Mickelson Safeguard Complex, Cavailer, ND
1210 RQ–4 ‘Global Hawk’ 319th Reconnaissance Wing, Grand Forks AFB, ND
1346 KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, WA
1347 F/A–18F ‘Super Hornet’ VX–31 NAS, China Lake, CA. “The Dust Devils” DD 302
1349 F/A–18F ‘Super Hornet’ VX–31 NAS, China Lake, CA. “The Dust Devils” DD 214. sn 16566
1350 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ MO 391st Fighter Squadron ‘Bold Tigers’ Mountain Home AFB, ID. AF91–0300
1357 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ MO 391st Fighter Squadron ‘Bold Tigers’ Mountain Home AFB, ID. AF91–0330
1355 CC–130J ‘Hercules’ ESC 436 SON ‘Canucks Unlimited’ RCAF ARC. sn 130611
1355 T–38A ‘Talon’ FF IFW Beale AFB, CA. AF64–13176. Col. Richard
1355 T–38A ‘Talon’ BB 1 RS/9th RW Air Combat Command AF65–10429
1347 T–45C ‘Goshawk’ VT–86 600 TW–6 Training Six. sn 163650.
1401 T–45C ‘Goshawk’ VT–86 602 TW–6 Training Six.
1403 B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ MT 5th Bomb Wing 5 BW. Minot AFB, ND. AF60–005
1403 Cessna 182T ‘Skylane’ ND Wing, Civil Air Patrol, USAF Auxiliary. N568CP
1408 UH–72 ‘Lakota’ US Army National Guard, Bismarck, ND. sn 72156
1409 UH–1 ‘Huey’ USAF MT ‘Rough Riders’ Minot AFB, ND. sn 96623
1410 UH–60 ‘Black Hawk’ US Army National Guard, Bismarck, ND. sn 21180

Scheduled Performances

2022 0618 1202022 0618 120The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron 'Thunderbirds'

Thunderbird Pilots

  1. Commander Leader, Lt. Colonel Justin Elliott
  2. Left Wing, Major Ian Lee
  3. Right Wing, Major Lauren Schlichting
  4. Slot, Major Zane Taylor
  5. Opposing Solo, Major Kyle Oliver
  6. Lead Solo, Captain Daniel Katz
  7. Operations, Lt. Colonel Ryan Yingling
  8. Narrator, Major Jacob Impellizzeri
[email protected] (Craig Maas) air blackhawk chris darnell eagle fighters gfafb global hawk goshawk hercules hornet huey jet keywords: lakota pyrotechnics shockwave show skylane sprint stratofortress stratotanker talon thunderbirds Sat, 18 Jun 2022 14:15:00 GMT
2019 Fargo AirSho, Thunderbirds Fargo Airsho: Saturday & Sunday, July 20–21, 2019

2019 is the 30th Anniversary of the official Fargo AirSho, and it has been 30 years since the USAF Thunderbirds last performed in Fargo. The lineup sounded very good, but $35 tickets meant I would only attend one day. The weather forecast suggested Sunday would be the best day. This was a mistake. The skies were clear on Saturday, and I could have attended with my cousins rather than going alone. I enjoyed Sunday’s show and although the skies were cloudy the weather was very pleasant.

I checked the Arrival and Departure schedule on - looking for holes when the USAF Thunderbirds might be practicing. For most of the day there was a hole between 3–4 pm. I made plans to be at the NDSU Rugby fields.
At 2 pm., I heard jets flying around. I pulled off the window screen and climb on the roof. The F–16 ‘Falcons’ are too far away and quiet. I made a quick run to NDSU. The Thunderbirds Diamond is spinning overhead as I head down 25th Street. I think they’re landing. I wait at the NDSU Track & Field venue, but that’s it for today. On Thunderbirds’ Facebook page (2:37 pm.), “We’re in North Dakota this weekend for the Fargo Airsho! Make sure to come on out to see the show. Tomorrow’s practice is at 2 p.m., and we fly at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.”

I rolled in early at the NDSU Rugby Fields to catch the other teams practice: The Red Bull (acrobatic aircraft and skydive team), and Keith Pietsch’s Interstate ‘Cadet’.
It’s a long wait before I hear the F100-PW–229 engines spool up. From the fence line, in the distance I see movement. Two solo Thunderbirds taxi to the south end of the runaway. I saw Thunderbirds #1–4 start to move, but they never went anywhere. Thunderbird #5 went up, but then came down right away. Thunderbird #6, Major Michelle Curran put the Falcon through its paces. ‘Practice’ was over in 20 minutes. I don’t know if there were mechanical issue or scheduling issues today.

Rather than return to the NDSU Rugby Fields today, I decided to spend the morning with my family. By the time I returned I realized today was a great day for the Fargo AirShow, but I was too tired to fight the crowds. Instead I climbed the roof at 3:18 pm. I watched the Thunderbird show: 25-feet in the air. Our house is on the flight path so the F–16C/D would often fly right overhead. I also had a good view of the larger loops and burst formations. The Thunderbirds seemed to be missing an aircraft. It looks like #4 was grounded.

Due to technical difficulties, the squadron’s start was delayed, emphasizing their commitment to safety for their pilots. The audience grew a bit restless, but once the Thunderbirds took off, the crowd was quickly dazzled by the group’s thrilling performance, which included diamond formations, high bomb bursts and trail formations. Spectators held their breath when it looked as if the F–16 planes were bound to crash, with their wings sometimes only a few meters apart.
Toward the end of their act, narrator Markzon spoke of current and fallen air veterans, with the Thunderbirds drawing a heart in the sky behind him. This year’s AirSho was the first since the death of Maj. Gen. Darrol Schroeder, who helped found the first AirSho and the Fargo Air Museum. Schroeder passed away at age 88 in March.

The sky was clear this morning but clouds rolled in by noon. I was on the show apron before 11:00 am.; photographing the static displays; starting with a civilian Cessna 421B; then the Army helicopters. The University of North Dakota brought a nice collection of their aircraft including a Robinson R44 helicopter. The Mountain Home AFB brought a pair of McDonnell F–15E ‘Strike Eagles’. The Ohio ANG brought a Lockheed F–16C and a Boeing KC–135R tanker. The NDANG had a General Atomics MQ–9 UAV and an old McDonnell F–4D on display. The Minnesota ANG brought a Lockheed C–130H. The USAF brought a Bell-Boeing V–22. UPS had their Boeing 767–300F on display and Fed Ex had an aircraft too.

I was still setting up my lawn-chair at 11:20 am., when the USN Leap Frogs skydiving team performed with the US Flag to the National Anthem. I was ready by the time Mike Wiskus came out with his Lucas Oil Pitts S–1–1B biplane. I used a Sigma 400mm lens on my primary Sony a68 and a Sony 70–300mm on my a200 as backup. When “Miss Mitchell” the CAF’s WW-II medium bomber made two simulated bomb passes, I was ready with the Sony a200 to catch the pyrotechnics bursts on the field. “Miss Mitchell” was paired with a North American Aviation T–6 ‘Texan’.
Paul Lindemann flew an acrobatic demonstration with his green/black/white Pitts S–2B. Keith Pietsch followed with a comedy routine in his Interstate Cadet.
The Red Bull Parachute Team performed along-side Kirby Chambliss in his Zivko Edge 540. I can’t believe how small their parachutes are. The Edge 540 is a high performance acrobatic aircraft. Kirby performed an inverted ribbon cut right on the deck.. Crazy.
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment out of Bismarck flew their Sikorsky UH–60 helicopter to the river, filled the Bambi Bucket and did a water drop behind the Thunderbirds.
Jarrod Lindemann flew an acrobatic demonstration with his Boeing-Steerman PT–17 ‘Kaydet’ in a homage to the “Red Baron” Pizza flight demonstration squadron. Jeff Boerboon flew his siamese-twin Yak 55/110 with a GE Lear 24 Jet Engine mounted under the wing which gave him a lot of power in his climbing maneovers. The NDANG towed their MQ–9 ‘Reaper’ back to the hanger.

Before the USAF Thunderbirds went up, the skies started to clear, but then it clouded up again. I switched my Sony a68 to the 70–300mm zoom lens so I can frame the full formations maneovers. I used my Sigma 10–20mm Ultra-wide zoom on the Sony a200 to cover the Burst formations. Major Matt Kimmel (#5 Lead Solo) taxied while waving at the crowd. It appeared he took a quick pit-stop at the USAF Thunderbird service station. Kimmel rejoined his teammates minutes later and the show started.
I enjoyed the Thunderbird demonstration. The F–16 ‘Falcon’ is my favorite aircraft, but the white paint scheme against a white sky doesn’t photograph very well. The sky quickly filled with smoke. I thought the wind would take care of it. I was in no hurry to leave after the Thunderbirds landed. I photographed the Thunderbird pilots with their fans.

On the way out, I grabbed some last minute photos of the Ohio ANG KC–135R and F–16C. Major Waldo, was at his aircraft. “Major, You were here last year?”
“Would you pose with your ‘Viper’?”
The pilots from Mountain Home AFB were giving out cookies from the steps of their F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’.
I joke with the Lieutenant, “Is the Air Force bribing recruits with cookies now?”

My last stop is Duggy (the Douglas C–47 ‘Skytrain’) parked outside the Fargo Air Museum. The paint is peeling off his elevators: from age or use, I don’t know.

The crowd (which was never that large, maybe 10,000?) had thinned down quite a bit. For crowd comfort the weather today was almost perfect: not warm, not cold, cool with a light breeze out of the north. The broken clouds keep the sun at bay. However, the clouds made for sub-par photographs. The skies finally cleared.. after the airshow was over.

DSC08130Waldo With His FalconMajor Waldo flies the from the Toledo ANG 180 FW "Stingers", 112th Fighter Sqd. Photo by Craig on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at the Fargo AirSho.


See the Best Of, Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 146 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. My photos are ©2019. Additional photos can be found here.

Schedule & Aircraft On Display

Time Aircraft Notes
10:56 Cessna 421B ‘Golden Eagle’ Albatross Projects, N5967M
10:57 UH–60 ‘Black Hawk’ with Bambi Bucket
11:01 UH–72 ‘Lakota’ Medical Helicopter (Eurocopter)
11:03 Cessna 182T ‘Skylane’ Civil Air Patrol: 2009 N184CP, 2005 N634CP
11:04 Piper ‘Seminole’ UND N835ND
11:04 Robinson R44 ‘Cadet’ UND 2017 Helicopter N79RH
11:05 Piper PA–28–181 ‘Cherokee’ UND N638ND
11:06 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ MO 391 FS af90–233; 366 FW af92–366 “Gunfighters”
11:09 F–16C ‘Falcon’ Toledo 180 FW “Stingers” af89–098, 112th Fighter Sqd.
11:10 A–7D/F–14D cockpits Big Dream Entertainment. Fighter Cockpit Experience $10
11:11 KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 121 ARW, Ohio ANG, afx0–0367
11:13 C–130H ‘Hercules’ 133 AW, Minnesota, ANG af61–003
11:14 OV–22 ‘Osprey’ USAF afx–0025
11:24 Pitts S–1–1B Mike Wiskus, Lucas bi-plane
11:25 Yak 55/110 Jeff Boerboon, (UND) w/GE Lear 24 Jet Engine
11:29 C–130 ‘Hercules’ USN Leap Frogs parachute team. USAF 153 AW. Wyoming ANG, af61–535
11:35 B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell”
11:41 Pyrotechnics Two simulation bomb runs
11:38 T–6 ‘Texan’ CAF TA–044. USAF 49–3044
11:51 1985 Pitts S–2B Paul Lindemann, Valley City
11:59 1942 Interstate ‘Cadet’ Keith Pietsch, Minot “Jelly Belly”
12:23 Red Bull Parachute Team big wingsuits with tiny parachutes
12:23 Zivko Edge 540 Red Bull’s air race pilot: Kirby Chambliss. 2011 N14KN
12:45 UH–60 ‘Black Hawk’ ND Army National Guard (Bismarck) 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
12:54 Bambi Bucket Waterdrop
13:01 PT–17 ‘Kaydet’ Jarrod Lindemann, Valley City 1941 “Red Baron”
13:30 C–130 ‘Hercules’ Leap Frogs USAF Wyoming ANG 153 AW, af61–535
14:06 MQ–9 ‘Reaper’ NDANG UAV “Happy Hooligan” af07–027
14:13 Yak 110 Two Yak 55 tied together by Dell Coller
14:28 Thunderbirds, ground Prep, Start up, Taxi to runaway
14:28 Thunderbirds, air Aerial Demonstrations with six F–16 ‘Falcons’
15:40 Thunderbirds, ground Landing, Taxi, Smoke, and Shut down
15:59 F–4E ‘Phantom II’ NDANG “Happy Hooligan” af64–0959; UPS Boeing 767–300F
16:01 OV–22 ‘Osprey’ USAF afx–0025
16:02 Thunderbirds, pilots see list below
16:05 KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 121 ARW, Ohio ANG, afx0–0367
16:08 F–16C ‘Falcon’ Waldo, Toledo 180 FW “Stingers” af89–098, 112th Fighter Sqd.
16:08 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ MO 391 FS af90–233; 366 FW af92–366 “Gunfighters”
16:17 C–47 ‘Skytrain’ “The Smile In The Sky” N1XP

Performances I didn’t photograph

  • Skydive Fargo
  • AT–6 ‘Harvard’ RCAF WW-II Trainer owned by Kelly Perhus (Kindred, ND) - different T–6
  • PiNN-iT FMX, Daniel Weeks & Ed Rossie have over 18 years’ experience in creating some of the best high-flying, death-defying, freestyle motocross stunt programs in the nation.
  • Black Sheep Skid is a Melroe Bobcat skid steer stunt show performed by Jake Match.
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ USAF Saturday fly-over only.
  • F/A–18E ‘Super Hornet’ USN, did not attend.

DSC08080Curran's FalconUSAF Thunderbird Major Michelle Curran (#6 Opposing Solo) taxis her F-16C 'Falcon' back to the flight-line at the conclusion of the 2019 Fargo AirSho.< Photo by Craig on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at the Fargo AirSho.

Thunderbird Pilots and Dedicated Crew Chiefs

This list comes from the Thunderbirds’ 2019 Program. The Crew Chiefs must move around as Tsgt Tyler Cox and Ssgt Dylan Gagne were listed on the side of the #5 aircraft. Maneuvers, Officers and Enlisted Personel

  1. Lt. Colonel John “Brick” Caldwell (#1 Commander/Leader), Ssgt Jeremy Gerringer, Ssgt Mark Meister
  2. Major Will Graeff (#2 Left Wing), Ssgt Tyler Cox, Ssgt Zachary Gant
  3. Captain Michael Brewer (#3 Right Wing), Tsgt John King, Ssgt Mark McMonagle
  4. Major Whit Collins (#4 Slot), Tsgt Nicholas Davis, Ssgt Anthony Tressler
  5. Major Matt Kimmel (#ϛ Lead Solo), Ssgt Quinn Tyler III, Ssgt Conner Stowers
  6. Major Michelle “Mace” Curran (#6 Opposing Solo), Ssgt Dylan Stefani, SrA Michael Loehr
  7. Lt. Colonel Eric Gorney (#7 Operations Officer), Ssgt Samantha Hershberg, Ssgt Dylan Gagne, Ssgt Ramiro Gamero, Ssgt Bernadette Kroondyk, Ssgt Nicholas Martinez, Ssgt Christopher Tidline III
  8. Major Jason Markzon (#8 Advance Pilot/Narrator), Tsgt Zachary Jones, Tsgt Brynson Schuster, Ssgt Michael Knapp, Ssgt Sean Sturgeon
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Bambi Bucket Falcon Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Pyrotechnics Red Bull Thunderbirds Sun, 21 Jul 2019 22:00:00 GMT
2018 Fargo Airsho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Thursday-Sunday, July 26–29, 2018

Dedicated to Bob Nelson, my best friend and photographic guru. Bob passed away unexpectedly in 2017. We attended dozens of airshows together. Bob loved Aviation photography. Whenever I had questions about aircraft, cameras, lenses, or settings, Bob had the answer. I would be on my own this year.

Thursday The 2018 Fargo Airsho begins with a Blue Angels practice session. It’s a practice session for me as well: I try to remember what settings work best. I’m also trying to shoot some videos. The sky is overcast and it’s very windy. I meet some people at the NDSU Rugby field and spend as much time talking as photographing. The Blue Angel Solo pilots fly their FA–18 ‘Hornets’ around until noon.
There was a 3:30 practice session. I stayed home and photographed it from my roof. We’re on the flight path and most maneuvers require the ‘Blue Angels’ to line up on the flight path, so they are either flying directly over our house or banking around our house.

Friday The Blue Angels practiced from 3:12 to 3:46 pm. I returned to the Rugby field. The sky was mostly cloudy but the clouds made for interesting backdrops. It wasn’t as windy or dark as yesterday.

Saturday The first day of the Fargo Airsho proper. Mom and I arrived early and set up on the north end of the flight-line. I took a break to photograph the aircraft on static display and talk with their pilots. The weather was perfect if not a little hot. It was partly cloudy, which is a good look for the Blue Angels: the white clouds break up all the blue. I brought my Sony a68 and a200 so I didn’t have to change lenses as often. One lens to track the tight formations and one for the wide bursts and smoke. It was a long day but I loved all the flying demonstrations.

Sunday I climbed my roof to photograph day two (four) of the Fargo Airsho. I also set up two microphones to capture the sound of the ‘Hornet’s’ F404-GE–402 twin engines. The show was cut short by rain. I quickly got off the roof before I slid off.

2018 0728 DSC03629The Blue Angels Split Their DiamondThe US Navy Blue Angels aircraft 1-4 flying in their 'Diamond' formation. #1 Commander Eric Doyle, #2 Lt. Commander Damon Kroes, #3 Major Jeff Mullins, and #4 Lt. Commander Nate Scott. Perform a 'Break' (Diamond Burner 270?) at the 2018 Fargo Airsho.

Direct Gallery Links

Galleries: everything can be accessed from the Master Gallery.
Individual galleries include: a Best of, Practice 1 July 26, Practice 2 July 26, Practice 3 July 27, Full Airshow July 28, and a partial Airshow from my roof July 29.
Slideshows: Best of, Practice 1 July 26, Practice 2 July 26, Practice 3 July 27, Full Airshow July 28, and July 29.
Movies: I didn’t capture anything worthy of posting.

Timeline Notes

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The pilot/organization links are where I found information for the photo descriptions. Usually Wikipedia if missing.

  • 11:12 US Navy Parachute Team: Leap Frogs with Governor Doug Burgham. Facebook
  • 11:15 F–4E ‘Phantom II’ 67478 of the NDANG ‘Happy Hooligans’ flown by Robert Becklund
  • 11:19 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ SJ 89–0472. 333 FS “Lancers” 4th FW at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC. Captain Hook, Major (training pilot)
  • 11:20 F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ SJ 88–1684 333 FS “Lancers” 4th FW at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC. Captain Jeremy Schnurbusch, Lt. Col Chris Auger 11:28 am.
  • 11:32 Twin Beech 18, Matt Younkin
  • 11:32 F–16C ‘Falcon’ Major Nick ‘Waldo’ Zetocha. Aircraft 90–731 (‘OH’) “City of Toledo” of the 180 FW, 112 FS Ohio Air National Guard ‘Stingers’ F–16CG/DG block 42. They converted their block 25 aircraft received in early 1992 for block 42 in 1994. 11:43 pm.
  • 11:52 B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell” 327493 12:02 pm.
  • 11:57 T–6 ‘Texan’ WW-II trainer painted as…
  • 12:16 Motorcycle jumps by Maneuver Motorsports 12:19 pm.
  • 12:28 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ Blue Angel #1 engine test
  • 12:42 Pitts S–2B (1985) by Paul & Jarrod Lindemann N51GF (white/green stripes) 12:52 pm.
  • 01:14 PT–17 ‘Kaydet’ 1941 Boeing-Stearman Model 75, Red Barron #5 by Paul & Jarrod Lindemann 1:25 pm.
  • 01:31 Extra 300L, John Klatt flies the low wing monoplane acrobat for Jack Links 1:34 pm.
  • 01:38 Aftershock, Mark Smith drives a 1940 Ford Fire Truck boasts 2 Rolls-Royce Bristol Viper Jet Engines= 24,000+ horsepower, 407 mph. 1:49 pm.
  • 01:59 US Navy Parachute Team: Leap Frogs 2:03 pm.
  • 02:06 Twin Beech 18, Matt Younkin is a third generation stunt pilot 2:15 pm.
  • 02:19 Taperwing Waco (1929) with a GE CJ610 (J85) jet engine 3,000 lbs. thrust, John Klatt flies the Jack Links jet Bi-wing 2:27 pm.
  • 03:00 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ US Navy Blue Angels ground crew with pilots 3:18 pm.
  • 03:00 No C–130 “Fat Albert” USMC Blue Angels support plane grounded with mechanical issues.
  • 03:20 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ US Navy Blue Angels aerial demonstration 3:59 pm., They taxi back at 4:05–4:07 pm.
  • 04:14 Static Displays (see list below)
  • 04:30 Walk back to the car.

On Static Display
NDANG F–4E, two F–15E ‘Strike Eagles’, B–25J ‘Mitchell’, three T–6 ‘Texans’, T–28 ‘Trojan’, TBM ‘Avenger’, and F–16 ‘Falcon’. Aftershock jet powered fire truck, UND has a Northrop Grumman RQ–4 ‘Global Hawk’ (wiki), the Civil Air Patrol 3363 has their Cessna 182 ‘Skylane’ N634CP and glider on display. (USAFX)

DSC00101Aftershock The Jet Powered Fire TruckMark Smith flies a US flag from Aftershock- a 1940 Ford Fire Truck, after racing Klatt's Extra 300L monoplane down the runaway. Aftershock is powered by 2 Rolls-Royce Bristol Viper Jet Engines= 24,000+ horsepower.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Blue Angels Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Sat, 28 Jul 2018 23:00:00 GMT
2015 Fargo Airsho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Thursday-Sunday, July 26, 2015

The 2015 Fargo Airsho is back after four years. This year featuring the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels, the USMC demonstration of the AV-8B 'Harrier II', and six acrobatic aircraft. The only thing this airshow didn't have was much in the way of static displays.

Thursday, my friend and fellow aviation photographic enthusiast, Bob Nelson, had scouted the area around the airport and suggested University Drive and 36th Avenue North to photograph rehearsal day. This was a great location to photograph the U.S. Navy Blue Angles. They flew over our location a dozen times. We had good site lines for the most part. The Blue Angels 4-plane Diamond formation went up first. After a short delay to land an Allegiant Flight 426 running short on fuel, (Forum) the Blue Angel solo pilots went up and flew practice passes.
Later in the afternoon, the Blue Angels flew more practice routines over our house (video).

Friday, I went to the NDSU rugby field just south of the runaway. I had planned for an hour long Blue Angels practice. Instead, the afternoon kicked off with the USMC AV-8B 'Harrier II', followed by the acrobatic planes. Bob joined me around 2 PM in the cul-de-sac. The afternoon clouds broke up the USMC C-130T 'Fat Albert' took to the sky followed by the US Navy Blue Angels with their F/A-18C 'Hornets'. A crowd of fans wandered onto the field, as did a dozen large jackrabbits. (The jets must have disturbed them from their homes.) A Fargo motorcycle cop chased everyone back behind the barricade just before the Blue Angels landed. Apparently the field is a designated crash zone.

Saturday opened with clear skies in the morning followed by afternoon clouds and a trace amount of rain. I went on the roof and photographed the Blue Angel show from there. (video)

Sunday, I arrived at the airport with my nephew before 11 AM and watched the entire show. We found good (non-VIP) seating in the NW corner. The weather was clear and warm all day. [Links on the show times go to that set of photos]

11:03, The show started with a couple passes by a T-6 'Texan' and T-28 'Trojan'.

11:11, "Fat Albert" brought up the U.S. Navy "Leap Frog" parachute team. They followed "Skydive Fargo" ("Oh Canada") with the U.S. Flag for "The Star Spangled Banner."

11:21, Lt. Col. John Klatt and Skip Stewart flew their acrobatic aircraft in tribute to Jim 'Fang' Maroney. Jim died in a crash last year. In years past Jim was fixture in local air shows with his Super Chipmunk acrobatic airplane.

11:35, A WW-II bomber: B-25J "Miss Mitchell" made a couple simulated bombing passes. This included a Pyrotechnic display on the ground to wake up the campers.

11:48, North Valley Aircraft flew their green & white Checkerboard Pitts S-2B, acrobatic aircraft.

11:55, Kent Pietsch flew his Interstate Cadet "Jelly Belly" plane in a comedy routine.

12:19, Kyle Franklin flew "Dracula" which was interesting: Kyle sits way back in the fuselage as the 500 hp direct-port, fuel-injected R-985 Pratt & Whitney engine rockets this acrobatic aircraft threw the sky.

12:27, Lt. Col. John Klatt flew his MXS unlimited aerobatic plane.

12:43, Kent Pietsch was back trailing yellow and red smoke. He landed his Cadet on top of a moving pickup truck.

1:07, Skip Stewart flew “Prometheus,” a 400 hp modified Pitts SC2 acrobatic aircraft.

Because we were seated on the NW corner, we were also right next to the taxiway, were the military aircraft were staged. I took a break from the sky and talked with Gunny Sargent Micah Bachtold and Staff Sargent Zach Williford of "Fat Albert Airlines". These USMC NCOs serve as Flight Engineer and Flight Mechanic on the C-130T 'Hercules'. The USMC also had a newer C-130J 'Super Hercules' there to support the "Leap Frogs" parachute team. The USMC also had three AV-8B 'Harrier II' at the ready. The fourth Harrier was on static display near the food courts. I watch as the crew prepare the aircraft and it taxis out.

1:33, The USMC demonstrated their AV-8B 'Harrier II' by taking off vertically and hovering behind the Blue Angels. A 22,000 lbs thrust engine enables the 'Harrier II' to hover like a helicopter, and then transition to normal fighter jet speeds.

2:08, Red Baron. I was looking forward to seeing this PT-17 Boeing Stearman aircraft painted in the classic Red Baron (frozen pizza) Squadron colors. I use to see them all the time in the 1980, but they folded the squadron in 2000(?). I joked that I paid for the entire squadron single handed with all the Red Baron pizza I ate.

2:20, Kent Pietsch turns off the engine of his Interstate Cadet at 6,000 feet and does a complete acrobatic show with no power before coming in for a dead stick landing.

2:29, Skip Stewart and Kyle Franklin come back out and mix it up a little bit. Sort of a dogfight/ twin acrobatic display as they wait for..

2:32, Paul Stender (Indy Boys Inc./Speed for Hire) takes out his jet-powered school bus, "School Time" and races Kyle Franklin's "Dracula". The guy beside me is laughing with delight. Stender burns a lot of jet fuel and fills the taxiways with smoke and flames.

3:02, The USMC sends up their C-130T "Fat Albert" to show off the capabilities of their Blue Angel support aircraft. The short field 'Combat Landing' is impressive. They can land in a hurry. I think Micah waves from on top of the aircraft as they taxi back to their spot.

3:24, The U.S. Navy Blues Angels flying their Boeing F/A-18 'Hornets' take to the sky after their ground demonstration. Many fast-paced maneuvers in their famous formations: The four-member 'Diamond', five-member 'In-line' and six-member 'Delta' formation.

4:16, I join the family (and everyone else) in the race to get ahead of the crowd leaving once the Blue Angels land. I did not get a chance to view the Static displays (AV-8B 'Harrier II') and vender tents. There was very little on static display. There were used cars for sale by dealers, farm tractors, air show souvenir tents, food tents, military recruiters, the U.S. The Navy Band Great Lakes 'Horizon', and games for the kids. A few quick stops on the way out. Civil Air Patrol has their Cessna Skyhawk on display and a new glider. UND brought a twin engine turbo-prop. The ND Military Vehicle had a display of old (WW-II) military trucks, half-tracks, and jeeps on display. ( (my NDMVCA photos from 2012)

The day moved so quickly in the air that I never felt bored and didn't move far from my lawn chair. By 2 PM it had gotten hot, but not oppressively so. Traffic after the show wasn't very bad. We were on the Interstate in a matter of minutes.

I didn't carry a lot of photographic gear. I almost didn't bring my 500mm CAT lens. It ended up being pretty useful with the propeller driven Acrobatic aircraft. They tend to stay right above the viewing area. The lens is like a small light telescope, so even if I'm not shooting, it gives a great view of what's going on above my head. My 10-20mm Sigma lens stayed in the bag. My Sony 70-300mm got the most use. I also brought my Canon S-110 to shoot some videos. Unlike previous days, I didn't try to do both at the same time. So there are some missing photographs of the Blue Angels on Sunday as I switched to the S-110 during the large 'Delta' formation and 'High Alpha Pass' by the Solo pilots.

DSC01934Solo FortusThe U.S. Navy Blue Angel solo pilots perform a Fortus maneuver with their F/A-18 'Hornets'. The Fortus has the solos flying in carrier landing configuration with No.5 inverted, establishing a 'mirror image' effect. #5 Lt. Mark Tedrow (Lead Solo) and #6 Lt. Ryan Chamberlain (Opposing Solo)


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show. This is my Best Of set. For the full daily sets see: Thursday 7/23, Friday 7/24, Saturday 7/25, or Sunday 7/26 (the most complete day).


I shot short video clips of the aerial demonstrations. My Canon S-110 was attached to my Sony a200 as I shot still photos. The clips are jumpy and were quickly assembled so don't expect much.


Photo descriptions come primarily from Wikipedia (especially the Blue Angel routine). North of Normal (Visit Fargo). Fargo Airsho (Performers)
Addition informational sources:

Additional Information from the Fargo Forum: US Navy Week preview, Jim 'Fang' Maroney, Amazing AirSho takes off, Backseaters, The Fargo Airsho returns in style, Walstad and Schroeder to retire, and Wonderful time at Fargo’s AirSho. InForum Photo Album.

Post-show links to the 'Blue Angels' (photos and movie), 'Leap Frogs' (photos and movie), and Bruce Centerwall (photos) Facebook Fan pages.

USMC AV-8B Harrier IIUSMC AV-8B Harrier IIThe U.S. Marine Corp show off their Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) AV-8B 'Harrier II' aircraft Friday Afternoon. The gear comes down as the Harrier hangs almost motionless mid-air. ]]>
[email protected] (Craig Maas) acrobatic Air Show Blue Angels Hector Mon, 27 Jul 2015 03:00:00 GMT
2007 Fargo Airsho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Saturday-Sunday, June 16–17, 2007

My friend, Bob Nelson, and I would photograph the entire 2007 Fargo AirSho including the practice sessions. My nephew, Sean was ten and wanted to hang out with us. Who could blame him, The USN Blue Angels would be flying and we would be chasing them. Bob was shooting a new Nikon D80 and was no longer limited to 3 rolls of film. He jumped to 2124 images for this airshow! A 20x increase.
This would be the last airshow where I would use film. I was frustrated by its limitations and I looked on jealously at Bob’s D80. This was the first airshow were I actively photographed the practice sessions too. However, with Bob taking thousands of photos, I specialized on what he wasn’t photographing: us.

It rained on and off all day- sometimes pretty hard. The Blue Angels were flying over our house when my nephew Sean and I left. We stopped at Dey Appliance. Victor had some color print film for me.
We found Bob standing on the corner Phoenix International with his Nikon D80, a 300mm lens, and a black umbrella. There were about half a dozen cars and twenty odd people watching airshow practice.
I opened the door on the back of the van and used my Minolta XE–7 and 70–200mm lens. It was too dark and nothing turn out. A shame because the shock-wave of the F/A–18 ‘Hornets’ through the rain was stunning. Photos couldn’t do it justice.

Sean was with me again today. We attended kids day at Island Park, but once I saw a CF–18 flying around, I grew antsy. We left for NDSU. Sean tried to sneak up on Bob, but he was on the top of the stadium stands and could see us a long way off. It was warm and the sun was poking in and out of the clouds. The view was pretty good. I took some photos with my Fuji, until the Blue Angels went up. I forgot to set the camera back to the correct shutter speed so most of the photos were over-exposed and blurry.

Sean and I met Bob at the Air Museum hanger door. We photographed the static displays before the show got too crowded. I photographed the airshow as an event. Bob covered the static displays and the flying demonstrations. I tried to see the Fargo AirSho through Sean’s eyes. He’s more interested in the food booths. The is over in record time. We were joined at the fence by 30–50 Japanese teenagers. I don’t speak Japanese but they would throw in an occasional English noun: “Blue Angel”, “Zoom”, and “Photoshop”. I understood their hand gestures and sounds. For much of an air show there are no words to describe it.

The Blue Angel show starts with Fat Albert. The C–130T didn’t use JATO rockets today. (It did on Sunday). I put the camera down and enjoyed the show. I didn’t take many photos: some on the ground, some of Bob at work, and a couple short movie clips.

The crowd thinned out after the Blue Angels landed. The static Military Aircraft displays were light this year. Sean and I stopped to investigate the Black Hawk helicopter. I pointed Sean to the Cessna L–19/O–1 ‘Birddog’ outside the Fargo Air Museum. “I took the controls of the Bird Dog in CAP camp when I was 13.”

Bob called at 2:00 pm. He was near Phoenix International again.
I told him, “Call me when Fat Albert goes up.” I climbed my roof at 2:00 pm., the C–130T was in the distance. After a long wait I called Bob.
He told me, “The Blue Angels are on the runaway ready to go.”
The first F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ went zooming over our roof. I photographed a couple passes and watched the show. I was pointing out directions to mom, who was watching from the ground.

More than 70 committee members oversee the production and operation of the two-day Fargo AirSho - guided by a $400,000 budget that pays for everything from the gas for the planes to water for the spectators.. Co-chairman Dick Walstad uses a three-inch binder to manage all the logistics and material he needs to keep track of, and when he doesn’t have his Palm Pilot in hand, his cell phone is nearby. The biggest challenge that coordinators faced leading up to the event was the weather. After three days of rainfall, Schroeder said he was relieved the weather was finally cooperating.. crews were out early that morning to lay straw and pump out water near spectator seating areas.. (they) arrived at 6:30 a.m. Saturday for final preparations..

2581 Craig BirddogCraig With His BirddogI had Sean photograph me with this Cessna L-19/O-1 'Bird Dog', because I actually got to fly it for a couple minutes while at Civil Air Patrol (CAP) camp in 1974. Photo by Sean on Saturday, June 16, 2007.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 48 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. My photos are color print film: ©2007, and digital (Fujifilm F–11) 2007. Edited in 2019.
In addition I used Bob’s photos from: 6/14, 6/15, 6/16, and 6/17. See his Best Of Gallery.

Aircraft On Display

  • Static Displays
  • C–47 ‘Skytrain’ WW-II transport painted as “Smile In The Sky”
  • EA–6B ‘Prowler’ USN #503. Lt John ‘Crank’ Kollar. crew: An Robles, Buena Park, CA
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ USN VFA–105 “Gunslingers” #114. crew: Adan Bejarano, Sana Cruz, Boliva
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ USN VFA–105 “Gunslingers” #
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ USAF HO Lt. Col. York, Ms. Richardson. af68–185
  • Boeing 727–200 Fed Ex cargo jet.
  • Flying Demonstrations
  • 2002 Zivko Aeronautics Inc ‘Edge 540’ a fixed mono wing. Flown by Bill Stein Aerosports Inc. Aptos, CA with a 300hp Lycoming IO–540 SER driving a three blade prop. L. Anderson. N540WS
  • DHC–1 ‘Super Chipmunk’ flown by Jim “Fang” Maroney. Built in 1956 by Dehavilland. N540FM
  • EVCO Jet-Powered Delivery Truck driven by Paul Stender. “Speed For Hire” Indianapolis, IN. Also a jet-powered outhouse.
  • UH–60 ‘Blackhawk’ US Army. water drop.
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ MT Minot AFB “Barons”. af61–0007 (MSN 464434) named “Ghost Rider” with 23rd BS/5th BW.
  • A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II aka Warthog’ KC AFRC. Two from the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB. af79–0092 and af79–0114
  • A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II aka. Warthog’ DM 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. af78–0673
    • Heritage flight with P–51D ‘Mustang’ WW-II fighter. U-CY “Gunfighter”
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ WW-II fighter. BC-H “Stang” 47–4404. Flown by Casey or Robert Odegaard.
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ WW-II fighter. VF-H “Boomer” 47–4932. Flown by Tim “Toby” McPherson.
  • P–51A ‘Mustang’ WW-II fighter. “Precious Metal” #57. N8082U. Flown by Gerry Beck
  • CF–18 ‘Hornet’ RCAF “25 Years of the Hornet” painted on the tail. Flown by Captain Yanick Gregoire of the Canadian CF–18 National Hornet Demonstration Team. Bu.188719
  • C–21 ‘Learjet 35’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans” 40114. The National Guard’s 119th Fighter Wing is retiring its fleet of F–16 fighter jets. Its new mission is flying unmanned aerial vehicles and C–21 transport planes.
  • F–15E ‘Strike Eagle’ USAF Oregon ANG. af80–053
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’ USAF Florida Air Guard “Jacksonville” 125th FN #44866
  • C–130T ‘Hercules’ USMC “Fat Albert Airlines” Blue Angels. 8 side-mounted rocket boosters provide Rocket Assisted Take-Off. (JATO/RATO)
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ USN Blue Angels. On Saturday, Blue Angel #4 had issues. #7 was quickly prep and relabeled #4. It was towed back in place and flew the mission. #7 is a F/A–18D, a two-seat trainer; so the nose is longer.

2007 0616a745Paul Stender's Delivery TruckEVCO Jet-Powered Delivery Truck driven by Paul Stender. "Speed For Hire" Indianapolis, IN. Photo by Bob Nelson, of the 2007 Fargo AirSho at Hector field on Saturday.


  • CF–18C, Captain Yanick Gregoire of the Canadian CF–18 National Hornet Demonstration Team
  • Edge 540 (2002 Zivko Aeronautics Inc), Bill Stein
  • A–10A ‘Warthawg’ 2-plane demo from the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB.
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ WW-II Warbird Demonstration. Robert Odegaard, Toby McPherson, and Gerry Beck (P–15A)
  • UH–60 ‘Black Hawk’ helicopter water drop
  • DHC–1 ‘Super Chipmunk’ (1956 Dehavilland), Jim “Fang” Maroney
  • B–52H ‘Super Fortress’, fly-by Minot AFB “Barons”
  • A–10a ‘Thunderbolt II’ Demo and P–51D ‘Mustang’ Heritage Flight from the 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB.
  • C–130T ‘Hercules’ USMC “Fat Albert Airlines”
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornets’ of the USN “Blue Angels”. Led by USN Commander Kevin Mannix in #1.

Blue Angel Pilots

  1. Commander Kevin Mannix (#1 Flight Leader/Commanding Officer)
  2. Lt. Commander Anthony Walley (#2 Right Wing)
  3. USMC Captain Clint Harris (#3 Left Wing)
  4. Lt. Commander Tom Winkler (#4 Slot)
  5. Lt. Commander John Allison (#5 Lead Solo)
  6. Lt. Commander Craig Olson (#6 Opposing Solo)
  7. USMC Major Nathan Miller and Lieutenant Dan McShane (#7 Narrator and Events Coordinator)

2525 Blue Angels towReplacement FourOn Saturday the Blue Angels pull airplane #4 out of the flightline. It needs some work at the hanger to the north. #7 is renumbered, and towed back in time for the show. Photo by Craig on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at the Fargo Air Museum.

In Memorium

Gerry Beck

This would be the last time I saw Gerry Beck flying his green winged P–51A ‘Mustang’. Gerry was killed on Friday, July 27th 2007 flying at Oshkosh, WI. He was killed when his P–51A hit the P–51D that Casey Odegaard was flying. Its propeller hit Casey’s tail, flipped up and over; landing upside down in a fireball. Casey Odegaard walked away from his heavily damaged ‘Mustang’. Casey was piloting his father’s aircraft. Beck hand-built his ‘Mustang’ from original specifications.

Robert Odegaard and Gerry Beck each own companies that restore and rebuild aircraft. They were each in the agricultural aviation business and bonded over restoring World War II military fighter planes. Beck owned Tri-State Aviation in Wahpeton. Odegaard Aviation is located in Kindred. Robert Odegaard said. “It’s been very difficult for me. We were hoping to grow old together.. (Gerry) and Casey got really close because they had done so much flying together. They became very good friends, so this has been tough for Casey.”

It’s a sad time for the aviation community. So much was going right for Beck and Odegaard. Their restored aircraft were taking to the air. Their vision for the Fargo Air Museum had come true.. both were founding members. Several aircraft in the museum are from Beck’s personal collection. “Many more have his touch and expertise applied to them,” said Fran Brummund, executive director of the Fargo Air Museum. -Inforum

Robert and Casey Odegaard along with their restored aircraft recently started in the movie: “Thunder Over Reno

2007 0616a502Gerry Beck RIPNorth American Aviation P-51A 'Mustang' painted as "Precious Metal" #57. N8082U. Flown by Gerry Beck. Photo by Bob Nelson, of the 2007 Fargo AirSho at Hector field on Saturday.


Kevin David

On Saturday, April 21st 2007, USN Lt. Commander Kevin J. Davis died during an airshow at Marine Corps Air Station, just outside of Beaufort, SC. The crash happened while the Blue Angels performed their final maneuver of the show. The pilots were about to reform their Delta Formation. It is surmised Davis pushed the stick too hard. The resulting 6.8 G-load caused him to lose vision or black out. Videos show David gave his ‘Hornet’ more angle of roll, and when he push the pitch, plane went into the ground. Eight other people were injured and some homes were damaged. Saddest of all, his parents were in the crowd watching.
Kevin ‘Kojak’ Davis was a decorated pilot who joined the Blue Angels in 2005.
The Blue Angels called back LCDR Craig Olson, to fly Opposing Solo for the remainder of the 2017 season. Olson served from 2003 to 2005, and flew both solo positions. Wikipedia, Military Times

[email protected] (Craig Maas) air show birddog black hawk blue angels hector mustang warbirds Sun, 14 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT
2006 GFAFB, Thunderbirds Thunder Over The Red River Air Show: Saturday, July 22, 2006

By 2006 I was regaining my enthusiasm for airshows. My friend, Bob Nelson was ready to take a roadtrip north for Friends And Family Day at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The highlight was the USAF Thunderbirds. There was also a B–2 ‘Spirit’ Fly-by, and some interesting NASA aircraft on display.

At the south entrance we were guided across an uneven field, which was fine for the trucks, vans, and SUV, but for the Buick it involved a lot of bouncing and bottoming out. Because of the war? There was a higher level of security: metal detectors and detailed searches. They loved Bob’s large camera bag. Thankfully we were there early; there was no line. They did a wand search of Bob and inspected all his camera gear. We took a bus to the flight line. All I could see were a KC–135R Stratotanker, a C–5B Galaxy, and a Fed Ex 727- that was all. I was crestfallen. We were just in time for the B–2 ‘Spirit’ fly over. There was a 90-minute break before the Opening Ceremonies. “Let’s wander around and check out rest of the static displays.” We found a WW-II Warbirds display with a B–25 ‘Mitchell’, a Yak–11 ‘Moose’, TBM–3E ‘Avenger’, P–51D ‘Mustang’, and F2G ‘Super Corsair’. As we cleared the displays, the show stretched almost all the way to the north apron: something I’d never seen at the GFAFB before. Almost all the aircraft listed on their web site were on display. I was happy again. We spent some time photographing the aircraft, The CAP Cirrus SR–10, the RCAF CT–155 ‘Hawk’, two A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II’ attack planes, two new C–17A ‘Globemaster III’ cargo aircraft, and a F–16A ‘Falcon’ from the NDANG “Happy Hooligans”.
UND/NASA had a DC–8 research aircraft parked in the hanger and a F/A–18B ‘Hornet’ on display with luggage pods under its wings. Also in the hanger, a NASA astronaut was signing autographs. NASA had spacesuit cutouts. I had Bob kneel behind the child-size suit. It made for a funny photo. The clouds were almost gone and it was hot out. We both brought frozen water along.

The C–17A took off with the Army’s ‘Black Daggers’ parachute team. Kids chased the drift ribbons. It’s windy today and yet each parachutist hit the target. The C–17 has the same engines as the Boeing 757, but four of the GE fan jet engines so it really climbs. I went for lunch during the aerobatic demonstrations.

The Warbirds flew back and forth. It was interesting watching them fuel and prep the Moose, Avenger, Mustang and Super Corsair in front of us. We had the pick of spots, so we choose a spot just south of the Warbirds, north of the Thunderbirds between the PA speakers.

The USAF Thunderbird show was situated in the middle of the afternoon because they had to fly to Wyoming today. The Air Force recruiter marched a bunch of kids to center stage; right in front of the Thunderbirds, to administered the Oath of Office. It was a moving ceremony. We all cheered loudly.
The Thunderbirds taxi to the end of the runaway. They pause there for some time, but once the show starts it’s zoom, zoom, zoom all the way to the end. I didn’t photograph much, I wanted to enjoy the show. The crowd was surprised by the low fast sneak fly-by. We know it’s coming but it came from the south rather than from behind. (East) The formation flew like they were one aircraft. They landed and taxied to the flight line. Bob and I waved to Thunderbird #3, Major Nicole Malachowski, the Thunderbird’s first female pilot. She waved back.

Julie Clark performed aerobatics in a T–34 ‘Mentor’ trainer. We head back to the NASA hanger to chill out for a few minutes. I found the water supply and soaked my hat and refilled my water bottles. At the GFAFB first aid station, they were giving out water, sunblock, running water on a golf cart around the field, and bringing back sunstroke victims.

I toured the DC–8 UND/NASA “flying laboratory” aircraft and then watched Bob’s camera gear as he took the tour. Back in the sun we caught the tail-end of the GFAFB KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ fly-by. Bob and I toured the inside of the C–17 ‘Globemaster III’. The aircraft has a cockpit portal looking out into the cargo area. They have a crow’s nest at the top of the plane. Bob was photographing the cockpit; I was photographing Bob, when we heard a jet go screaming past. It was the last demonstration of the air show: an F–15C ‘Eagle’ from Langley AFB. It was very fast; wild how quickly it could climb vertically. I remember when the ‘Streak Eagle’ set time-to-altitude records at the GFAFB. It was winter 1975; the ‘Streak Eagle’ stopped in Fargo. I saw it flying around and was exciting to see. 1, 2
After the impressive F–15C ‘Eagle’ fly-by, we photographed the aircraft on static display as the crowds thinned out. We slowly walked back to the south end.
There were about 4,000 people waiting for buses and not many buses. It’s only half a mile to the car. It feels like 180 degrees inside the Buick. I open the doors, and roll down the windows and wait for Bob to catch up. Set the air conditioning to maximum. An airman knocks on the window; he points to another exit and suggests it will be faster. I thank him. Traffic control is no trouble with thousands of airmen manning every intersection. I’m still amazed traffic is moving so fast. The ND Highway Patrol has stopped traffic on Highway 2 and is waving us on.

DSCF1080Bob Nelson: Straight And LevelJuly 22, 2006 at the GFAFB, Bob 'flying' in front of the B-25J 'Mitchell' WW-II Medium Bomber. The same model his father flew in.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 198 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (digital Canon A60 IMG; Color Print CN224–227) are ©2006, 2019; used with permission. My photos are digital Fujifilm F–11 DSCF. ©2006, 2019. I also assembled a short video featuring the B–2 bomber, P–51, F–2G, and Thunderbirds.

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia.

Aircraft On Display

  • Static Display Aircraft
  • A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II’ two on display. KC AFRC 442nd Fighter Wing. af79–118 “Thunderbolt of Warrensburg”; af79–113 “Big Dog”. 1, 2
  • B–25J ‘Mitchell’ WW-II Medium bomber. “Pacific Prowler” 29710. 44–30823. NL1042B. 1, 2
  • C–5B ‘Galaxy’ You couldn’t miss it, towering at the entrance. 1
  • C–130H ‘Hercules’ one on display. 1
  • C–17A ‘Globemaster III’ one on display, one flying. AMC 437th AW, 315 AW, Charleston. 33123; 700431, 2
  • C–21 ‘Learjet’. 1
  • CT–155 ‘Hawk 115’ Canadian Forces Flying Training School/15 Wing at CFB Moose Jaw. RCAF 155204. 1
  • DC–8–72 operated by NASA and UND. NASA #817. 46082. N436NA. 1, 2, 3
  • F–2G ‘Super Corsair’ part of the Warbirds demonstration. Sohio 57 flown by Robert Odegaard. N5588N 1
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ (Block 15H) ND af81–0807 NDANG “Happy Hooligan”. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • F/A–18B ‘Hornet’, NASA twin-seat research jet. Safety chase and support for the (HARV) high-alpha research vehicle. #852 bu.161217. N852NA. 1, 2
  • HH–65B ‘Dauphin’ from CGAS Traverse City, Michigan. #08. 1
  • KC–10 ‘Extender’. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 319th ARW, GFAFB. 1, 2
  • MQ–1 ‘Predator (UAV)’ Neither Bob or I saw this. Odd as it’s GFAFB’s new mission. 1
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ WW-II fighter. “Stang”. Robert Odegaard. 1
  • PT–19 Fairchild M62 monoplane two cockpit trainer in blue/yellow US Army Air Corp. #21. 1
  • TBM–3E ‘Avenger’ WW-II torpedo bomber. 1
  • T–34C ‘Mentor’. E 0491 bu.160491 US Navy TAW–5; USAF 5192. 1, 2
  • T–37B ‘Tweet’ Cessna jet trainer. VN afxx–049. 71st FTW, Vance AFB, OK. (AETC) Captain Scott ‘Missing’ Link. 1, 2
  • T–38C ‘Talon’ VN 71st FTW “Shooters”, Vance AFB, OK. af70–581 in gray camo. 1, 2
  • T–6 ‘Texan’ by North American Aviation. USMC VMF–312 “Tigger” DR #88. 1, 2
  • T–6A ‘Texan II’ by Beechcraft. 1
  • UH–60 ‘Blackhawk’. 1
  • Yak–11 ‘Moose’ WW-II fighter. #27. 1
  • EAA Aircraft and a number of Civilian aircraft. Experimental Aircraft Association. 1
    • Cirrus SR20 N624CP. CAP USAF AUX, Grand Forks Composite Squadron, ND Wing 33005. 2008 1, 2
    • Cirrus SR22 N922SR. SR20 AERO LLC, Grand Forks. 2003 1, 2
    • Cirrus SR22. T5 NxxxxB
    • Piper Cub? 1
    • Aeronca 7EC–52 ‘Champion’. Miller Aircraft Services Inc., Crookston , MN N4709E. 1, 2
    • Biplane N51DW ?
    • Biplane Nxxxx ?
  • Aerial Demonstrations
  • B–2 ‘Spirit’ fly-over. 1
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ Fly-over only. I didn’t get any photos. 1
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ USAF Thunderbirds Demonstration Team. 1, 2, 3
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ high performance demonstration from the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, VA (ACC). FF. 1, 2
  • Jim “Fang” Maroney performs aerobatic maneuvers in his 1956 Dehavilland ‘Super Chipmunk’. 1, 2
  • Julie Clark acrobatic “Mopar” flying demonstration in a Beechcraft T–34 ‘Mentor’. 1, 2
  • US Army Special Operations Command ‘Black Daggers’ parachute team. 1, 2

CN224.08X2The Spirit Moves MeNorthrup B-2 'Spirit' fly-over. Photo by Bob Nelson on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The color balance on this scan was way off but rather than fix it in Adobe Photoshop, I pushed it even further.


  • 0900 Gates Open
  • 1140 Opening Ceremonies
  • 1145 US Army Black Daggers Jump w/ National Anthem
  • 1155 US Army Back Daggers Mass Exit Show
  • 1205 Oregon Aero Sky Dancer Demonstration
  • 1220 US Coast Guard Search & Rescue Demonstration.
  • 1230 WW-II Warbird Flight (P–51, Corsair, etc.)
  • 1250 USAF B–2A Spirit Flyby - (10:30 am)
  • 1305 USAF C–17A Globemaster III Demonstration - This fly-by right after the Black Daggers jump
  • 1400 USAF Thunderbirds
  • 1515 Julie Clark T–34 Aerobatics
  • 1530 US Army Black Daggers Parachute Team Combat Equipment Jump - mission scrubbed
  • 1555 USAF F–15C Eagle Demo
  • 1700 Airshow Ends

CN226.C24X2Falcon ReflectionThe USAF Thunderbird solo pilots perform a Reflection Pass with Major Brian Farrar (#5 Lead Solo), and Major Ed Casey (#6 Opposing Solo) flying F-16C 'Falcons' Photo by Bob Nelson on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

USAF Thunderbird Pilots

  1. Lt. Colonel Kevin Robbins (#1 Commander/Leader) 2006–2007 source
  2. Major Scottie Zamzow (#2 Left Wing) 2004–2006
  3. Major Nicole Malachowski (#3 Right Wing) 2006–2007; the first female Thunderbird pilot
  4. Major Steve Horton (#4 Slot) 2005–2006
  5. Major Brian Farrar (#5 Lead Solo) 2005–2006
  6. Major Ed Casey (#6 Opposing Solo) 2006–2007
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Black Daggers Eagle F-15C F-16C F-2G Falcon Fighters GFAFB Grand Forks Air Force Base Jim Fang Maroney Julie Clark parachute team Spirit Super Corsair Thunderbirds Tue, 05 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT
2005 Fargo AirSho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Saturday-Sunday, July 09–10, 2005

Another good airshow, lots of WW-II Warbirds, modern Military aircraft, aerobatic demonstrations and the USN Blue Angels. But in 2005, I was more interested in the social aspect than the photographic possibilites or even aviation. At least I didn’t blow it off like the 2003 Fargo AirSho. Instead of attending with my best friend and fellow airshow enthusiast, Bob Nelson, I attended with my aunt and her family.

The Blue Angels flew over our house Thursday and Friday during practice. They were working up their routines: getting closer and closer. The F/A–18C ‘Hornets’ would go around and around, flying over our house again and again.
I believe Bob photographed the Blue Angels practice session today. (Maybe Thursday) I can’t be sure except the location of his photos and his past history suggest so. A couple photos are clearly shot from the Airport Park west of the runaway. There are other photos that might have been photographed from the NDSU track & field stands.

I told Bob I would meet him at the NDSU track & field stands at 1:00 pm to photograph the Blue Angels. “If I don’t show up it’s because I’m being pummeled by hammers.” My headache was terrible. I was down most of the day. I got up to watch the Blue Angels from my backyard. They flew over a couple times, but too fast.. I got lot of photos of trees and smoke.

Normally I would not leave so early, but I wanted to get as much in before my headache returns. It also gave me more time to goof around with my cousins. We arrived as the gates opened and sat 50 feet south of the announcer’s platform, at the fence and half way between the loudspeakers. We watched the Happy Hooligan F–16A ‘Falcons’ take off, followed by a pair of F–15 ‘Eagles’. I toured the Fargo Air Museum with my cousins. The Radio Controlled model airplanes flew, but it was too windy for Skydive Fargo!. The Red Baron flying team flew during the Star Spangled Banner to open the show.

After lunch it was already too hot. There was a Heritage fly-by featuring a F–16C ‘Falcon’ and P–51D ‘Mustang’. The Pietsch Cub Comedy Act follow. My cousins and I toured the static displays, stopping first at the soaking tent, then the C–5A ‘Galaxy’ and F–15 ‘Eagle’. All day long the PA announcer asked the owner of a Chevy Blazer to move it. I knew from past air shows this a comedy routine. Not long afterwards a US Army UH–1 ‘Blackhawk’ helicopter flew by with the Blazer in a sling underneath. As it got to the center of the runaway, it let go. A pyro display exploded as the Chevy bounced off the ground.

Pietsch landed his 1946 Taylorcraft on a moving motor home. “And you think an aircraft carrier is difficult.”
Another tour of the grounds, stopping at the C–47 “Duggy”. I thought I saw Bob Nelson. He was surrounded by women. “Nope, that’s not Bob!”
I photographed some the sights of the airshow and walked through the misting showers for the third time. I had the EMT guy hold my camera, “The water really cools you off.” I got good and wet.

I was back in time to see the Blue Angels’ C–130 take off under RATO power. “Fat Albert” made a couple passes before landing. The Blue Angels followed. I didn’t take many photos. I wanted to enjoyed the F/A–18C ‘Hornets’ zip around the sky and not watch it through the viewfinder. Bob made up for it by shooting with his motor drive!

I tried to record a movie of the fly-bys, but there was something wrong with my Canon G–1. I switched the camera to continuous mode. In 2019 I assembled the continuous photos into a movie with a 2018 Blue Angel soundtrack. It turned out okay, but not worth posting online.

My sister and family didn’t make it to the airport but watched the show from the NDSU Track & Field stands at NDSU. Bob Nelson photographed the Blue Angels show and their practice from various locations. His digital photos confirm he was on site Saturday morning. He told me, “I shot from the NDSU Track & Field stands yesterday.” (Saturday afternoon). Today, Bob found another area to shot from: the Airport Park, or airport parking lot?

Fargo AirSho co-chairman Darroll Schroeder estimated attendance this weekend between 25,000 and 30,000. It fell off on Sunday due to the 90+ degree temperatures.

IMG_0562aHanging Out At The Eagle's NestCraig Maas and his cousin Nathan Orr with Tsgt. Tait in the cockpit of the F-15A 'Eagle' Oregon ANG 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Klamath Falls, Oregon. af78-488. Photo by Cody Orr on Sunday, July 10, 2005 at the Fargo AirSho.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 121 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Digital Canon A60 IMG_01–19; Color Print CN228–231) are ©2005, 2018, 2019; used with permission. Note the location descriptions on his photos are probably mixed up as I wrote those before I checked my 2005 Journal. My photos are digital (Canon G–1). ©2005, 2019.

Aircraft On Display

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia.
The 2005 Fargo Airsho was covered extensively by The Forum newspaper with over 25 articles about the performers and aircraft.

  • Fargo Air Museum 1
    • Mitsubishi A6M ‘Zero’. 1
    • Pratt & Whitney R–4360 ‘Wasp’ Major engine. 1
    • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 ‘Shrike’, 3/4-size model. 1
    • Boeing-Stearman PT–13D ‘Kaydet’. N5057N
    • Anderson-Douglas ‘Anderson/Pulsar XP’ Experimental 1997 fixed wing aircraft with a Bombardier Rotax engine. N4578A
    • Antonov AN–2T ‘Colt’, a Soviet agricultural biplane aircraft with a four-blade propeller and enclosed canopy. 1
    • PZL TS–11 ‘Iskra’, a Polish 2-seat jet trainer N66EN. 1965 WSK-PZL-MIELEC. Fixed wing, single engine. 1
  • Static Displays
  • Cessna 206 ‘Skywagon’, with its new Garmin G1000 “glass” cockpit display. 1, 2
  • Eric Beyers, a UND aerospace student with aircraft from the University of North Dakota aerospace program.
  • C–5A ‘Galaxy’ 105th Airlift Wing, “Stewart” ANG Base. NY Air National Guard, Newburgh, NY. 90–001. 1, 2
  • C–22 Boeing ‘727–200F Advanced’ for FedEx. Cody Meyer, a Fed Ex handler. 1
  • C–47 ‘Skytrain’ “Duggy” “The Smile In The Sky!”. 1, 2
  • F–4U–4 ‘Corsair’ #310 Navy VF 42 NX72378, Bu.97388. 1, 2
  • F–4G ‘Super Corsair’ The Worlds only flying Super Corsair. N5588N Sohio 57. 1
  • F–15A ‘Eagle’ FF af74–112 flown by 2nd Lt. Josh Carlson. 1
  • F–15A ‘Eagle’ Oregon ANG 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Klamath Falls, Oregon. af78–488. 1
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ (Block 15 ADF) NDANG “Happy Hooligans” 119th FW. 178th FS. ND af80–563. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • FW–100-PW200 engine display. 1
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ fighter-attack aircraft. #301 US Navy AB Hawk–1 USS Enterprise. Bu.163736 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ AMC 80027. 1
  • L–17C ‘Navion’ built by North American. 1
  • MiG–15 ‘Faggot’ #619. 1
  • OH–58 ‘Kiowa’ helicopter from the 112th Aviation Regiment. 1, 2
  • T–6 ‘Texan’ trainer painted as “Tigger”. 1
  • T–28 ‘Trojan’ US Navy 2S–0653. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ HO 49th FW. Holloman AFB, NM. af68–186. 1, 2
  • Aerial Demonstrations
  • C–130T ‘Hercules’ “Fat Albert” RATO take off. 1, 2
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ US Navy “Blue Angels”. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • F–16 ‘Falcon’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans” four aircraft flight. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ two aircraft flight. Oregon ANG 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Klamath Falls, Oregon. 1, 2
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ (Block 40H) HL AF90–0725. “Lets Roll” “The General 01”. The 4th Fighter Squadron, “Fighting Fuujins” is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. 1, 2, 3
  • P–17 ‘Kaydet’ Boeing-Stearman Model 75. The Red Baron Pizza Squadron 1, 2
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ all three have D-day Invasion Strips. Also a F–4U ‘Corsair’. 1, 2
    • Excalibur? R 4511540
    • Dazzling Donna
    • Mustang
  • UH–60 ‘Blackhawk’ US Army helicopter. 1
  • T–34 ‘Mentor’ flown by Julie Clark. 1, 2
  • John Klatt flies a Staudacher S–300D. 1, 2
  • Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney (Casselton, ND) flies a 1956 Dehavilland DH-C1 ‘Super Chipmunk’. 1
  • 1942 Interstate Cadet flown by Kent Pietsch (Minot, ND). 1

IMG_0002a1MiG and GalaxyA Soviet MiG-15 'Faggot' #619 in front of a Lockheed C-5A 'Galaxy' from the 105th Airlift Wing, at Stewart ANG Base, Newburgh, NY. Aircraft #90-001. Photo by Bob Nelson, on Saturday July 9, 2005 at the Fargo AirSho.


  • Gates open 9:00; Show opens 10:00
  • NDANG “Happy Hooligan” F–16s takeoff
  • RC Airplanes
  • Skydive Fargo!
  • Four NDANG “Happy Hooligan” F–16A perform.
  • Two F–15s perform.
  • Heritage Flight. Hill AFB F–16A and WW-II P–51D.
  • Warren Pietsch monoplane
  • Warbirds: three P–51, one F–4U
  • Red Baron Pizza Squadron. The longest-running non-military act in history.
  • F–4G Super Corsair Demo
  • Jim “Fang” Maroney performs aerobatic maneuvers.
  • Pietsch Cub Comedy Act, One of the country’s most renowned flying duos. 1942 Interstate Cadet
  • Pietsch: 1946 Taylorcraft lands on motorhome
  • Julie Clark: Beechcraft T–34. Her aerial ballet is a symbol of pride and patriotism.
  • John Klatt Staudacher: S–300D
  • Helicopter/Repel Demo
  • The U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Precision flying by our country’s finest pilots. Aircraft F/A–18 Hornets perform about 30 maneuvers during their hour long show. Started in 1946, they have flown for more than 393 million fans; including 1.7 million in 2004.

CN229b062005 USN Blue AngelsThe USN Blue Angels perform an Echelon Parade. The Echelon consists of pilots: Commander Steve Foley (#1 Flight Leader/Commanding Officer), Lt. Commander John Saccomando (#2 Right Wing), USMC Major Mathew Shortal (#3 Left Wing), and Lt. Commander Max McCoy (#4 Slot). Photo by Bob Nelson, on Sunday July 10, 2005 at the Fargo AirSho.

Blue Angel Officers

  1. USN Commander Steve Foley (#1 Flight Leader/Commanding Officer) YouTube interview
  2. USN Lt. Commander John Saccomando (#2 Right Wing)
  3. USMC Major Mathew Shortal (#3 Left Wing)
  4. USN Lt. Commander Max McCoy (#4 Slot)
  5. USN Lt. Commander Craig R. Olson (#5 Lead Solo)
  6. USN Lt. Commander Ted Steelman (#6 Opposing Solo) Star, Idaho
  7. USN Lt. John Allison
  8. USN Lt. Shawn Swartz interview

Happy Hooligan Number One

The namesake of the North Dakota Air National Guard, was Duane “Pappy” Larson. The name: Happy Hooligans came from the “Steve Canyon” comic strip. There was a character named Happy Easter, leading a band called the Hooligans. In 1957, his squadron members said when Larson looked like Happy when he put on a helmet and goggles.. and the “Happy Hooligans” label was born.

Duane Larson died at his Fargo home Wednesday morning (9/21/2005) after a bout with cancer. He was 88.
Larson, born in Regent ND, was a flying legend. Duane was a World War II fighter pilot, and flew 68 missions in a P–51 Mustang over Europe with the 8th Air Force. After the war He ran the Mott airport before joining the NDANG in 1951. He attained the rank of Brigadier General as he led the 178th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Larson retired in 1969 to run a cropdusting business with his brother, Paul. source

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Blue Angels Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Sun, 27 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT
2003 Fargo AirSho, Snowbirds Fargo Airsho: Friday, July 04, 2003

This has to be the nadir of airshows for me. I didn’t attend. I was in town and decided to celebrate the Fourth at my sister’s house instead. I don’t see any photos from Bob Nelson either. Maybe he was out-of-town. Either way, our interest in airshow had dropped but would recover in the coming years. I know at one time I was very chauvinistic about aircraft. I was only interested in military aircraft and if the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds weren’t flying it was hard to get my attention. It would be another six years before I saw the The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, a team I have since grown to appreciate. But at the time their 1961 CT–114 ‘Tutor’ aircraft didn’t interest me.

Canadair CT-114 Tutor


Although I didn’t attend this airshow, I found photos of the 2003 Snowbirds on Flickr. The photo of the Canadair CT–114 ‘Tutor’ (above) was shot by Ken Shanaberger at the Amigo Airsho 2003 (El Paso, TX).

Aircraft On Display

The Fargo AirSho committee asked the DOD for appearances by B1, B2 and B–52 bombers; C–5 and C–17 jumbo transport planes. The USAF had their hands full in Iraq at the time.

  • Skydive Fargo!
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’
  • Dehavilland ‘Super Chipmunk’ flown by Jim “Fang” Maroney
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ on static display from the NDANG “Happy Hooligans”
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ flown by astronaut (Apollo 8) Colonel Frank Borman in Heritage Flight formation with an F–16.
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ four jets from the 119th Fighter Wing, NDANG “Happy Hooligans” will fly in formation.
  • Several restored WW-II “Warbirds”
  • CT–114 ‘Tutors’ jet trainers built by Canadair. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds flew a 45-minute show at 2 pm.

2003 Fargo Airsho

The AirSho committee tried to book the USAF Thunderbirds after the Grand Forks Air Force Base canceled their Friends and Neighbors Day. It didn’t work out. But at that same convention, the Canadian Snowbirds offered to fly in and perform for a single day. The team’s leader, Major Stephen Will was friends with Jim “Fang” Maroney. Maroney was a NDANG fighter pilot and would be performing in this year’s show.

Although a one day show would raise less money than a two-day show, the committee was hoping to raise enough money to pay off the remaining debt on the Fargo Air Museum. The museum, opened in 2000. It cost $1.2 million, and still carried $400,000 in debt. And if the show went well they could bank funds for a second Air Museum building.
The timing wasn’t great, but the timing for 2004 and 2005 would be worse. Hector Airport would be rebuilding the main runaways those years. (A $26 million project.)
The Fargo AirSho has been held in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2002. They have raised $350,000 for the Roger Maris Cancer Center at MeritCare and the Fargo Air Museum. The budget for the 2003 show would be $156,000. They were hoping for 15,000, but only 8,000 people attended; the break-even was between 10,000 to 12,000. The 2003 AirSho lost about $15,000.

There were two problems with holding an airshow on the Fourth of July. Many resident would be out-of-town for the weekend. Second a one day show risks being rained out completely. “AirSho organizers have taken out an insurance policy, costing $1,400, that pays $50,000 should more than 2/10ths of an inch of rain fall between 8 and 11 a.m. Friday.” -The Forum


These quotes are from The Forum as well as some of the facts and figures above.

  • With its high maneuverability and relatively slow speed, the Tutor is ideally suited to formation and aerobatic flying. The Snowbirds fly closer to the ground, with nine airplanes in extremely tight formations. From a crowd perspective, you’re going to see a lot of precision flying, not only in formation, but solo. It’s precise, graceful and highly choreographed. -Jim Maroney

  • I feel safer hopping in a jet and going up with these guys than I do driving down the freeway in downtown Toronto. This is the perfect backdrop for the show because the smoke shows up. Rarely do we get a perfect blue sky. -Captain Lyle Holbrook, RCAF

  • I hope (The Heritage Flight) sends a message everywhere that people in World War II gave their lives for freedom, and the P–51 symbolizes that just as the F–16 symbolizes that today. We’re a very fortunate society, but we need to realize that freedom isn’t free. -Colonel Frank Borman

  • One thing we’ve decided is never again to have it on the Fourth. There are just too many (competing) events. (It’s) very disappointing to our 75 unpaid volunteers who worked very hard on the show. (But) We know we brought a lot of people to town.. Borman told us this was the best-organized air show he’d been part of, which went a long way toward making us feel a little better. -Dick Walstad, co-chairman AirSho committee

Fargo AirSho Attendance
Year Attendance Net Funds
1989 19000 na
1995 30000 na
1997 40000 na
1999 25000 na
2002 29000 $50,000
2003 8000 -$15,000
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT
2002 Fargo AirSho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Saturday-Sunday, June 08–09, 2002

This is would be the fifth official Fargo Airsho. The committee used everything they learned to put together the best airshow they could. Unfortunately the weather was bad on Sunday, but Saturday’s show was excellent.

The 2002 edition of the show is the most varied of any show held here. It features a combination of aerobatic demonstrations, hang gliding, parachuting, jet-engine dragster; high-performance military aircraft flying solo and in tight formations and numerous civilian and military aircraft on static display. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, last here for Fargo AirSho 1997, are the featured attraction. -Gerry Gilmour, The Forum

This would be my first airshow with a digital camera. For the next four airshows, I would shoot a combination of film and digital, as I got my feet wet. I used a combination of an Olympus 570 digital camera, a Canon G–1 digital camera, and my Minolta XE–7 with a 500mm CAT lens.

The Blue Angels practiced over our house. We’re on the flight path. I listened to them practice. If they flew right over the house it was a quick whooshing sound. If they were a block or two off, it was a much louder roar. If they were climbing or turning with afterburners it was even louder: a crackling rumble like thunder.

A pair of F–117A Stealth fighters were flying around Fargo when my friend Bob Nelson and I met for lunch. We plan to attend the show on Saturday. Bob was planning on shooting with a slow shutter speed. This sounded weird to me, “You mean blurry?”
I told him I’d pick him up at 11:00.
“That gives me more sack time.”
“We might pick you up earlier. Say 6:00 AM. Just be ready,” I laugh.
I photographed the Blue Angels as they practiced over the house this afternoon, ‘I think they clipped our trees a couple times.’

I brought along my sister, nephews, and my friend Bob Nelson. We were still waiting in line when Skydive Fargo! broke the old North Dakota record as 16 jumped out of Robert Odegaard’s DC–3. We missed the “Happy Hooligan” F–16 fly-b. All the good spots on the flight-line were taken. The sky cleared and it warmed up into the 70s. The sun was hot. I photographed the Marine AV–8A ‘Harrier II’ as it hovered over the flight line. I love that it’s from the “Black Sheep Squadron” (The famous ‘Pappy’ Boyington squadron of WW-II, and Robert Conrad’s TV series)

During a break I left to photograph the airplanes on display. There were almost 30,000 people at the air show, so getting decent photos of the aircraft was impossible.

We were too far back to see Scott Hammack’s jet powered dragster: “Smoke-N-Thunder”. The WW-II Warbirds took to the sky. Pyro was detonated to simulate bombing runs. The fire, smoke and explosions scared my nephews. Fire engines extinguished the pyro display.

‘Fat Albert’ takes off at a 45 degree angle with RATO assisted thrust. We couldn’t see the Blue Angels until they were in the air. I shot a full roll of film as they flew around the sky. Bob had a better angle through the crowd. Bob and I pointed out the Diamond formations and solo pilots as they appeared on the horizon. I had less luck timing crossovers and reflections. I tried to frame the Blue Angel ‘Hornets’ with ground displays. I managed some flags.
The family left right away, which is a mistake. Go early, go solo, or go with Bob.

My aunt and uncle attended today’s airshow. Bob was going. My energy level was so close to zero, I decided against. It was announced the air show wouldn’t start until 1:00 pm due to this morning’s storm. Bob was planning to shoot the Blue Angels from the Ellig Sports Complex at NDSU. He likes the view from the top of the stands.

2002 0608.0637aNighthawk In The DaylightLockheed F-117A 'Nighthawk' stealth fighter-bomber on display from the 'Black Sheep' Squadron' 8th Fighter Squadron; 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM. Photo by Craig on Saturday, June 08, 2002 at the Fargo AirSho.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 92 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN220–223,251) are ©2002, 2019; used with permission. My photos are Digital (Canon G–1) and Color Print Film. ©2002, 2019.

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia. I also used the extensive coverage from The Forum newspaper and the NDANG Jet Letter newspaper.

Aircraft On Display

  • A–10 ‘Thunderbolt II’ (aka Warthog/Warthawg) attack aircraft. 30mm gattling canon in the nose. af79–114 “Thunderbolt of Columbia”. AFRC USAF Reserves: 303rd Fighter Squadron out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. 1st Lt. Matt Baxter. 1, 2
  • AV–8B ‘Harrier II’ Marine attack aircraft. #09 From VMA–214 ‘Black Sheep’ Squadron’. Bu.165570. The ‘Harrier’ jump-jet was designed by the British, and built for the USMC by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). 1, 2
  • B–25J–35-NC ‘Mitchell’ WW-II medium bomber painted as “Betty’s Dream” ‘Pop’ Rice. #0934. sn 45–8835. 1, 2, 3
  • B–25J–35-NC ‘Mitchell’ WW-II medium bomber painted as “Lady Luck” Dedicated to the men of the 51st Bomb Wing. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • C–47 ‘Skytrain’ WW-II cargo aircraft painted as NDANG Minnie “H” sn 4293800. Flown by Bob Odegaard. N1XP. 1, 2
  • C–130H3 ‘Hercules’ turboprop cargo transport. #7822 (MNANG) AFRC 934th Airlift Wing “Flying Vikings” based out of the Maple Grove USAF Air Reserve Station, MN. Lt. Colonel Dick Gabe (Pelican Rapids, MN), Major Caleb Merriman, Tech. Sgt. Tracy Meyer, and 1st Sgt. Eric camp. 1, 2
  • EC–130 ‘Hercules’ turboprop command and control platform. Master Sgt. Ron Burgoon of the 12th Air Force’s 355th Wing, 12nd Squadron out of Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. A crew of 21 including pilot Captain Shawn Sharritt 1, 2
  • F–4U–4 ‘Corsair’ #310 Navy VF 42 NX72378, Bu.97388. 1, 2
  • F–4G ‘Super Corsair’ The Worlds only flying Super Corsair. N5588N Sohio 57. 1
  • F–14D ‘Tomcat’ Navy fighter. #105. 1
  • F–16B ‘Falcon’ fighter-trainer, (Block 15G) af81–0820 on display for the NDANG 178th Fighter Squadron "Happy Hooligans. 1, 2, 3.
  • FW–100-PW200 engine display. 1
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ fighter-attack aircraft. VFA–151, #310. 1, 2
  • F/A–18E ‘Super Hornet’ fighter-attack aircraft. NE #111, Cmdr Gregg “Mongo” Sears. 1
  • F/A–18F ‘Super Hornet’ fighter-attack aircraft. #113 Lt Dean “Sticks” Sibley, Lt. John “Swest” Batless. 1
  • F/A–18F ‘Super Hornet’ fighter-attack aircraft. #102. 1
  • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ stealth fighter-bomber. HO 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM. 1, 2, 3
    • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ static: Major Bruce Smith, af86?–791 8th Fighter the ‘Black Sheep’ Squadron.
    • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ flying: Lt. Colonel Joe Skaja, 7th Combat Training Squadron
  • L–29 ‘Delfin’ Czech jet trainer. (Soviet livery) N81637. 1966 Aerovodochody sn:591627. 1
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ “Dazzling Donna”. 1, 2, 3
  • TBM–3E ‘Avenger’. 1
  • T–37 ‘Tweet’ RA 12th FTW, Randolph AFB, TX. 1, 2
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ EN 80th FTW , Sheppard AFB, TX. afxx–8369. 1, 2
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ XL 47th FTW, Laughlin AFB, TX. afxx–4200. 1, 2
  • AT–6 ‘Texan’ silver trainer. U.S. Air Force 244495, TA–495. 1
  • T–6 ‘Texan’ trainer. yellow. U.S. Air Force 114799, TA–799. 1
  • T–2C ‘Buckeye’ US Navy trainer. 159159 from VT–9 based at Naval Air Station Meridian in Miss. A #79. “Tigers” CTM–1. 1, 2
  • UH–60 ‘Black Hawk’ Sikorsky helicopter. Captain Paul Helten, North Dakota Army National Guard’s 112th Aviation Wing, 1st Battalion. 1, 2
  • Yak–52 prop trainer. 1
  • Meritcare “Life Flight” Beechcraft “Super King Air”. 1
  • C–21A Lear Jet 35/36. 1
  • F–4J ‘Phantom II’ Blue Angels cockpit (1969–73)Max. Steven Blevins, owner of Dream Photos.
  • Scott Hammack: “Smoke-N-Thunder” jet powered dragster goes from 0 to 300 mph in 6 seconds or less. Acceleration is at 4.5 Gs and upon deployment of the parachute Scott experiences an –11 G-force. 1, 2, 3
  • Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney flies a 1956 Canadian DH-C1 ‘Super Chipmunk’. 1
  • Dan Buchanan flies the ‘Sonic’ hang glider by Moyes Delta Gliders (Botany, Australian). Steve Pavon controls the hydraulic winch. 1
  • Kent and Warren Pietsch, Minot ND. Flying their yellow Jelly Belly aircraft. 1
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’ “Fat Albert”. 1
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornets’ “The Blue Angels”. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ fighter NDANG “Happy Hooligans” demonstration. 1, 2
  • Skydive Fargo! spokesman Dave Sornsin and team break the North Dakota state free-fall formation record. Miles Hubbard (Richmond, MN) Load organizer. 1

Fargo AirSho Schedule

0900 Gates open
1000 Radio-controlled airplanes
1100 Skydive Fargo!(show opens)
1115 Happy Hooligans, F–16s take-off
1130 Scott Hammack: Smoke-N-Thunder
1145 Harrier demo
1200 Happy Hooligans F–16 formation flying
1225 F–16 demo
1240 Lunch break
1320 Kent and Warren Pietsch’s Comedy act
1335 Dan Buchanan hang glider
1350 T-Craft
1410 Warbird flybys/P–51 demo
1435 Smoke-n-Thunder/Super Chipmunk Race
1450 Super Corsair Demo
1503 Super Chipmunk
1520 Blue Angels walkdown/taxi
1530 Blue Angels performance

CN251a11Blue Angel StackUSN Commander Rob Field (#1 Commander/Leader), USN Lieutenant Todd Abrahamson (#2 Right Wing), USN Lieutenant Jerry Deren (#3 Left Wing), and USN Lt. Commander Max McCoy (#4 Slot) perform an Echelon Parade pass. Photo by Bob Nelson, on Saturday June 8, 2002 at the Fargo AirSho.

Blue Angel Officers

  1. USN Commander Rob Field (#1 Commander/Leader) source
  2. USN Lieutenant Todd Abrahamson (#2 Right Wing)
  3. USN Lieutenant Jerry Deren (#3 Left Wing)
  4. USN Lt. Commander Max McCoy(#4 Slot)
  5. USN Lt. Commander Scott Kartvedt (#5 Lead Solo)
  6. USN Lt. Commander Martin (#6 Opposing Solo)
  7. USMC Captain Len Anderson (#7 Narrator)
  8. USN Lieutenant Marcello Caceres (#8 Events Coordinator)

2002 0608.0612aMinnie HA Douglas C-47 'Skytrain' WW-II cargo aircraft painted as NDANG Minnie "H" at the Fargo AirSho. Flown by Bob Odegaard. N1XP. The original Minnie "H" is in West Fargo at the Bonanzaville museum. Photo by Craig on Saturday, June 08, 2002 at the Fargo AirSho.

Duggy and Minnie H

The original “Minnie H” was a side-wheel steamboat that carried passengers and mail on Devils Lake from July 4, 1883, to the fall of 1909. The name was transferred to a C–47 which flew for the North Dakota Air National Guard for another twenty years. Officially stock number VC–47A–25DK; serial number 4293800, this C–47 was build in 1943 by Douglas Aircraft (Oklahoma). It was accepted by the US Army Air Corps in January 1944. She served in the China-Burma-India Theatre (WW-II) flying The Hump: the famous aerial supply route from India to China through the Himalayas. She also served in Europe before being assigned to the NDANG on July 7, 1947. It’s estimates the guard flew ‘Minnie H’ 12,000 hours (22,000 hours total) before she was retired. She served four N.D. governors as the state’s official flagship: Fred G. Aandahl, Norman Brunsdale, John Davis and William Guy. But her finest hours were spent helping those in need.

Probably best remembered by many will be the mercy flights the ‘Minnie H’ flew, transporting polio patients, rushing rare blood or needed serum to hospital patients or transporting key pieces of heavy bulky equipment to help in battles against natural disasters. -The Forum, 7/31/1972

Four of the most dramatic mercy errands were:

  1. “Operation Haylift” in the winter of 1949, when the “Minnie H” and a second C–47 operated by the NDANG dropped thousands of tons of hay and other vital supplies to snowbound cattle and farmers in western North Dakota.
  2. The trip in November 1950 with a 7-year-old Fargo polio victim from Fargo to Miami, Fla., after Air Guard maintenance crews made special provisions in the plane to handle an iron lung.
  3. The hurried trip in the spring of 1950 to North Carolina to pick up 10,000 burlap bags for use in making sandbags to protect utilities and homes in Fargo - Moorhead from the rampaging Red River.
  4. The flight in January 1967 from Minneapolis to Jamestown with a young North Dakota man dying of cancer who wanted to spend his last hours at home.

In 1988 “Minnie H” was moved for a final time from Bismarck to her new home in West Fargo. On July 14 a CH–54 ‘Skycrane’ helicopter from Meridian (Mississippi Air National Guard), made the delivery. The engine and wings made the trip by Army Guard flatbed truck. N.D. Adjutant General, Major General MacDonald, a former pilot of this C–47 was on hand to watch.
As of 2019 “Minnie H” is still at Bonanzaville, on display in the Eagles Air Museum. She is showcased as “The Governor’s Plane.”

An older C–47 (built in September 1942) served in the Pacific Wing of the Air Transport Command (Australia) during WW-II. She was sold as war surplus. She spent almost 50 years working for the Canadian Department of Transportation (CF-DOT.)
Harry Thompson and Robert Odegaard purchased the aircraft and restored it to the original colors of a NDANG C–47: “Minnie H”, in 1998.

In 2004, it was reconditioned, painted a bright yellow, and given a smiley face by SkyHarbour in Canada. Named “Duggy”, for its character on the kid’s cartoon “Duggy And His Flying Friends”. (Duggy is a project created from Mitch Carley’s cartoon characters.)

But today this C–47 pays tribute to “Minnie H” as she takes on the Fighting Sioux. “..the UND football team, was part of the airplane pull. The football team actually pulled a C–47 aircraft in a test of strength against other muscular types.”

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Corsair Eagle Falcon Harrier. Hercules Hornet MiG Minnie Nighthawk Texan Tomcat Warthawk Yak Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:00:00 GMT
1999 Fargo AirSho Fargo AirSho: Saturday-Sunday, August 21–22, 1999

My co-pilot at this airshow would be Victor Teigen. This was one of rare airshows that Bob Nelson did not attend. This would also be the last Fargo AirSho on the west side of the runaway. I had a headache that precluded going on Sunday. I gave my ticket to my father instead. There were no marquee military demonstration teams this year so attendance was unsurprisingly low.

Frankly it was disappointing, this show was one of the best in the nation this year. It’s a super show, the weather was good. So many things were right. When you put a show together with Wayne Handley, Jim Maroney, Jim Franklin and all the stars we had, it just doesn’t happen very often. We received outstanding feedback from spectators and performers. You gotta feel good about the show we put on. Everything ran exceptionally well. The performers were tickled to death. I’m still kind of numb. The committee is just exhausted. Everyone worked very hard and did an outstanding job. -Dick Walstad, 1999 Fargo AirSho, co-chairman.

AirSho officials were hoping to eclipse 30,000 people, but estimates were between 20,000 and 25,000 people. According to spectators on Saturday, the absence of the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds was the reason. The FArgo AirSho did raise $240,000 for cancer research and the planned Fargo Air Museum.

The FA–18 ‘Hornet’ was flying around when we arrived. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets were parking arrivals half a mile away. I flashed Victor’s Volunteer pass and we parked at the gate. We would be working at the Good Shepherd’s food booth. I heard most of Bob Hoover’s demonstration while under the tent. I watched parts of the aerial displays.

I couldn’t find my polarizer filter. I remember looking at it and knowing it was going into the bag, but I guess I didn’t get that far. I shot through two rolls in minutes. Although the AV–8 ‘Harrier’ wasn’t there, there was a German Panavia 200 ‘Tornado’ and many interesting aircraft.
The F–4G ‘Super Corsair’ engine wouldn’t start. It’s flight was canceled.
While watching Handley in his “Raven” stunt plane, I accidentally opened my camera only see the film not rewound. I instantly closed the camera, but it was too late.
I watched the NDANG “Happy Hooligans” take off. Their demonstration did not last long. One of their F–16A ‘Falcons’ reported a bird hit. Victor was back at the booth. I helped clean tables and stow all the gear. There was no one left on the flight-line. The booth-girls had all disappeared into the NATO AWAC plane parked on the runaway north of us. I said we should wait for them to show up. I guess the NATO Crew sat them down and wouldn’t let them leave. I can’t blame them. A couple of those girls were very cute. I asked if they signed anything, “You’ve probably enlisted the Belgium Air Force.”
We filled my Astro van with eight people and church supplies.

1999 0821h14German TornadoThe Panavia 'Tornado' is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft, jointly developed and manufactured by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium. (Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany) It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979-1980. Due to its multi-role design, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. Photo by Craig on Saturday, August 21, 1999 at the Fargo AirSho.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 34 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. My photos are color print film. ©1999, 2019.

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia. I also used material found in the 1999 Fargo AirSho Program and Fargo Forum Newspaper.

Aircraft On Display

  • Static Demonstrations
  • AH–1F ‘Cobra’ attack helicopter. #100. 1
  • B–1B ‘Lancer’. Listed in the program, but did not attend due to engine issues. 1
  • C–47 ‘Skytrain’ North Dakota Air National Guard 0–9380. 1
  • E–3 ‘Sentry’ (NATO) LX-N 90442, AWACS OMS. NATO 1949–1999 OTAN 50th Anniversary livery. 1
  • F–4U–4 ‘Corsair’ #310 Navy VF 42 NX72378, Bu.97388. 1, 2, 3
  • F–4G ‘Super Corsair’ #57 SOHIO. N5588N 1, 2
  • F–15B ‘Eagle’. CC Guy Remecke. Jacksonville. AF76–125, 1,2
  • F–16B ‘Falcon’ fighter-trainer, (Block 15L) af82–1036 on display for the NDANG 178th FS “Happy Hooligans. ”Roughrider Country". C/C P. Schreiner. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • F/A–18 ‘Hornet’ #14. 1
  • HH–65A ‘Dolphin’ US Coast Guard “Detroit” 6540. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 319th Air Refueling Wing. “Warriors of the North” 1, 2
  • Panavia 200 ‘Tornado’ 44–77. German Air Force Tactical Training Center, Holloman AFB, NM. est 5/1/1996. 1
  • PT–13D ‘Kaydet’ trainer. behind Yak–52. 1
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ “Dazzling Donna”. 1
  • P–51G “Grand 51” with General Aviation you can see an actual P–51D over its tail. 1
  • S–3B ‘Viking’ US Navy VS–32 AB #706 159393/ USS John F. Kennedy. Lt (jg) M “Spanky” Meschke, Lt. Courtney “Brewski” Smith. 1
  • TA–4J ‘Skyhawk’ Navy #701. A. 1
  • TBM–3E ‘Avenger’ CC #89. 1
  • L–29 ‘Delfin’ Czech jet trainer. (Soviet livery) N81637. 1966 Aerovodochody sn:591627. 1
  • L–29 ‘Delfin’ Czech jet trainer. (Czech livery) N41PK. 1966 Aerovodochody sn:1902. 1
  • L–29 ‘Delfin’ Czech jet trainer. (Czech livery) N229MD #2815. 1968 Aerovodochody sn:892815. 1
  • AT–6 ‘Texan’ #94. 1
  • AT–6 ‘Texan’ VMF–312 #88 USMC “Tigger”. 1
  • T–28B ‘Trojan’ Navy trainer #8216 Pepsacola “Plane Jane II”. N285MS. Bu. 138216. registered to Dennis H. Bohn, Grand Forks 1997–2008. 1, 2
  • T–37 ‘Tweet’ Cessna jet trainer US Air Force RA AF66–0989. Captain Harold Manning. 1
  • T–38C ‘Talon’ jet trainer. WM US Air Force AF67–845 “Follow Us” 509th BW, Whiteman AFB, MO. 1, 2
  • Yak–52 prop trainer in USSR Livery. NX602BM, 1
  • Aerial Demonstrations
  • F/A–18C ‘Hornet’ NJ #02 United States Marines. VFA–125. USS Abraham Lincoln. 1
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ HL (Block 40C) AF88–0476. 421st FS “Black Widows”, 388th FW, Hill AFB, UT. 1, 2
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ HL (Block 40D) AF88–0509. 421st FS “Black Widows”, 388th FW, Hill AFB, UT. 1, 2
  • Aero Commander flown by R.A. “Bob” Hoover: a fighter pilot, test pilot and as a master of aerobatics. His famous yellow P–51 Mustang has been one of the main attractions at the Reno National Air races for many years. His demonstrations in the Shrike Commander performing his energy management maneuvers with both engines shut down is nothing short of spectacular. General Chuck Yeager called Hoover “the best pilot flying today.” 1
  • “Super Chipmunk” flown by Jim “Fang” Maloney. Jim up in Casselton, went to high school in West Fargo, college at Fresno State, he joined the Marine Corps and went to Navy flight school in 1981. He was ranked the number one Naval Aviator out of 1,676 pilots trained that year. Jim spent 8 years on active duty flying A–4’s and F–18s. Lt. Col. Maroney is the Operations Officer and F–16 pilot for the NDANG. Jim also flies 747s for the airlines and the Pitt S–2B for the Sierra-Aces aerobatics team. 1, 2, 3
  • The Raven” flown by Wayne Handley aerobatic “Oracle”. The one of a kind “Raven” has a highly pumped 550 horsepower Lycoming IO–540, giving Handley the type of performance generally only found in military fighters. Its fuselage and three bladed propeller are mostly Kevlar and carbon graphite. Wayne flies a series of unusual Lomcevaks, tumbling end over end into more originally created gyroscopic maneuvers. Wayne has accumulated over 24,000 hours in his 39 year aviation career. 1
  • Scott Hammack: “Smoke-N-Thunder” Jet powered dragster goes from 0 to 280–300 mph in 6 seconds or less. Acceleration is at 4.5 Gs and upon deployment of the parachute Scott experiences an –11 G-force. Handley raced Smoke-N-Thunder, which reached a top speed of 301 miles per hour in barely edging The Raven. 1, 2, 3
  • Waco “Red Rocket” with jet engine, flown by Jim Franklin. Kyle Franklin Wing walker. The Red Rocket is equipped with GE CJ610–6 jet engine used on Lear Jets. Franklin added an inverted oil system from a T–38. The jet engine adds another 600 lbs. to the aircraft which Franklin says is quite noticeable in the aircraft’s handling characteristics. Both the jet engine and Pratt & Whitney are running at the same time, but Franklin powers up the jet on climbs and some low-level passes, then idles back on dives and on the turnarounds. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • S–2B Pitts Sierra Aces aerobatic team. Listed in the program, but did not attend?

1999 0821h23a1Heavily Armed HooliganF-16B 'Falcon' fighter-trainer, (Block 15L) af82-1036 on display for the NDANG 178th FS "Happy Hooligans". Photo by Craig on Saturday, August 21, 1999 at the Fargo AirSho.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show F-16B FA-18F Fighters Fighting Falcons Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Super Hornet Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:00:00 GMT
1998 GFAFB, Thunderbirds Grand Forks Air Force Base: Friends & Neighbors Air Show, Sunday, August 30, 1998

I brought a camcorder and spent the day recording the static displays and aerial displays. I never transfered the tape. The camcorder went back to my brother-in-law, and I’ve never seen the tape since. I didn’t shoot a single frame of film. Bob Nelson shoot two rolls of color film of the USAF Thunderbird demonstation flight.

The men and women from Grand Forks Air Force Base would like to invite you to this year’s Friends and Neighbors Day.. This is our way of saying thanks to all our friends in the Red River Valley and throughout the region for their outstanding support throughout the years. It’s also an opportunity for you, our neighbors, to get up close and personal with some of the Air Force’s finest weapon systems and a chance to talk with some of the talented and dedicated people who serve in your Air Force. Since the theme of the day centers on aircraft and their air power, we’ve also invited our sister services and a number of civilian and vintage aircraft. This year’s highlights include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. Without a doubt, this year’s show is going to be the biggest and best in Grand Forks’ history. We’re planning for more than 50,000 people - so come join us - you don’t want to miss this show. -GFAFB Program

Sunday, I left with my sister’s family. Bob left with his. The traffic was backed up for miles at the base. We missed the B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ while in the traffic jam. The F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ was flying as we walked in. I waited for Bob at the big hanger and watched the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team.

I crashed into Bob at the flight-line. They got stuck in traffic too. I rolled my nephew through the C–5A, ‘Galaxy’ which was stroller accessible on both ends. Bob mentioned the open hangers on the east end. The NDANG “Happy Hooligans” had a life sized inflatable F–16.

Under the wings of a C–17,‘Globemaster III’ we watched the aerobatics teams perform. I located Bob directly off the C–5A at the fence, “My mission was to find you and report back.” I saluted and left. It was hot in the sun, but didn’t take much convincing to move my team to the fence. Soon the Thunderbirds were rolling. They sat out on the tarmac a long time: waiting for 3:20 - to go up on schedule.
I was ready to go after they landed. The day went quickly. I missed all the aerial demonstrations and could have left my still camera at home.

CN197.081998 Thunderbird DiamondUSAF Lt. Colonel Brian Bishop (#1 Commander/Leader), Major Bradley Bartels (#2 Left Wing), Major Robert Givens (#3 Right Wing), and Major Paul Krause (#4 Slot) perform the Diamond Pass In Review . Photo by Bob Nelson on Sunday, August 30, 1998 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the GFAFB Air Show: 42 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN164–165) are ©1998, 2018; used with permission.

Thunderbird Pilots

  1. Lt. Colonel Brian Bishop, (Commander/Leader), 1998–1999 source
  2. Major Bradley Bartels, (Left Wing), 1998–1999
  3. Major Robert Givens, (Right Wing), 1997–1998
  4. Major Paul Krause, (Slot), 1997–1998 flying a F–16D 2-seat trainer.
  5. Major Mark Arlinghaus, (Solo/Right Wing), 1997–1999
  6. Major Dennis Malfer, (Solo), 1998–1999
  7. Major Skip Johnson, (Advance Pilot/Narrator), 1997–1998


0730 Warrior 5K Scramble
0900 Gates open for airshow
1000 Golden Knights Open show with jump
1030 P–51 Aerial Demo
1100 B–25 Aerial Demo
1130 Yak–54 Aerial Demo
1130 Military Working Dog Demo
1200 F–117 Aerial Demo
1230 Golden Knights Parachute Demo
1300 Vintage Warbird Demo (Many)
1330 C–47 Aerial Demo
1400 PITTS Aerial Demo
1430 L–5 Aerial Demo
1500 Thunderbirds Ground Show
1520 Thunderbird Demonstration
1700 Show ends (official) around 5 pm.

1998a GFAFB Map1998a GFAFB MapI updated the map found in the 1998 GFAFB Program. I made notes at the time in pencil. In 2019 I moved and deleted aircraft.

Aircraft On Display

  • Military Aircraft
  • A–10 ‘Thunderbolt’
  • B–1B ‘Lancer’
  • B–52 ‘Stratofortress’
  • C–17 ‘Globemaster III’
  • C–21 ‘Learjet’ Model 35/36
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’
  • C–141 ‘Starlifter’
  • CT–114 ‘Tudor’ (Canadian jet trainer)
  • CC–142 ‘Dash–8’ (Canadian Military transport) Bombardier DHC–8
  • E–3 ‘Sentry)’ AWACS (AC=awaiting confirmation)
  • F–14 ‘Tomcat’ (AC, there were no Navy aircraft today)
  • F–15 ‘Eagle’ x2
  • F–16 ‘Fighting Falcon’
  • F/A–18 ‘Hornet’
  • F–117 ‘Nighthawk’
  • E–4 Advanced Airborne Command Post, Boeing 747 (AC)
  • KC–10 ‘Extender’
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’
  • KC–135 ‘Pacer’ CRAG (compass, radar and GPS Upgrade) (AC)
  • P–3 ‘Orion’ (AC)
  • T–1 ‘Jayhawk’
  • T–37 ‘Tweet’
  • T–38 ‘Talon’
  • UH–1 ‘Huey’
  • USAF Academy glider
  • Vintage Aircraft
  • AT–6 ‘Texan’ trainer (x2)
  • B–25 ‘Mitchell’ medium bomber
  • C–45 ‘Expeditor’ a military version of the Beechcraft Model 18
  • C–47 ‘Dakota’ transport
  • L–29 ‘Delfín’ (Czech jet trainer)
  • P–51 ‘Mustang’ fighter
  • S–2B Pitts aerobatic aircraft
  • T–34 ‘Mentor’ trainer
  • T–44 ‘Pegasus’ Beechcraft King Air transport
  • Civilian Aircraft
  • T-craft
  • Crop Duster
  • EAA Aircraft (Approx 25)
  • L–5 ‘Sentinel’ Stinson liaison aircraft used in WW-II.
  • UND Aircraft
  • C–74 Civil Air Patrol
  • Cirrus Prototype
  • Ground Displays
  • High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) (ANG)
  • M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (ANG)
  • Mini F–16 (USAF Recruiter)
  • Fuel Truck
  • Security Forces Vehicle
  • GF Police Dept Vehicles (1 early ’60s mint condition and 1 modern car (comparison in technology).
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Fighters GFAFB Golden Knight Grand Forks Air Force Base Lt. Colonel Brian Bishop Thunderbirds Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:15:00 GMT
1997 Fargo AirSho, Blue Angels Fargo Airsho: Thursday-Sunday, July 03–06, 1997

The 1997 Fargo AirSho was also a celebration of the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 50th Anniversary. The show headliner was the US Navy Blue Angels, but the NDANG also performed a four-flight demonstration. To honor their current and past members they flew a couple passes over Hector Field in their current F–16A ‘Falcons’ and original F–51D ‘Mustang’. I believe Robert Odergaard flew the Mustang. My co-pilot, Bob Nelson was content to photograph the performances this weekend. I was looking to do something different. Learning from my mistakes recording the 1996 GFAFB airshow, I would videotape this show with mixed results.

The USN Blue Angels arrived in Fargo and although it was raining they practiced that afternoon. I stood under the eaves and watch them fly overhead. They scared the neighbor’s dogs.

I watched the Blue Angels practice while I mowed the backyard and trimmed our apple tree. The foliage was in the way but I captured a couple photographs.

I borrowed my bother-in-law’s camcorder. Once at the show, I couldn’t find Bob on the flight-line. While walking back and forth, I documented aircraft data with the camcorder. The NDANG “Happy Hooligans” launched four F–16A ‘Falcons’. The sky turned cloudy, the wind picked up, and it started to sprinkle. I shot some film, but was most comfortable running the camcorder. Rod Gier, the “Mad Bomber” set off his pyro as the Falcons flew past on a simulated bomb run. I rubbed my hands in the warmth of the blast.
I found Bob; then he went off to find lunch at Red Baron Pizza. I watched the Sierra Aces Acrobatic team through his 300 mm ƒ2.8 lens. Bob brought his Norman flash units. He photographed the PT–13D ‘Kaydet’ and F–51D ‘Mustang’ using colored gels. After the Blue Angels landed, we wandered around flight-line.

I returned to the airshow with Mom, Dad, Paul, Suzanne, and Sean. This would be Sean’s first airshow at age 6-months. I found a spot close to the center flight-line. [The lawn chair made the video steadier today.]
It only took two minutes to find Bob today.
I asked the F/A–18 pilot questions about his ‘Hornet’. (The F–14 pilot was busy.)
Wayne Handley and his Oracle “Raven” went into a long flat spin counting out the revolutions. (24)
The “Cool Cuts” performed in three Robinson 22 helicopters.
I recorded the Sierra Aces. Suzanne returned with a Red Baron Pizza. I had her deliver a slice to Bob.
Jim Franklin and his son Kyle were cooking in the Waco. The wing walking routine is just crazy.
“Fat Albert” went airborne via RATO. So cool to see the rockets throw that big aircraft into the sky.
The Blue Angels followed. Their routine was expanded because there are fewer clouds today.
I caught the surprise pass but forgot to tell mom there were two planes. Sean was scared and started crying his head off.

Sunday evening, Mom was in the backyard mowing, when the Blue Angels took off for their next show. July 12 in Pensacola Beach, Florida.

CN184.35Blue Angel PyroThe 'Mad Bomber' Rod Gier ignites his pyrotechnics behind the row of USN Blue Angel FA-18A fighters. Photo by Bob Nelson, on Sunday July 6, 1997 at the Fargo AirSho.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Fargo Airsho: 98 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (color print CN181–185) are ©1997, 2018, 2019; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1997, 2019.
Although the video clips were interesting, the quality wasn’t great. I posted Sunday’s Blue Angel performance as the best example. It was assembled in iMovie this year: 2019.

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia.

Aircraft On Display

  • Static Displays
  • C–26B ‘Metro III’ built by Fairchild. NDANG “Happy Hooligans” Mission Support Aircraft. #00530. 1
  • C–130E ‘Hercules’ AFRC 934th AW “Flying Vikings” saf62–1835. Crew Chiefs: Msgt R Klick, Tsgt M. Olson. 1
  • CT–114 ‘Tutor’ Canadian jet trainer. 1
  • CM.170 ‘Magister’ jet french trainer. 1
  • F–4D ‘Phantom II’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans”. af64–0949 “Miss West Fargo” LTC Doug L. MacDonald, CPT Robert W. Triebold, CMS Dick McGuire. William Tell ’86. A museum piece. 1
  • F–14A ‘Tomcat’ #133 VF–101 “Grim Reapers” US Navy AD 160911. Amean Turner, Pryor, OK. 1
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans”. af82–983 (Guarding The Northland). 1
  • F/A–18 ‘Hornet’ US Navy VFA–203 “Blue Dolphins” USS John F. Kennedy. Cdr Smith “Fast” XO. (AF #302) 162841. 1
  • F–51 ‘Mustang’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans”. NG-NDAK 474404. Pilot: Maj. Donald C. Jones, C/C: MSG Thomas E. Cummings Jr. A flying museum piece flown today by Robert Odegaard (Kindred, ND) 1
  • F–89 ‘Scorpion’ fighter interceptor. U.S. Air Force 32604. NDANG “Happy Hooligans”. A museum piece. 1
  • F–94 ‘Starfire’ ANG 15606. A museum piece. 1
  • F–101 ‘Voodoo’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans” 0–53432. A museum piece. 1
  • F–102 ‘Delta Dagger’ NDANG “Happy Hooligans” 80341. A museum piece. 1
  • F–117A ‘Nightwalk’. 9th Fighter Squadron “The Flying Knights” 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB. HO af83–807. Capt. Ken Duelle. Crew: Ssgt Stephen Zopp, Sra Chadd Holley, Amn Shane Gandy. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ 319 ARW, Air Mobility Command (AMC). x1–0317. Crew Chief: Tsgt Kinney. 1
  • Lear Jet 35/36 Phoenix Air. N543PA. Capt. Tim Zelinski, F/O Tim Weaver.
  • PT–13D ‘Kaydet’ Boeing-Steerman Model 75 trainer. N5057N, 75–8143, N2S–5. Warren Walkinshaw (Argusville, ND). 1, 2
  • TBM ‘Avenger’ torpedo bomber. CC #89. 1
  • T–6 ‘Texan’ trainer. DR #88. 1
  • UH–1 ‘Iroquois’ helicopter. “Huey” ND National Guard 0–16261. 1
  • Yak–52 School trainer. N96JK. 1
  • Aerial Performers
  • Robinson R22, helicopter Team: the “Cool Cuts”. 1
  • Wayne Handley and his “Raven”. 1
  • Waco flown by ‘Jimmy’ Franklin with his 17 year old son Kyle as wing-walker. 1
  • “Super Chipmunk” flown by Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney. 1
  • Skydive Fargo. 1
  • Pitts S–2S acrobatic Team: the “Sierra Aces”. 1
  • Mad Bomber Rod Gier brings his pyrotechnics and special effects: “Wall of Flame”. 1
  • Heritage F–16A ‘Falcon’ 82–929 with F–51 ‘Mustang’ NG-NDAK 474404 flown today by Robert Odegaard (Kindred, ND) 50th Anniversary of the NDANG “Happy Hooligans”.
  • Happy Hoolgans F–16A ‘Falcons’. 4-Flight: 82–783, 82–903, 82–919, 82–929. 1
  • Fat Albert TC–130G ‘Hercules’ performs a rocket-assisted takeoff (RATO). BuNo 151891. 1
  • Blue Angels FA–18A ‘Hornets’. 1
  • F–4J ‘Phantom II’ Blue Angels cockpit.
  • General Aviation
  • Beechcraft Super King Air 200 (twin-turboprop) N911ND, Meritcare “Lifeflight”. 1
  • Pilatus PC–12 (single-turboprop) N601BM. 1
  • Rockwell Aero ‘Renaissance’ Commander 840 Dash–10. 1
  • Pilatus PC–12 (single-turboprop) N600BM, Butler Machinery. 1
  • Cessna C182 ‘Skylane’ N9209H, Civil Air Patrol. 1
  • Piper PA–28 ‘Cherokee’ N118ND, UND. 1
  • Army Vehicles
  • 34–134 FSB
  • B–1307
  • M977 [HEMTT][hemtt] Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. An 8-wheel dump truck truck with crane. 1
  • Semi-Truck Cab
  • Radio Truck
  • M–2 ‘Bradley’ Fighting Vehicle with 25mm Automatic Chain Gun. 1

1997 0705c23 F-89 ScorpionA Northrop F-89 'Scorpion' fighter interceptor on display by the NDANG "Happy Hooligans." They flew this jet from 1960-1966. (Paul Steffes) Photo by Craig on Saturday, July 5, 1997 at the Fargo AirSho.


  • C–26B ‘Metro III’ Built by Fairchild. Powerplant: two Garrett TPE331–12 Turboprop, 1100 hp. Max Speed: 300 mph. Range: approx 7 hours. Configuration: 18 seats/Cargo/Medivac/Survellance/Recon. Weight: Empty 10500 lbs, Gross 15500 lbs.
  • F–4D: A.F. Serial No. 64–0949. Service this aircraft with grade JP–4 Fuel. Identiplate Location Door 26.
  • F–14: Warning this aircraft contains a pyrotechnic actuated emergency escape system equipped with explosive charge. See Navair D1-F14AA–2–4–3
  • F–16A Missle: BAT6208
  • F–51 ‘Mustang’ Built by North American. Powerplant: Rolls Royce Merlin 61, 1510 hp.. Max Speed: 445 mph at 25000 feet. Combat Radius: 325 miles internal fuel, 750 miles with two 130 gallon tanks. Service Ceiling: 41900 feet. Weight: Empty 7125 lbs, Loaded 11600 lbs. 1947–1954.
  • F–94 ‘Starfire’ Built by Lockheed. Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J–48. Max Speed: 585 mph. Combat Radius: 805 miles. Service Ceiling: 51400 feet. Weight: Empty 12700 lbs, Loaded 24200 lbs. 1954–1960.
  • F–89 ‘Scorpion’ Built by Northrop. Powerplant: Allison J–35. Max Speed: 627 mph. Combat Radius: 1600 miles. Service Ceiling: 45000 feet. Weight: Empty 25194 lbs, Loaded 47700 lbs. 1960–1966.
  • F–101 ‘Voodoo’ Built by McDonnell-Douglas. Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J–57. Max Speed: 1134 mph. Combat Radius: 1520 miles. Service Ceiling: 54800 feet. Weight: Empty 28970 lbs, Loaded 52400 lbs. 1969–1977.
  • F–102 ‘Delta Dagger’ Built by Convair. Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J–57. Max Speed: 825 mph. Combat Radius: 1000 miles. Service Ceiling: 54000 feet. Weight: Empty 19050 lbs, Loaded 31500 lbs. 1966–1979.
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Blue Angels Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Heritage Jet Kaydet Mad Bomber Mustang NDANG Pyrotechnics Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:00:00 GMT
1996 Commemorative Air Force He 111 and B–17G, September 02–06, 1996

The Commemorative Air Force (Arizona Wing) from Mesa AZ., displayed two of their WW-II aircraft at Hector Airport. A Heinkel He 111 medium bomber and a Boeing B–17G Heavy Bomber. I did not attend this event. I don’t recall knowing about it or seeing Bob’s photos until I was reviewing his negatives for this blog. The aircraft were on display at Dakota Aero Tech, Inc., from 9 a.m. to dusk.

“Sentimental Journey” the Boeing B–17G ‘Flying Fortress’ has been in Fargo before, and it would return here many more times. It is a regular visiting exhibit at the Fargo Air Museum.

The Heinkel He 111 medium bomber was built by CASA in Spain after WW-II. This modified Spanish 2.111D served as a transport for Spanish VIPs, including General Francisco Franco. It was purchased in England by the Commemorative Air Force in 1977. This aircraft was the only flying example. Unfortunately in 2003 it crashed in Cheyenne Wyoming; killing the pilot: Neil R. Stamp, and the copilot: Charles Stephen Bates. It also destroyed the aircraft. I believe this was the only time it was in Fargo. [See the links below]

1431.13Heinkel He 111 / CASA 2.111DA Heinkel He 111 WW-II medium bomber. Built in Spain after the war. General Franco's personal transport. 9K-GS #7052. Photo by Bob Nelson, September 1996 at Hector Field.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos of the He 111 and B–17G: 25 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Black & White 1431–1432) are ©1996, 2018, 2019; used with permission.
The numbered links go to addition aircraft information.

Aircraft On Display

  1. B–17G–85DL ‘Flying Fortress’. WW-II heavy bomber. Painted as “Sentimental Journal” F 44–83514 398th Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 94th Bomb Group. Confederate Air Force, Arizona Wing, Mesa AZ. N9323Z B–17G Limited. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  2. He 111 WW-II medium bomber. General Franco’s personal transport. Built in Spain after the war. 9K-GS #7052 Confederate Air Force, Arizona Wing, Mesa AZ. N72615. Flown by Clint Frasier. 1, 2


[email protected] (Craig Maas) . 2.11D. B-17G CASA. Cockpit Confederate Air Force Flying Fortress He 111 Hector Sentimental Journey Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:45:00 GMT
1996 GFAFB GFAFB Friends & Neighbors Day: Saturday, June 29, 1996

1996 begins a series of airshows we lightly photographed. My co-pilot, Bob Nelson and I still look forward to going to airshows, but we’re less interested in photographing the same aircraft. Bob shot one roll of film, which is a new low for him. I shot two rolls. I thought recording some videos would be worthwhile and borrowed my sister’s video recorder. My footage was terrible. Its only redeeming quality was recording aircraft information.

There were scattered rainstorms during the morning but it cleared by noon. We arrive at the south entrance of the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Bob was loaded up with camera gear and audio recording gear at the crowd control fence. I wandered off. I’m trying out the camcorder. Two F–15C ‘Eagles’ take off, I didn’t get the camcorder on them until they were little dots in the sky. They never returned. I recorded the A–10 ‘Warthog’ aerial demonstration and the Security Police demonstration. This was fun to see: smoke, helicopters, trucks, armored cars, and machine guns.

I went back to the van to re-supply, changed into shorts, and grab a slice of pizza. I rejoined Bob to photograph the B–25J ‘Mitchell’ and the CF–18 ‘Hornet’. It was too windy for the skydivers. After the aerial show, I walked the flight-line again and shot another roll of film. Bob caught up to me at the F–16B two-seat ‘Falcon’ trainer. Bob spoke with pilot and made notes. I asked the pilot (Brian?) about breaking the sound barrier locally. Bob and a Canadian CT–133 pilot where having a Q&A. Bob photograph me with the Canadian CF–18 before we hopped on the USAF bus to the parking lot. Bob recorded a postscript to the air show. (in the gallery)

CN164.02Eagles LeaveTwo McDonell-Douglas F-15C 'Eagle' fighters from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, FL., perform a pass and then leave . af88-118. Photo by Bob Nelson on Saturday, June 29, 1996 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from my trip to the Grand Force Air Force Base: 53 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN164–165) are ©1996, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1996, 2019.

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links go to addition aircraft information, usually Wikipedia.

Aircraft On Display

  • A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II’ MY 70th FS of the 347th Wing at Moody AFB, GA. “White Knights”. (Air Demonstration: af80–158, af80–170) Static display: af80–192. “Warchild” Pilot Dagwood.. Captain Tom Crozan, DCC Ssgt Gary Willis, ADCG Sgt Paul Boschan, ADCG A1C Brennan. 1
  • AT–6 ‘Texan’ #42 Marines N77TX. 1
  • B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell” Lt. Donald E. Oliver, Airplane Commander; T.Sgt Ray Ostlie, Crew chief, tail# 327493. Confederate Air Force. N27493. 1, 2, 3
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ 0015. “No Antidote”. 23rd Bomber Squadron in Minot ND. Ssgt J. Sternod, SRA S. Howell, A1C J. Strunk. “Kiai Oka Lewa” Hawaiian: Guardians of the Upper Realms. 1, 2
  • C–141 ‘Starlifter’ 500239 60th AMW, 349 AMW. Travis AFB. AMC Air Mobility Command. Crew Chief Tsgt Bomen. Air Force Reserve. 1
  • CF–18 ‘Hornet’ 188742 Canadian Forces. Captain Wayne “Karp” Karperien. Lynx Squadron. 1
  • CT–114 ‘Tutor’ 114085 Canadian Forces. [behind F–16B]. 1
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ FF demonstration flight. Two. 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, FL. EG af88–118. 1
  • F–16B ‘Falcon’ fighter-trainer, (Block 15L) af82–1036 on display for the NDANG 178th FS "Happy Hooligans. 1, 2, 3
  • HH–1 ‘Iroquois’ local. US Army National Guard 0–21687. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ aerial refueling tanker aircraft. 319 ARW Grand Forks AFB 62–3562. AMC. Crew Chief: Ssgt Schmuck. 1
  • KC–10 ‘Extender’ aerial refueling tanker aircraft. Travis AFB 60033. AMC. 1
  • OH–58 ‘Kiowa’ is a helicopter used for observation, utility, and direct fire support. Bell manufactured the OH–58 for the United States Army based on its Model 206A JetRanger helicopter. 114 Trpl-stx.
  • P–3 ‘Orion’ LU 007. 1
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ painted as BC-CH “Dazzling Donna” flown by Robert Odegaard. 44–74404, NL151RJ. 1, 2
  • S–1S Pitts Special flown by Bill Witt (Wilt?). 1, 2
  • T–28C ‘Trojan’. North American Aviation trainer. VA–122 Navy 146286 “Devil Dog” E #461, NX146GF. Greg Fieber: owner/pilot. 1
  • CT–133 ‘Shooting Star’ [behind B–52H] Canadian Forces/Forces Canadiennes 133592 #592 1
  • T–37 Tweet Captain Jon Erickson, Mr. Scotty Hurst. VN af59–347 OK. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ on display from the 12th FTW, Randolph AFB, TX. AETCRA. Pilot: Captain Joe Deitz. af66–382. 1
  • T–43A ‘Gator’ USAF Military 737. T43A af72–0288 “City of Grand Junction” 1
  • TBM–3E “Avenger” torpedo bomber CC 89, N1293E. Bu. No. 53892 1
  • Experimental Aircraft
  • Firetruck
  • UND Aircraft

1996 0629za15Canadian Forces HornetA McDonell-Douglas (Northrup) CF-18 'Hornet' on display from the Canadian Forces: Lynx Squadron. Flown by Captain Wayne 'Karp' Karperien. 188742. Photo by Craig Maas on Saturday, June 29, 1996 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Schedule Of Events

0830 Gates open to the public
0930 Radio Controlled Airplane Modelers
1000 Military Working Dog Demo
1030 Wings of Blue: flag jump
1100 Crop Duster Demo
1120 P–51D ‘Mustang’ Demo
1140 TBM–3E ‘Avenger’ Demo
1200 Pitts S1S Demo
1220 KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ Flyby
1240 A–10 ‘Thunderbolt II’ Flyby (2 ship)
1300 Rodeo Team Return, Base security demo
1305 Military Working Dog Demo
1320 79th Rescue Flight Helicopter Demo
1340 AT–6 ‘Texan’
1400 T–28C ‘Trojan’
1420 B–25J ‘Mitchell’
1440 CF–18 ‘Hornet’ Demo (2-ship)
1500 F–15C ‘Eagle’ Demo
1530 Wings of Blue Demo. USAF Parachute Team
1700 Gates close

1996 GFAFB Friends & Neighbors Day map1996 GFAFB MapJune 29 1996 GFAFB Friends & Neighbors Day aircraft placement map. Notes

  • F–16B. Painted with 1 coat primer MIL P85582A, 2 Coats Gray MILC-C- 85285B NADEP ALAMEDA 3/12/93
  • CF–18. Warhead.guided dummy AK 70 Mod 1 Drawing 30003 G3BASZ900 Contract No. X00019–61-c–0404
  • A–10. Warning engine run up, taxi, or flight is prohibited with battery circuit breakers pulled if falt has caused trip, repair cause and immediately reset.
  • A–10. Caution check shroud door latches to assure that the latches are engaged and locked prior to closing the nacelle door.
  • KC–135R. Mission: Tanker/Transport. Power 4 CFM F003-CF–100s High bypass turbofan type 88,000 lbs total thrust. Speed: .9 Mach (Max). Range: 9000+ miles. Ceiling: 49000 feet. Gross Weight: 322,500 lbs (Max). Offload Rate: 7,000 lbs/min (1000 gal/min). Crew: four (Aircraft Commander, Copilot, Navigator, Boom Operator.) Global Reach.
  • MK–12. Reentry system with one reentry vehicle installed. This is the payload for the Minuteman III ICBM.
  • Air Mobility Command
  • Air Force Space Command
  • 321st Missile Group, Global Power For Peace
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing
[email protected] (Craig Maas) A-10 Air Show B-25 CF-18 Confederate Air Force F-16B Fighters GFAFB P-51 Security Demonstration Trainer video Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:30:00 GMT
1995 Fargo Airsho Fargo Airsho: Saturday-Sunday, August 12–13, 1995

One of the better airshows I’ve attended. No Blue Angels, no USAF Thunderbirds, but a nice collection of static displays and aerial demonstations from WW-II and modern military aircraft. It was one of the few Fargo airshows that was on the west side of the runaway, which meant the sun was in front of the performers rather than behind. Much better for photography especially on Saturday. The show was also meaningful because Doug Nelson, Bob’s father, joined us. Doug was an Engineer on the B–25J during WW-II. My parents and their cousins also attended, which was fun.

It was sprinkling when we arrived, but soon cleared and the sun came out. There was a A–37 ‘Dragonfly’ on the end of the flight line. I left Bob and Doug to play tour guide for the Maas clan. When I came back, Doug Nelson talked about his duties and missions flying the B–25 during World War II. We watched the aerial demonstrations from under the shade of a KC–10 ‘Extender’ wing. (See schedule below) After the FA–18 ‘Hornet’ landed the show was over.

Bob and I arrived at the Fargo Airsho as it opened. Unfortunately it was windy and the skies were overcast. We split up to photograph the static displays. Soon crowds arrived and photographing each aircraft without distract was impossible. Bob and I met up at the F–117 ‘Nighthawk’ stealth fighter. We stopped at the CAF booth to do some shopping. The aerial demonstrations were limited due to the low clouds. We watched the CAF ground crew refuel the B–25 ‘Mitchell’. I had Bob photograph me with the B–1 ‘Lancer’. We watched the morning run of ‘Shockwave.’ I did not photograph the M2 ‘Bradley’ fighting machine demonstration, I did photograph Bob driving the M977 refueling truck. We stopped to looked at the helicopters before leaving.

1995 0812w14Ray & Char Maas with Norma & Gene Maas.Ray & Char Maas with cousins: Norma & Gene Maas in front of a Grumman TBF. This Torpedo Bomber was was painted like former President Lt. (jg) George Bush's 'Avenger' #63 Photo by Craig on Saturday, August 12, 1995 at the Fargo Airsho.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from this airshow: 161 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN140–146) are copyright 1995, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1995, 2019. I shot one roll with my father’s Olympus 35-SP Rangefinder. A camera that was noted for it’s fine optics. I wanted to use a fill-flash, and its leaf shutter allows high-sync-speeds. I’m not sure it worked. I don’t see any photos with obvious fill-flash. Photos with an ‘a1’ suffix have major changes in Adobe Photoshop, usually to minimize distracting elements. I also struggled with color balance.
Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered links are where I found information for the photo descriptions. Usually Wikipedia if missing.

Aircraft On Display

  • Golden Knights US Army Parachute Team. 1
  • S–2B Pitts, Sierra Aces Aerobatic Team: N777TA, N5350X N534IU. 1
  • Stephens ‘Akro’ flown by Leo Loudenslager, “Laser 200” for Bud Light. 1, 2
  • UPF–7 “Jolly Roger” flown by Jim Franklin, Kyle Franklin: wing walker. Waco PT–14. 1, 2, 3
  • Super Chipmunk flown by Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney, “Little Toot”. 1, 2
  • Super Shockwave, a jet powered truck driven by Ken High. 1
  • A–10A ‘Thunderbolt II’ KC 442nd FW, Whiteman AFB, MO. AFRES AF79–121, 122 [team, 121 is gray, 78–122 was in camo]. 1, 2
  • B–1B ‘Lancer’ EL “Tigers” AF86–098 “Freedom One”; Also fly-by. at Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, SD. 1, 2, 3
  • B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell” Lt. Donald E. Oliver, Airplane Commander; T.Sgt Ray Ostlie, Crew chief, tail# 327493. Confederate Air Force. N27493. 1, 2, 3
  • CF–18 ‘Hornet’ 199739 Canadian. 1
  • EA–6B ‘Prowler’ Marines: Henry Kuehn and Rick Boyer, #03 tail: CB 16xx49. 1
  • F–14 ‘Tomcat’ 210. 1
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ AF80–058 AK 54th FS from Alaska. Captain Mike 1
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ FF demonstration flight AF82–033. 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15K) 82–0926 on display for the NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS) with John Dougherty. 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15P) 82–1012 NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS). 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15K) 82–0929 NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS). 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15D) 81–0699 NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS). 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15H) 81–0791 NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS). 1, 2
  • FA–18C ‘Hornet’ 164879 Marines NJ 300, USS Abraham Lincoln, “Rough Raiders” VFA–125. 1, 2
  • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ AF82–802, 812. Holloman AFB, 49th Fighter Wing flown by Major Daniel Gruber. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • KC–10 ‘Extender’ aerial refueling tanker aircraft. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ aerial refueling tanker aircraft. 1
  • Learjet United States Air Force [white]. 1
  • Learjet 35/36 Phoenix Air, ND, N522PA [gray]. 1, 2
  • P–38J–20-LO ‘Lightning’ “Joltin’ Josie”, Josie Pond 44–23314, NX38BP, now N138AM. 1, 2
  • P–51D ‘Mustang’ 44–74404 BC-CH “Dazzling Donna” flown by Robert Odegaard. 1, 2
  • PT–17 ‘Kaydet’ [behind the TBM] Boeing-Stearman Model 75 WW-II trainer. 1
  • Hawker ‘Sea Fury’ 105 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) WH587, N260X. 1
  • TBM “Avenger” Lt. (jg) George Bush. 63. 1
  • TBM “Avenger” CC 89, N1293E. 1
  • T–37 ‘Dragonfly’, Cessna ‘Tweet’ trainer. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’[behind the F–15C] NASA N965NA. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ behind the F–15C] Mx xx–3xx. 1
  • M977 HEMTT Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. A refueling truck. 1

1995 0812w11Char Maas with MustangChar Maas poses with Robert Odegaard's P-51D 'Mustang' at Hector Field. Photo by Craig on Saturday, August 12, 1995 at the Fargo Airsho.

Show Schedule

08:00 Blockbuster Blimp flyover. P–51/B–25 Wake up town until 10 am.
10:00 Flight briefing, Airport terminal board room
11:00 Pepsi Skywriter Demonstration (Skywrite)
11:30 Radio-controlled aircraft demonstrations
12:00 US Army Golden Knights, Flag Opener jump
12:15 KC–135R flyover, Grand Forks AFB
12:25 Leo Loudenslager, Laser 200, Ribbon
12:39 USAF Air Combat Command, F–15C demonstration
12:54 Pooh Bear glider demonstration
01:04 Jim Franklin, Waco solo, Ribbon
01:19 Jim ‘Fang’ Maloney, Chipmunk
01:31 USMC AV–8B II Harrier demonstration [did not show up]
01:43 Leo Loudenslager, Bud Light Laser 200
01:57 Super Shockwave, Race with the Waco
02:05 USA Golden Knights Main Jump
02:35 B–1 Bomber flyover, Ellsworth AFB
02:45 Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney, Little Toot
02:59 Kyle Franklin: Wing Walk Aerobatics
03:14 Shockwave Race vs Wing Walking Waco
03:22 F–16A, 4-ship, 119th Happy Hooligans
03:34 A–10, Demonstration with Pyro, Whiteman AFB
03:44 Warbird 50th anniversary salute, B–25, P–51, Sea Fury, TBM
03:59 USN F/A–18 Hornet demonstration, VFA–125
TBA Sierra Aces Aerobatic Flying Team, three S–2B Pitts

1995 0812w13a1Ray Maas with LightningRay Maas with the Lockheed P-38J-20-LO 'Lightning' "Joltin' Josie" This was Ray's favorite WW-II aircraft as a child. Photo by Craig on Saturday, August 12, 1995 at the Fargo Airsho.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show B-1B Confederate Air Force F-16 FA-18 Fighters George Bush Happy Hooligans Hector Jet Lancer NDANG TBM Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:45:00 GMT
1995 GFAFB, Thunderbirds Grand Forks Air Force Base: Saturday, July 08, 1995

I attended the 1995 Friends and Neighbors Day at the GFAFB. My sister tagged along with Bob and I. All three of us shot photos. The show started with aerial demonstration by the Commemorative Air Force B–25J “Miss Mitchell”. We watched a fire-fight demonstration. Bob was talking with a member of the 319th Security Forces Squadron who gave us a play by play.

Men in desert-camo rush the US flag lobbing colored smoke grenades, shooting blanks, ‘killing and torturing’ the men in the green-camo. The Canadians in a CF–18 ‘Hornet’ zooms in and provides cover. Explosions filled the sky with black smoke and orange flames past the runaway. The cavalry cames in shooting. The bad guys refused to die, even after a couple hundred rounds. Our guide said 3rd world armies don’t use the armored trucks, they prefer using Toyota pick-up trucks, “Armored trucks are sitting ducks: they’re slow, get stuck and are easy to disable.”

We wait at the fence-line for the Thunderbirds to go up. It was hot and partly cloudy (about 50%). Lt. Colonel Stephen Andersen (Thunderbird Leader #1), called out on the radio, “Thunderbirds let’s run ’em up”. The Pratt and Whitney FW101 engines were at full throttle. This year’s Thunderbird team is made up of former F–15E flight instructors. More clouds rolled in from the north, so they finished with a ‘Horizontal Bomb Burst’.

My sister went back to the van. Bob and I photographed the flight line: the Holloman F–117A, the SDANG F–16C, the Minot AFB B–52H, and the B–25J. The crowd thinned out. We watched as the crew prepped the F–117A for flight. When it left, we left.

1995 0708v22Nighthawk PilotThe USAF F-117A 'Nighthawk' stealth fighter of the 49th FW, 7th FS. Flown by Captain Mark Drinkard and Captain Mike Richey. Photo by Craig Maas on Saturday, July 8, 1995 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the Grand Forks Air Force Base: 124 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN133–139) are copyright 1995, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1995, 2019. Suzanne’s are the same.
Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered footnote links go to where I found information for the photo descriptions.. usually Wikipedia if missing.

Aircraft On Display

  • B–25J ‘Mitchell’ CAF “Miss Mitchell” Lt. Donald E. Oliver, Airplane Commander; T.Sgt Ray Ostlie, Crew chief, tail# 327493. 1, 2, 3
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ MT AF60–058 of the 23rd Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, ND. 1, 2
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ NDANG (behind the F–117A). 1
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ (Block 30) The “Lobos” (175th FS) SDANG. TSGT Jim Kelley. Lt Col Duncan Keirnes “Duke” aircraft 85–466 name “Satan”. 1, 2
  • CF–18 ‘Hornet’ Canadian. 1
  • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ AF82–802. Holloman AFB, 49th Fighter Wing, 7th Fighter Squadron “Screamin Demons” flown by Captain Mark Drinkard, Captain Mike Richey. 1, 2, 3
  • KC–10 ‘Extender’ 1
  • T–37 ‘Tweet’ (behind the F–16). 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’. 1, 2
  • BearCat by Lenco. An armored truck with top mounted machine gun used by the 319th Security Forces Squadron. 1
  • Thunderbirds F–16C ‘Falcons’ block 32H/J. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Thunderbird Pilots

  1. Lt. Colonel Stephen Andersen, Commander/Leader, 1994–1995 source
  2. Major Darryl Roberson, Left Wing, 1994–1995
  3. Captain Tony Seely, Right Wing, 1995–1996
  4. Major Jeffrey Fiebig, Slot, 1995–1996
  5. Captain Thomas Lewis, Solo, 1993
  6. Captain Russell Quinn, Solo, 1995–1996
  7. Maj. John Switzer, Narrator/Solo, 1993–1995

CN135.10Thunderbirds Calypso PassUSAF Thunderbird #5 Captain Thomas Lewis (Solo), and #6 Captain Russell Quinn (Solo) perform the Calypso Pass. Photo by Bob Nelson on Saturday, July 8, 1995 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Confederate Air Force Fighters GFAFB Grand Forks Air Force Base Stealth Thunderbirds Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:15:00 GMT
1994 March AFB Riverside, California, Wednesday-Friday, August 10–12, 1994

The members of the Joint Military Affairs Committee have been invited, by the North Dakota Air National Guard and Col. Mike Haugen, to attend a Change of Command Ceremony at March AFB in Riverside, CA. On August 11th, Detachment One of the NDANG will be taking over responsibility from the Fresno Air National Guard to provide full-time alert for the SW region.

David was on the Joint Military Affairs Committee (JMAC) of the Fargo Chamber of Commerce. He was also my employee. David knew in my interest in the North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG) and all things aviation. Guard units were being mobilized to provide intercept duty around the country. The ‘Happy Hooligans’ of the 119 ANG unit from Fargo would be taking over from the 144 ANG unit (Fresno, CA) at March Air Force Base; intercept duty for the Southwest Air Defense Sector (SWADS).
There is a close relationship between the JMAC and the NDANG. The JMAC was invited along on a field trip to view the facilities. The Fargo Guard saved 20 seats for the Chamber. Kind words on David’s behalf got me a seat. Nagging on my behalf got Bob Nelson listed as 5th alternate. Luck got Bob on the tanker. Four armed F-l6 ‘Falcons’ flew in tandem with our aircraft. Each jet fighter refueled once during the 3-hour flight. I had an opportunity to view the maneuvers.

A KC–135E ‘Stratotanker’ from the 163rd Refueling Group picked up our group in Fargo on Wednesday, 10 August, at 5 pm., and returned us to Fargo on Friday, 12 August, at 3 pm. The Change of Command Ceremony took place on Thursday along with tours to view the Alert Facilities, the 163rd Air Refueling Group, the SW Sector Air Defense Headquarters, the Wing Commander’s Headquarters, and the March Field Air Museum. The NDANG arranged: billeting, a buffet dinner, and breakfast on both Thursday and Friday mornings. As a secondary bonus, my cousin who lives in Riverside met me at the museum.

The total cost for meals was $40 per person. The rooms were $8 per night. I doubt I spent $20 on incidentals as our hosts at the March AFB seemed to take great pride in hosting us. This was the best trip I’ve ever been on. It was also the cheapest!


David, Bob, and I find ourselves in a dimly lit metal tube. The temperature climbs, the heat is stifling. The noise from the engines grows, the shaking and vibrating seem to launch us into the air. Only the heat diminishes. The vibration gave no hint of our change in space.
The Cargo Specialist informed Bob and I, “Air Refueling Exercises are beginning.” We left our seats, carrying Emergency Oxygen Bottles around our necks. We crawl around the cargo box that contains our luggage and step down the pool-like steps into the boom operator’s nest. From the relative darkness of our KC–135E ‘Stratotanker,’ the earth spreads out under us like a cotton ball covered carpet. The escorting F–16 fighter jets pull up to the boom one at a time. The boom operator flies the winged fuel boom into a slot on the fighter’s back. Laying on our stomachs, flanking the operator, Bob and I photograph the aerial ballet. One minute we were sardines baking in a can on the tarmac, the next we are flying with the Falcons.

The ceremony recognized the NDANG 119th Fighter Group as it took over the alert missions from Detachment 1 of the 144th Fighter Group. The Happy Hooligans and JMAC members flew to March AFB via a KC–135 refueling plane from the 163rd ARG. The flight was escorted by four F-16 Falcon fighter jets piloted by Captain Dave Hill; 2nd Lieutenant Mike Depree, Colonel Mike Haugen and Lt. Colonel Tom Larson. The F–16s went through refueling maneuvers during the flight to March AFB, which provided a spectacular sight to the civilians on board. -David Samson

I watched each fighter peal away from the boom and the next jet take his spot. As I crawled out of the observation nest, Sgt. Anderson waved me over to the wing door port-hole. The F–16s are flying off our wing tips. The sun glistens on the F–16s; contrasting against the thin blue sky. I give the pilots a thumbs up and they salute back.
Windowless, we see nothing until we land. The plane comes to a stop. The cargo door takes up three rows; it opens to a panoramic vista of mountains, palm trees and desert brown landscape. We aren’t in North Dakota anymore. After straddled a garbage can and water jug for three hours, it feels good to get down the stairs. A dozen assorted members from the base greet us as important dignitaries. We’re pre-registered in $8.00 rooms. I have visions of a folding cot in a quonset hut. The rooms are large and roomy with Queen-size beds, fully equipped bathroom, a fully stocked kitchen and bar. Bob stopped by to see if I had a ‘suite’ too. A USAF Captain delivered my luggage.

A KC–141 ‘Starlifter,’ loaded with Marines, departs over the moon. They are headed to Oregon to fight the wild fires. March AFB was our country’s first air base (1918) and Sally’s Alley is a testament to that history. The walls of this small bar are covered with graffiti from every pilot who has flown through. There are framed photographs of the aircraft that have seen service at March Field. It’s a great way to unwind after a long flight. I shared drinks with members of The Air National Guard, March AFB, David and his friends. The reception was sponsored by the Moreno Valley Military Affairs Committee. Beer flowed, as were smiles and laughter. I chat with Marshal of the MVMAC. I manage to turn in at 11:30, but with the time change, it made for a long day.


My head was spinning when the clock radio went off. The radio came with the room, the hangover didn’t. Two Advil put it to rest. The sky was clear. For the first time in weeks you could see the mountains through the smog. A bus brought us to the Moulin Rouge NCO club for a bacon, sausage, and egg breakfast. Bob and I sat at a table populated with Colonels and a State Senator. Bob made friends with Lt. Col. Tom Larson. Tom was a NDSU football fan. Bob is the NDSU photographer. Tom asked for better seats. Bob joked, “I’ll let you down in my office if you let me up in yours!”

We toured the Southwest Air Defense Sector (SWADS). Colonel Everts invited ND Brigadier General Bjerke to sit in front with the other officers. Gen. Bjerke took one look at Bob and I sitting on the other side and said, “I better sit with these two guys. They look like trouble.” Col. Everts outlined the mission our NDANG 178th FS will adopt. They will intercept un-identifiable airplanes entering US airspace. Col. Everts introduced the SWADS intelligence officer Captain Vasques. She explained most intercepts would be drug traffickers. Their prime military concern is submarine launched cruise missiles. Both drug runners and cruise missile intercepts are hard to track. The targets fly very low and very slow.

We toured the tracking facilities and watched every airborne airplane on the west coast. The radar operator zoomed in on various regions and could track individual aircraft. The equipment was old. The buttons were in unmarked rows and the 24-inch round CTR display looked like it came out of a 1950’s science fiction movie. The Hughes computer equipment was equally old; it took up a room the size of a movie theater. To power all this were two 900 hp diesel generators, a room containing the switching gear, and a room full of lead-acid batteries. The radar had feeds from the FFA from various airports and various military ground, air, and sea radars. Captain Vasquez hopes the FFA will upgrade its radar soon, which will upgrade SWADS.

We toured the Alert Detachment building next. The building was isolated at the end of the runaway; surrounded by dual barbed wire fences, patrolled by guards on foot and in a tower. Access required security IDs. The intercept group had to stand down for us to get in. Another fighter wing took over intercept duties while we had our tour.
We witnessed the changing of the guard. Members from the 144th Fresno ANG unit were somber. After the changing of the flag and speeches from Colonel Everts Commander of SWADS, Colonel Dennis the 144th ANG Vice Commander and General Bjerke Adjutant General of the ND National Guard, we filed out for a lunch reception. We toured the facilities where the pilots live, sleep, relax and work while on alert. It’s small facility but comfortable. It has a swimming pool, tennis court, and handball court - all left-over from when March Field was a SAC (Strategic Air Command, B–52 bomber) base.

Outside, security patrols chased each other in pickup trucks. They must be training. I climbed the ladder to view the cockpit of the NDANG F–16. I pointed out the controls and weapon systems to the pilot. I managed to name them all correctly, “Are you a pilot?”
“No, just well informed.”
Our JMAC group was photograph with the F–16. The photo later made the cover of our local paper.

The sun was hot; it was 108-degrees when we boarded the buses for the air conditioned briefing room of the 163rd ARW (Air Refueling Wing). Colonel Richards, second in command of the 163rd ARW, briefed us on the history of their wing and of their current role. They provide refueling and cargo services. Their KC–135E picked us up in Fargo, refueled our jets on the way and will bring us home.

After a quick cold shower, it was back on the bus to the March AFB Field Museum. My cousin Jeff was able to join us. We were met by a living manikin dressed in World War II pilot gear. Sharon didn’t think he was real. She was about to touch his face to find out: he moved; she screamed. Jeff, Bob and I examine the museum displays inside; then walk outside to view the flight line. Many old aircraft are stored outside in the desert. They range from WW-II bombers to the SR–71 spy plane; from commercial aircraft to one-of-a-kind test planes. We cracked jokes and take photos, but no sooner had we started outside than an announcement was made to get back on the bus.

Back in my room I was fading away on the Lazy-Boy recliner. Bob banged on my door, “We’re going to Sally’s Alley.” Bob examined the B–25 ‘Mitchell’ (a WW-II medium bomber his dad flew) on a pylon out side the officers club. We were ushered us into the banquet room: the Hap Arnold Officers Club. I had a pleasant conversation with Sharon, Steven, and David from the JMAC. From the MVMAC: Marshal and his friend. Marshal is retired Army. He’s been everywhere and has a million stories to tell.
Colonel Lorenz, Command of March AFB, spoke about the history of the base and the men serving here. He had some unkind words about the current defense cut-backs. Hardin ‘Ed’ Morken said grace in Norwegian. The meal was equal to the conversation: filet mignon, stuff shrimp, twice baked potato, broccoli in cheese sauce, cheese cake, sherry, and a toast with good California wine.


Friday morning Bob and I laughed as everyone piled into the wrong bus. Col. Larson made a joke about photographers. Bob waved his large 300mm lens case at Tom’s head. The NCO club served omelets for breakfast. I sat with the enlisted personnel and asked about cross training.
“There is a new management system in place (Total Quality Management) which allows personnel to ask questions and make suggestions.” Sergeant Lowell said his job was previously done by an officer, “The guard is moving responsibility down where it is most effective.”

Back at the briefing room, Col. Richards was there to greeted us. “We know you can fly any airline, so it really means a lot to us that you’ve chosen ‘Grizzlies Air’.” (a reference to the American Airlines advertisement). The logo for the 163rd ARG is a Grizzly Bear. Today’s Cargo Specialist mispronounced every Norwegian name, “Bee-Jerky?”
She turned red when Col. Richards told her, “That’s General Bjerke. You’re lucky, he’s in my office.”
We all laugh.
“I’m much better with Hispanic names, though my mom was Norwegian too.”, she said.
My name was misspelled and mispronounce on this trip, but she got it right today.

There is no air conditioning on the tanker so they keep us in the bus, on the flight line. The crew is ready to close up the airplane. We take our seats. The temperature quickly passes 100-degrees. I would guess over 120-degrees. The air was still. It was hard to breathe. The crew members where sponging themselves. Once the KC–135E takes off; the temperature drops. John and Bob fight over the last parachute. ha ha. Bob went to the rear. He photographed out the boom window which was still open. We landed in Boise to let the General out. We bounced half way back into the sky on the landing. The boom was now up, so when I went back to take photos, I was stuck photographing out the left side windwo. Idaho was as gray and lifeless as the moon. I stayed on my stomach for half an hour as farms, lakes, and plains went by. We arrived back in Fargo at 4:00 pm.

CN118.02Falcon RefuelingOur JMAC flight was escorted by four F-16 'Falcon' fighter of NDANG, the Happy Hooligans. This jet was piloted by Capt. Dave Hill, as he refuels from our KC-135 'Stratotanker' of the 163rd ARG. Photo by Bob Nelson on Wednesday, August 10, 1994 on the way to the March Air Force Base, Riverside, CA


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from my trip to the March Air Force Base: 64 images in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson’s photos (Black & White BW1400, Color Print CN118–119) are copyright 1994, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1993, 2019.

Timeline Notes

Wednesday, August 10th
1780 KC–135 Departs Fargo for March AFB, CA
1880 KC–135 from Fargo arrives in front of Base Operations (Building 1220)
1815 Visitors receive room assignments and board bus for Billeting
1838 Bus trip to Billeting (Buildings 100, 2418, 2419 and 2420)
1938 Meet at Sally’s Alley (Officer’s Club) for drinks & hors d’oeuvres hosted by the Moreno Valley Military Affairs Committee

Thursday, August 11th
0715 Bus to NCO club for Breakfast (Building 2706, Moulin Rouge)
0815 Bus to Southwest Air Defense Sector Operations Command Center (Building 682)
0838 SWADS Mission Brief and Tour of SOCC (Col Everts, SWADS/CC)
1000 Bus to Alert Detachment (Building 1305)
1030 Change of Command Ceremony
1100 Reception/Lunch, Alert Dining Facility
1200 Tour Alert Facility
1230 Bus to 163rd Air Refueling Group (Building 2271)
1245 Briefing and Tour (Col Richards, 163rd ARG OG/CC)
1330 Bus to Billeting (Buildings 100, 2418, 2419, 2420]
1430 Bus to March AFB Field Museum (optional tour for real aircraft buffs)
1630 Bus from Museum back to Billeting
1730 Drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Sally’s Alley
1900 Dinner at officer’s club

Friday, August 12th
0730 Baggage pick-up in front of Billeting [Building 2419)
0745 Bus to Billeting Office; Check out (Building 100)
0800 Bus from Billeting Office to NCO Club; Breakfast (Building 2706)
0915 Bus to 163 ABG Operations Building (Building 2271)
0930 Passenger Briefing, Board aircraft, Take-off for Fargo

1994 0810t00SR-71 BlackbirdThe SR-71 'Blackbird's' twin Pratt & Whitney J-58 engines, Photo by Craig Maas on Thursday, August 11, 1994 at the March Air Force Base, Riverside, CA.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) 163rd Air Frefueling Group F-16A Fighters Fighting Falcons Happy Hooligans March AFB March Field Air Museum NDANG Sally's Alley SWADS Wed, 21 May 2014 16:00:00 GMT
1993 GFAFB Friends and Neighbors Day: Saturday, August 08, 1993

In 1993, there were no marquee performers at the Grand Fork Air Force Base open house. But it was still a fun day in the sun. I brought along my co-pilot: Bob Nelson, my other friend: Vic, and my sister. The Security Demonstration by the 319th Security Forces Squadron was the highlight of the show. It involved a NDANG F–16A ‘Falcon’ fly-by, their B–1B ‘Lancer’ bomber, a UH–1 ‘Huey’ helicopter, BearCat armored car, lots of blanks and plenty of Pyrotechnics.
The FA–18C and F–16C performed aerial demonstrations. I enjoyed the B–1B bomb loading demonstration. I should have taken more interest in the static displays but I was busy joking with my friends.

CN105.13Airfield Assault DemonstrationThe 319th Security Forces Squadron simulates an airfield assault, The Pyro was from a simulated bombing run by the NDANG F-16 'Falcon' and GFAFB B-1B 'Lancer' on Sunday, August 8, 1993 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from ‘Family and Neighbors Day’ at the Grand Forks Air Force Base: 61 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered footnote links go to where I found information for the photo descriptions.. usually Wikipedia if missing.

Bob Nelson’s photos (Color Print CN105–107) are copyright 1993, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. © 1993, 2019.

Aircraft On Display

  • A–4 ‘Skyhawk’ Navy Attack Fighter. 1
  • B–1B ‘Lancer’ Bomber. GF AF86–0112. The ‘Vanna’ or ‘Black Widow’. 1, 2, 3
  • B–53H ‘Stratofortress’. Two bombers on display. 1
  • C–5A ‘Galaxy’ Cargo Aircraft. 1
  • C–40 ‘Clipper’ USAF version of the Boeing 737–700C airline transport. 1
  • CF–114 ‘Tutor’, a Canadian built trainer, also used by the Snow Birds. 1
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’ Cargo Aircraft. 1
  • C–141 ‘Starlifter’ Cargo Aircraft. 1
  • CT–142 ‘Dash 8’, Canadian Forces navigation trainer for ACSO and AESOP. 1
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ Fighter, (Block 15P) 82–1012 NDANG “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS). 1, 2
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ Fighter, SW AF90–738, AF90–767 “Hooters” Shaw Air Force Base. Sumter, SC. 1
  • FA–18C ‘Hornet’ Attack Fighter, Navy/Marine 300. NJ=VFA–125 “Rough Raiders” of NAS Lemoore, CA. 1
  • FA–18D ‘Hornet’ Attack Fighter,Flown by Lt AP Monson ‘Swandog’. 1
  • KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ Cargo Refueling Aircraft, AMC 71486. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ Trainer. 1
  • UH–1 ‘Huey’ Helicopter. 1
  • BearCat by Lenco. An armored truck with top mounted machine gun used by the 319th Security Forces Squadron. 1


We didn’t arrive until almost noon and left around 4 pm.

09:30 to 09:45 Two B–1s and one KC–135 launch.
09:45 to 10:15 Canadian Forces Bagpiper Band plays.
10:20 to 10:40 Working dog demonstration.
10:20 to 11:40 USAF Band plays.
10:40 to 11:00 Square dancing demonstration.
11:00 to 11:20 Model aircraft demonstration.
11:20 to 11:40 Aerobics demonstration.
11:45 to 12:05 T–38 flybys.
12:10 to 12:30 FA–18 ‘Hornet’ aerial demonstration.
12:35 to 12:40 Helicopter takeoff.
12:45 to 01:10 KC–135 flybys.
01:15 to 02:00 Airfield assault demonstration by the 319th Security Forces Squadron.
02:00 to 02:20 B–1B ‘Lancer’ bomb-loading demonstration.
02:20 to 02:40 B–1B ‘Lancer’ flybys.
02:43 to 03:18 F–16C ‘Falcon’ flying demonstration by the 363rd TFW. Shaw Air Force Base (Shaw AFB) by Sumter, SC.
03:30 to 04:00 Canadian Forces Bagpiper Band plays.
04:00 to 04:20 Working dog demo.

1993 0808 GFAFB Map21993 GFAFB MapThis was my hand-drawn map from the 1993 GFAFB airshow. In 2019 I updated some of the aircraft and text that were too hard to read and made the whole thing tighter.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Bomb Loading Falcon Fighters GFAFB Grand Forks Air Force Base Hornet Lancer Pyrotechnics Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:30:00 GMT
1992 GFAFB, Thunderbirds Thunderbirds: Sunday August 30, 1992

This airshow was notable for being cold and windy. Due to the weather, the Thunderbirds would be performing their ‘Low Show’ (3500 foot cloud ceiling and 5-mile Visibility.) My sister was back in town and wanted to attend the show with me. As always, Bob Nelson was my photographic co-pilot. Today was another of our adventures, but photographically not one of the better shows.

The highlight was a F–117A stealth fighter-bomber with a double line of death: two concentric ropes cording off the aircraft with two M16 toting guards inside. I photographed the stealth with Suzanne, one with me, and then we lost Bob. Poof, he was gone. He must have stepped into the stealth field and became invisible.
The GFAFB 319th Security Forces Squadron performed a demonstration. They simulated a battle between the forces of Elvis and Disco. The bad guys were the forces of Disco from Fargo. Aircraft were flying and bombs were exploding.

We waited in the hanger: to get out of the cold wind; then watch the B–1B fly. The wind brought the smoke of bombs, pizzas, hot dogs and sauerkraut. The PA announcer advertised for the poor ice cream vender, laughing as he says, “The ice cream’s cold!”

I photographed some of the static displays: a C–141 ‘Starlifter’, a US Army OV–1 ’Mohawk, USN F/A–18, NDANG F–16A ‘Falcon’, F–15 ‘Eagle’, a B–1B ‘Lancer’ and KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ from the GFAFB. There were too many people, the lighting was poor, and the selection was nothing I haven’t shot a 100 times except for the F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ which you couldn’t get near.

The 1992 USAF Thunderbirds fire up their F–16C ‘Falcons’. “Thunderbirds, let’s run em up!” being retransmitted from the Lt. Col. Dan Darnell’s mic through the PA system. Darnell is followed by the other pilots: #2 Captain Jeffrey Rochelle, Left Wing; #3 Captain Leonard Coleman, Right Wing; #4 Captain Paul Strickland, Slot; #5 Captain David Coffman, Solo; and #6 Captain Clark Rogers, Solo. Once the Thunderbirds are in the air it’s pretty interesting. We’re all surprised as one F–16C flies overhead with afterburners (Sneak Attack) while we were watching the Diamond Formation fly off to the north. Their F–16C block 32H/J aircraft were built in 1986 and 1987, and operated by the Thunderbirds from 1992 to 2008, having switched from the F–16A to the F–16C in 1992.
They finish with a ‘Delta Closer’ maneuver (sort of a ‘Bomb Burst’ laid on it’s side.) After the show we walked the flight-line twice before finding Bob. My camera got stuck while photographing the B–1B.. I didn’t notice security was yelling at me to get behind the cones. I tested the line of death and lived.

1992.08.30b06a1Suzanne And Bob With FalconSuzanne Maas-Tomiczek with Bob Nelson at the back of a This F-16A 'Falcon' (Block 15K) 82-929 with its speed brakes deployed. Suzanne is wearing my 34th TFS Hill AFB hat. Photographed on Sunday, August 30, 1992 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Photographed on Sunday, August 30, 1992 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from ‘Family and Neighbors Day’ at the Grand Forks Air Force Base: 109 in total with detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The numbered footnote links are where I found information for the photo descriptions.. usually Wikipedia if missing.

Bob Nelson’s photos (Black & White with a BW1312–1314 code, and Color Print CN090–094) are copyright 1992, 2018; used with permission. My photos are color print film. ©1992, 2019.

Aircraft On Display

  • B–1B ‘Lancer’ GFAFB. 1, 2
  • B–53G ‘Stratofortress’ LZ AF58–0216. 464285 “Thunder Struck” 42nd BW, Loring AFB, Maine. 1, 2
  • C–141 ‘Starlifter’ (background). 1
  • CF–114 ‘Tutor’, a Canadian built trainer, also used by the Snow Birds. 1
  • CT–133 ‘Silver Star’ Mk 3, a Canadian built T–33 trainer. 1
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’. 1
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ (Block 15K) The “Happy Hooligans” (178th FS) NDANG received 82–929 in June of 1990. 1, 2
  • FA–18 ‘Hornet’ flown by Lt. Jack ‘Nitro’ Moriarty. 1
  • FA–18 ‘Hornet’ flown by Lt. Jim ‘Tonto’ Spagnolo. 1
  • F–111A ‘Aardvark’, 1
  • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ HO flown by Captain Jack Mayo. 1, 2
  • OV–1A ‘Mohawk’, 1
  • BearCat by Lenco. An armored truck with top mounted machine gun used by the 319th Security Forces Squadron. 1
CN090.10Diamond PassUSAF Thunderbirds fly the Diamond formation. Historically, as Thunderbirds 1 through 4 lift off, the slot aircraft slips immediately into position behind 1 to create the signature Diamond formation. Thanks to the 2009 upgrade to the Block 52, the Diamond now has more than enough thrust to continue to climb straight up into their first maneuver, the Diamond Loop. -wiki Photo by Bob Nelson on Sunday August 30, 1992, at the GFAFB.













[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show B-1B F-117A Fighters GFAFB Grand Forks Lancer Neighbors and Friends Day Nighthawk Secuity Suzanne Thunderbirds Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:15:00 GMT
1992 Minot Air Expo North Dakota Air Expo, Saturday, July 25, 1992

The last Fargo Airsho was 1989 and the next would be 1995, so if I wanted to attend an airshow I would have to travel. My friend Bob was game to drive up to Minot for this one. The highlight were two Ukrainian MIG–29 ‘Fulcrums’ a F–117A ‘Nighthawk’. This was one of the all-time classic airshow, no so much because of the show itself, but the adventures Bob and I had on the way there and back. But that’s another story.

Today we’re at the Minot Airport to attend the North Dakota Air Expo in conjunction with the ND State Fair. We arrived when the gates opened at 11:00 am. The Ukrainian MiG–29 ‘Fulcrum’ was up in the air for a practice flight.
Bob and I split up to photograph the static displays on the taxiway. There were military aircraft from around the region including Canada. [see Aircraft On Display below for a list.] I hurried in case it started to rain, but it soon the low clouds cleared off.
By 2:00 pm., Bob and I found as spot at the fence for the aerial portion of the show. There were three national anthems: the Ukrainian National Anthem “The Glory and the Freedom of Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished”, “Oh Canada”, and “The Star Spangled Banner”.

The announcer, Danny Clisham dropped hints about pyro. A B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ from the nearby Minot AFB flew over. I was able to catch the explosion as the pyro was timed the flyover.
The next demonstration was four T–38 ‘Talon’ trainers from Texas. TOGO 01–04 made passed in the: Finger, In-line and the Diamond formation.
The F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ (Holloman AFB, NM) flew passes. This secret stealth fighter didn’t land. Security concerns kept it under wraps at the Minot AFB. Major Jeff ‘Jammer’ Moore was at the controls, fresh off a tour over the night skies in Baghdad as Bandit 292.
The ultra-modern was F–117A was followed by a 1943 T–33 ‘Shooting Star’ trainer painted in USAF Thunderbird livery. This particular model was a Canadair CT–133 Silver Star 3 (CL–30) with a Rolls Royce Nene engine; flown by Ray Mabrey. Unfortunately, Mabrey would die in this plane on June 11, 1994, but today he was in his element.
The T–33 was followed by a Chinese MiG–15 ‘Fagot’ in Russian livery. Another Korean War era jet, the MiG–15 saw over 17,000 aircraft built and is still being flown by the North Korean air force.

A North Dakota native, Danny Clisham flew by in a A–10 ’ Thunderbolt II’. It was a great excuse to set off more pyro, as he made a bomb run over the runaway. I was impressed by its quiet GE TF34-GE–100 turbofan engines. Where most jets shake the ground, the A–10 was but a whisper until it’s “too late.”

The show was delayed for commercial traffic. Bob and I took portraits with the F–16C ‘Falcon’ and MiG–29 ‘Fulcrum’. We moved to a better location by the hangers at the end of the taxiway.

The show resumed with Minot native, Tamara Kramlich (4-years USCG) outlined various search & rescue missions the US Coast Guard performs as their HU–25 ‘Guardian’ (a Dassault ‘Falcon 20’) flew passes overhead.

Team America flew three F–260 SIAI ‘Marchetti’ monoplanes. They were named Team of the Year in 1988, 1989 and 1991. The pilots are: #1 Chuck Lischer, #2 Barney Register, and #3 Brian Sanders. The F–260 is used as a light attack plane in over 20 countries. Their show featured many maneuvers including: the Hammerhead Stall and skywriting.

Two MIG–29 ‘Fulcrums’ headline airshows across the US and Canada this summer. The “Dawn of Freedom” tour celebrates a newly independent Ukraine. The tour was overseen by Major General Yarosrav Skalko, Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force with 16 member Ukrainian crew. The aircraft are piloted by: Col. Volodymayr Kandaurov and Col. Nykolay Koval, with Lt. Col. Valeriy Soloshenko in reserve. The tour team became known as the Ukrainian Tridents due to the Ukrainian Air Force trident insignia on the aircraft. A MiG–29A and one MiG–29UB (2-seat trainer) demonstrated the performance of their twin Tumanski turbofan engines. The MiG–29 is rated at Mach 2.28 and can climb 50,000 feet per minute. Clisham said, “The Ukrainians are performing maneuvers never before shown in North American: the daring Tail Slide and Cobra maneuvers.” The Tail Slide has the Migs: climbing until they runs out momentum, and then slide backwards tail first. The Cobra has the ‘Fulcrum’ climb; then nose over like a hooded cobra. After the MiGs deployed their braking parachutes and taxied to the flight line, Bob and I left. Photos and YouTube Video from Armed Forces Airshow 7/11/92 in Scranton, PA.

On the way to Minot, we drove past the Grand Forks Air Force Base. They’re having an airshow on August 30th, so we made plans to attend!

1992 0725 MC02a1Ukrainian TridentsUkraine Air Force MiG-29A and one MiG-29UB (2-seat trainer) 'Fulcrum' on display.


See the Full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the North Dakota Air Expo: 100 in total including detailed photo/airplane descriptions. Bob Nelson shot with his Nikon N–8000 (wide), Nikon (F–4) with 300mm telephoto lens, and Leica body (only?). I shot with a Minolta SRT–102 and XG–7. 28mm, 50mm, and 135mm Minolta lenses.

Bob Nelson’s photos (Black & White with a 1296–1299 suffix) are copyright 1992, 2018; used with permission.
My photos are color print film. ©1992, 2018, 2019.

Aircraft On Display: ID, ‘Code Name,’ Unit, S/N, Notes, Ref Links

Each aircraft link goes to its first photo in the gallery. The Ref Links/organization Links are where I found information for the photo descriptions. Usually Wikipedia if missing.
I also saw some helicopter blades and a flight line of five aircraft (Piper and Cessna).

  • A–10A ’Warthog of the 442FW AFRES. 90–122 KC AFB Whiteman, MS. Lt.Col. Roger Disrud ‘Top Gun’ of the Worldwide Air Force.
  • A–6E ’Intruder of VA85 #16106, #501. CMD Scott Beach
  • A–6E ‘Intruder’ #154137, #815 CAG5 (converted from A–6A)
  • A–7D ‘Corsair II’ of the SDANG? xx–000
  • B–1B ‘Lancer’ from the GFAFB. 86–0121, “Maiden America” (Time to Climb) 1
  • B–52H ‘Stratofortress’ from the Minot AFB 5th Bomb Wing
  • C–130 ‘Hercules’
  • C–5A ‘Galaxy’
  • CA–18A ‘Hornet’ 168933 from the CAF
  • CF–5D ‘Freedom Fighter’ or CAF CF–116 Trainer, in Aggressor camo. 1,2
  • CT–114 ‘Tutor’ of the CAF
  • E–3B ‘Sentry’ AWACS. 76–1605. ACFT CMDR: Major Craig Kon.. Crew Chief Tsgt Geoffrey Crai.. MMC: Greg Koonce, Asst. Crew Chief: Sgt Gregory A Dunn.
  • EF–111A ‘Raven’ or “Sparkvark”
  • F–117A ‘Nighthawk’ of the 49FW, 7th FS. HO ’Major Jeff “Jammer” Moore [bandit 292]
  • F–15C ‘Eagle’ of the 71st FS FF ’Lt. Col Frank Bjoring (squadron commander)
  • F–15D ‘Eagle’. xx–042. 2-seat trainer ’ of the
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ of the 4th FS, Hill AFB. 88–513. SSgt Rik Merrill. 1
  • F–16C ‘Falcon’ of the 4th FS, Hill AFB, Ogden UT. HL 86–471
  • F–16A ‘Falcon’ from the NDANG 119th FS ‘Happy Hooligans’. #82–1012 flown by Maj. Robert ‘PeeWee’ Edlund.
  • SIAI F–260 ‘Marchetti’ of Team America. N942TA. #1 Chuck Lischer #2 Barney Register, #3 Brian Sanders
  • Dassault Falcon 20, HU–25 ‘Guardian’ of the USCG. Flown by Tamara Kramlich Narr. 1
  • KC–10A ‘Extender’ 79–1712
  • KC–135A ‘Stratotanker’ from the GFAFBB. The pre-fan jet mod. 1
  • MiG–15 ‘Fagot’ N.. 15
  • MiG–29 ‘Fulcrum’ of the Ukrainian Tridents (ykpaïha) #01 #02. 1
  • S–3A ’Viking of the AD 732
  • T–2 ‘Buckeye’ Trainer from the US Navy. 1
  • T–33 ‘Shooting Star’ of the USAF Thunderbirds. NX12418. Flown by Ray Mabrey. 1
  • T–38 ‘Talon’ from Texas. 10568,13262,38238: Togo 01 Captain Rick Granfiada; Togo 02 Mr. Fred Gantzer; Togo 03 Mr. Jim Lynn.

Additional Information

OCR copies from the Minot Daily News. I also used information from the program, The Fargo Forum, and the Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL).

  • The Secret’s Out: Stealth arrives in Minot by Kent Olson, Staff Writer (7/25)
  • Ukrainian, Stealth planes highlight State Air Expo by Ron Wilson, staff Writer (7/26)
  • Air Expo announcer introduces crowds to the wild blue yonder by Frank Rzeczkowski, Start Writer (7/27)

1992 0725 MB22Top GunA-10A 'Warthog' from the 442FW AFRES, AFB Whiteman, Missouri. #90-122 90-122 "Worldwide Air Force" Lt.Col. Roger Disrud 'Top Gun' winner in 1992.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Expo Air Show Fighters Fulcrum Jet Minot NDANG Nighthawk Ukrainian Tridents Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:00:00 GMT
1990 & 1991 Happy Hooligans After years of flying the F–4D ‘Phantom’ the North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG) would be trading up to the F–16A ‘Falcon’. I was pretty excited as the F–16 was (and still is) my favorite aircraft. The F–16 first saw service in 1979 and was designed by one of the greatest military minds of all time Col. John Boyd (USAF). The F–16A is a gorgeous aircraft and maybe the best fighter bomber ever built.

My friend, Bob Nelson, must have been more excited than me. He was at the airport in April of 1990 photographing the last flights of the F–4D and first flights of the F–16A. Bob also photographed the unit’s C–130 ‘Hercules’, which by 1991 was flying support missions within the US for Operation Desert Storm.

Bob was back in July of 1990, when training was in full swing. He got photos of the squadron doing touch-and-goes. And even a T–38A ‘Talon’ trainer got in the act. We got together on Tuesday July 17, 1990 at Giovannis Pizza for lunch. Bob was telling me about photographing F–16 at the end of the runaway. This is how I arrived at the date on these photos. I was so jealous.

Finally on Good Friday, March 29th, 1991, Bob took pity on me and called me up. From my journal..

Bob and I race northwest of NDSU. A plane ‘cloaks’ behind the residency halls. I exclaim it’s a B–1B. Bob didn’t believe me as I’ve been ID’ing Cessnas as F–15 ‘Eagles’ so when it ‘de-cloaks’ (coming from behind the hall) there it is - a B–1B ‘Lancer’ bomber. I give Bob crap for missing it. We could have been there 15 minutes ago. We wait in the car. (It is sunny, but the wind is cold.) Using Bob’s scanner, the Hector control tower would announce F–16 on approach. We can hear it coming but can’t see it until it’s on final approach. The landing light obscures its dark outline in the bright blue sky. It’s almost on top of us when we see it. We hustle out of the car to photograph the ‘Falcons’ as they fly overhead; then race to the north end of the runaway before they taxi back to the hangers. That was it.

1991 0229.14a1Any Friday with an F-16 is a Good FridayThis NDANG F-16A 'Falcon' [82-0967] taxis around the north end of Fargo Hector field. March 29th, 1991.


See the full Gallery or the Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the air show: 76 total including detailed photo/airplane descriptions.

Bob Nelson’s photos (Black & White with a 1184, 1200–1206 prefix; Color with a CN51–53 prefix) are copyright ©1990/1991/2015/2018. I believe Bob’s color photos (CN51–53) are from this trip but I can’t be sure. He also photographed a T–38 ‘Dragonfly’ tandem trainer.
My color photos have a date prefix and are ©1991, 2015, 2018.


North Dakota Air National Guard 1947–1997: Happy Hooligan’s a tradition of excellence

  • September 1989, The Happy Hooligans (NDANG 178th Fighter Squadron) exceeded 50,000 hours of accident-free flying in the F–4D ‘Phantom’.
  • January 1990, ND Governor George Sinner flew with the Happy Hooligans in a an F–4D piloted by Lt. Col. James Reimers.
  • February 1990, NDANG’s new Air Force Advisor, Lt. Col. Ed. Morrow, flew the first F–16, #699, from Hill AFB, Utah, to Fargo. The NDANG planned to have all twenty of the new ADF (Air Defense Fighter) F–16’s in Fargo by June 1, 1990. They plan to have all pilots F–16 qualified by Aug. 15.
  • February 1990, McDonnell Douglas F–4 program manager David Klevhorn presented the 119th FIG with the aviation excellence award for achieving 50,000 accident-free flight hours in flying the unit’s F–4 aircraft. The award covers a span of time from 1977, when the NDANG received its first F–4, through August 1989.
  • April 1, 1990, The NDANG ended its alert on when it started its conversion to the F–16 aircraft. The unit was the first of five ANG units to be affected by the shut down.. Since the beginning of the Northern Tier Alert, North Dakota had two pilots, two weapons systems officers and two F–4D jets on alert status duty, 24-hours-a-day. The alert also required additional maintenance and security police personnel.
  • April 1990, The last Hooligan F–4 raced down the runway at Hector Field . The majority of the F–4’s were retired to Davis-Monthan AFB. (The ‘Boneyard’)
  • September 8, 1990, Family Day and an F–16 Activation Ceremony were celebrated. General Dynamics and Pratt-Whitney (manufacturers of the aircraft and engines), sent representatives to Fargo to formally present the aircraft and other memorabilia to the Happy Hooligans. Unfortunately, Bob and I never heard about it and did not attend.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) falcon fighters happy hooligans jet ndang viper Fri, 10 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT
1989 ND Centennial Air Show Saturday/Sunday, August 19 & 20, 1989

The 1989 Fargo Air Show was a North Dakota Centennial Air Show. One of two. The other being in Minot in July. This was going to be a big show. There were a lot of unique aircraft scheduled both in the air and on the ground. The Fargo Forum ran a number of articles about the 1989 Fargo Airsho and the 1989 North Dakota Centennial Aviation Celebrations. I was excited, as was my friend and fellow aviation enthusiast: Bob Nelson. It was a weekend show, with the USAF ‘Thunderbirds’ flying on Sunday. I had rented a 500mm CAT lens, and got the odd idea to get two rolls Infrared B&W film- I wanted to do something different.

Friday 8/18, Bob called me at work. He was watching aircraft arrive from the north end of the runaway I joined him after work. He let me use his Nikkormat, 180mm lens, 2X extender, and monopod. I was in time to photograph the Top Gun F–5E ‘Tiger II’ and A–4 ‘SkyhawkAggressors from the Miramar Naval Air Station. We also photographed the Georgia ANG F–15A ‘Eagle’ landing at 7:00. I went home. I should have attended Friday night’s banquet talk with General Chuck Yeager at Centennial Hall.

Saturday 8/19, I left early and picked up Bob. I used his bathroom to load the infrared (IR) film as it has to be loaded and unloaded in total darkness. There are many World War II era aircraft from the Confederate Air Force (CAF) ‘Ghost Squadron’ lined up on the south taxiway. The current Navy and Air Force aircraft are to the north. (see my crude map below)
I have to leave Bob and head home. I’m taking my parents to the airport, and I change IR film in the bathroom.
I got back in time to see the US Army Golden Knights parachute team jump. This was followed by aerial demonstrations by the CAF’s WW-II aircraft, Valley Skydivers and a Russian Mig 15 ‘Faggot’. During a lull in the aerial action I photograph the A–4 and F–5 from the Navy’s Top Gun School. Then the F–16B ‘Fighting Falcon’, RF–4C ‘Phantom II’, F–4D, F–4E, F/A–18A ‘Hornet’, F–111A ‘Aardvark’, and F–15A. I chat with the F–16B pilot from the Montana ANG. We watch Jim ‘Fang’ Maroney fly ‘Lil Toot’ in some aerobatic routines. Jim is followed by Bill ‘Burner’ Beardsley in the BD–5J ‘Bud Light Micro Jet’.
From the Grand Forks AFB, a KC–135R ‘Stratotanker’ flies by. It is joined by four F–4D of Fargo’s NDANG ‘Happy Hooligans’. The GFAFB also is home to the B–1B ‘Lancer’, which makes a couple passes. Another ‘Lancer’ is on display in front of the old Hector terminal building. It’s guarded by an armed airman. Bob and I call it: The Ring of Death. The MiG–15 flies. I yell at Bob, “He’s really tearing it up.” It was so loud, Bob can’t hear me. The South Dakota ANG fly a pair of A–7 ‘Corsair II‘s. Nine Golden Knights went up to jump again. They presented the mayor with a baton once they got their parachutes stowed. The announcer asks, "Will the owner of a 1971 Dodge Duster to please move your car or it will be towed." This announcement is repeated all day. When they announced the Duster belonged to Vince Linstrom I knew it was a joke. There is was- being towed by a UH–1 ’Huey’ helicopter. It was dropped in front of us. It landed with a strange thump.
The aerial demonstrations were over. No F–15 flight. I stop and chat to the Civil Air Patrol members in front of their Cessna. I stopped at Robert Odegaard’s Grumman TBM ‘Avenger’ torpedo bomber. It was painted in honor of the one President George H. Bush flew during World War II.

Sunday 8/20, Bob and I set up on the 12th Avenue bridge. We hope this will give us some interesting views of the aircraft as their fly overhead on their way to the Hector field. The wind is 15 mph and the clouds are low. The US Army Golden Knights cancel their morning jump. We see the USAF ‘Thunderbirds’ in the distance. I find the 500mm lens too long; too slow under these dark clouds. I borrow Bob’s 180mm lens again. The Thunderbird’s KC–141 ‘Starlifter’ support aircraft flies overhead. The CAF are out with their B–25 ‘Mitchell’, F–4U ‘Corsair’, and T–28C ‘Trojan’. We leave for lunch at Dairy Queen.

Bob finds an open spot on the fence line. We’re late so it’s far to the north of the center line, but we have good site lines. The Golden Knights were jumping. I left Bob to photograph the static displays with my 28mm wide angle lens. Some jets were crowded, some were not. I rejoin Bob as we wait for the USAF Thunderbirds’ to fly their F–16A ‘Fighting Falcons’. Once they do, it’s all very fast and exciting. I feel unprepared: the 500mm CAT lens is too long. I switch to my 135mm and infrared film. There isn’t time to switch to Bob’s 180mm lens. The T-birds do some maneuvers the Blue Angels don’t and vise versa, but the F–16 ‘Falcon’ is a better aircraft. The crowd begins to leave as the Falcons land, so I walk up the fence line for photos of the Thunderbirds’ as they taxi and park. I finish my slide film. I still have IF film. I wait for people to move away so I can photograph more jets. (27 years later, I’m amazed by all the aircraft I didn’t photograph.) Jet noise returns as aircraft preparing to leave the show (MiG–15 is the first.) I’m out of film and money. I borrow a dollar from Bob to make a donation. I don’t even have $2 for the 1989 Fargo Airsho Program (Google Docs, text only as the images didn’t transfer. I do have a PDF and HTML file with the imagines.)

A pair of 'Happy Hooligans' F-4D Phantom II'Happy Hooligans' F-4D Phantom IITwo NDANG F-4D 'Phantom II's flying in formation at the ND Centennial Air Show. Saturday 8/19/1989


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show: 210 total including detailed photo/airplane descriptions.

Bob Nelson's photos (Black & White with a 1142-1154 prefix) are copyright 1989/2015.
My photos have a date prefix; are a combination of Color Print, Color Slide, and B&W Infrared film. ©1989, 2015, 2016.


Photo descriptions come primarily from Wikipedia and Warbirds Registry . See below for additional links. I have access to additional historic information from 1989 Fargo Forum articles, and the 1989 Fargo Airsho Program.

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery. There were lots of aircraft at the airshow that are not listed including quite a few experimental aircraft from the EAA. I’m also missing photos of some aircraft that are listed, but are behind other aircraft.

.ID Manufacturer Name Owner Unit S/N Tail Notes Links . . .
150 Cessna Commuter         N5799E [1]
65-B90 Beechcraft King Air Meritcare Jet Lifeflight     N33CS, Military T-44 [1] [2]
757 Boeing   NWA       Airliner, C-32A Military [1]
A-4 Douglas Skyhawk US Navy VFA-127 155000 NJ 702 Pilot Patch: 334th Fighter Squadron "The Eagles" [1] [2] [3]
A-7D Vought Corsair II SDANG 114 FW   Lobos SD 218 Sioux Falls, SD. Two [1] [2]
UH-1 Bell Iroquois ND Army Guard Huey     1971 Dodge Dart [1]
B-1B Rockwell Lancer GFAFB 319th BW     Grand Forks AFB, ND [1]
B-25J North American Mitchell Planes Of Fame East Mitch The Witch 44-86747   Robert Pond..N8163H [1] [2]
BD-5J Jim Bede   Bill 'Burner' Beardsley       Bud Light Micro Jet [1] [2]
C-141B Lockheed Starlifter USAF     Thunderbirds Nellis AFB, NV [1]
C-31A Fokker Troopship US Army Golden Knights   51607 US Army Parachute Team [1] [2]
C-40B Boeing Clipper USAF       Civilian 737-700C [1]
CT-114 Canadiar Tutor FIS Vikings 114102   Helmet: Viking 18 [1] [2]
D17S Beechcraft Staggerwing Arnie Widmer         [1]
DH-82C de Havilland Tiger Moth RCAF CF-COU   1122 The Red River Tiger Moth Group Ltd. [1] [2]
EA-6B Northrop Grumman Prowler US Navy VAQ-141 162938 AJ 620 In Air, Co. Cdr. Jack Skjoldanger, Lt. Sam Mills [1] [2] [3]
F-111A General Dynamics Aardvark USAF 366th TFW xx-070 MO Mountain Home AFB, ID [1]
F-15A McDonnell-Douglas Eagle Georgia ANG 116th FG 75-069   Robins AFB, GA [1] [2]
F-16A General Dynamics Falcon USAF 57th Wing   Thunderbirds Nellis AFB, NV [1] [2] [3]
F-16B General Dynamics Falcon Montana ANG 186th FS 81-819 Big Sky Country Great Falls, MT [1] [2] [3]
F-4D McDonnell Phantom II NDANG 119 FIS   Happy Hooligans 647 Four In Air: 40938, 40976, 40963, 67478 [1] [2]
F-4D-29MC McDonnell Phantom II NDANG 119 FIS 66-7498 Happy Hooligans Blue Centennial Paint Job 1889-1989 [1] [2] [3]
F-4E McDonnell Phantom II           [1]
F-5E Northrup Tiger II US Navy VFA-127 73-0879 NJ 722 NAS Lemoore, CA [1]
F-5E Northrup Tiger II US Navy VFA-127 74-1539 NJ 724 NAS Lemoore, CA [1]
F/A-18A McDonnell-Douglas Hornet US Navy NSAWC 762887 ? 51 NAS Fallon, NV [1] [2]
F6F-5 Grumman Hellcat Planes of Fame East   Bu.94473 36 Navy 58644, NX4964V [1] [2] [3]
FG-1D Vought F4U Corsair Planes of Fame East VF-53 Bu.92629 301 S Kermit M. LaQuey USMC, Lt. jg Mac McCullum USNR, USS Essex, NX62290 [1] [2]
JU-52 Junker Tante Ju Confederate Air Force CASA 352L T2B-176   Tri-motor, 3M G3E, N352JU [1] [2]
KC-10A McDonnell-Douglas Extender USAF 32nd ARS 70120   Barksdale AFB, LA [1]
KC-135R Boeing Stratotanker USAF th319 ARW 38005   Grand Forks AFB, ND [1] [2]
L-4 Piper Grasshopper US Army   x8608   Civilian J-3 [1]
Little Toot George Meyer Lil Toot Jim 'Fang' Maroney       N5211 [1] [2]
MiG-15 Mikoyan-Gurevich Fagot USSR   CN: 122073 15 N15PE [1] [2]
P-3 Lockheed Orion US Navy       In Air [1]
P-47D Republic Thunderbolt Planes Of Fame East PHV 228473   "Big Chief" NX47RP [1] [2]
PA-28 Piper Cherokee UND?         [1]
PT-13A Vultee Valiant           [1]
PT-17 Boeing-Stearman Kaydet         Two. Model 75 [1]
RF-4C McDonnell Phantom II Nebraska ANG 173rd TRS 65-840   Lincoln, NE [1] [2]
SNJ North American Texan US Navy         [1]
T-2 North American Buckeye US Navy VT-9 156725 354 S CN: 318-40 [1]
T-28C North American Trojan US Navy   Bu.146286 E 461 Greg Fieber N628C [1]
T-37 Cessna Tweet USAF   87932? 2 Dragonfly [1]
T-38A Northrop Talon USAF   62-3653     [1]
TA-4J Douglas Skyhawk US Navy CTW-2 CN: 13701 B 152 NAS Kingsville, FL [1] [2]
Yak-9 Yakovlev   USSR     27   [1]

McDonnell F–4 Phantom II

The history of the McDonnell F–4 ‘Phantom II’ is interesting. “The USAF received Phantoms as the result of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s push to create a unified fighter for all branches of the military.” (wiki) This was a bad idea. The F–4 was designed by the Navy for carrier use; a good platform for multiple types of missions, but as a pure fighter it left a lot to be desired. The US Navy had their own variants: the ‘B’, the ‘J’, the ‘N’, and the ‘S

It’s hard to tell the different versions apart. The nose is the best guide.

The ‘C’ version was based off the Navy’s F–4B. It lacked any internal gun. This aircraft wasn’t good enough for the Air Force’s fighter requirements, so once the F–4D came online, the ’C’s were converted to RF–4C reconnaissance aircraft; with a stretched nose loaded with cameras rather than guns.
The ‘D’ version featured an enhanced AN/APQ–109 radar with solid-state components in the low-voltage sections. The F–4D also featured up-rated electric power generators, new attack and navigation systems. The F–4D was wired for the SUU–23/A cannon pod, with a matching ASG–22 lead-computing gunsight fitted for aiming it. The AN/AAA–4 IRST (infrared sensor) fairing under the nose was deleted in most F–4D. However, late production F–4Ds kept the fairing for use with an AN/APR–25/26 radar warning receiver. This was the aircraft the North Dakota Air National Guard received in 1977 to replace their aging F–101 ‘Voodoo’ interceptors. The NDANG F–4D Phantoms carry the “Happy Hooligan” moniker on their tails.
The ‘E’ version has a much longer nose to fit an internal M61A1 six barreled Vulcan cannon and a smaller solid-state AN/APQ–120 radar. Uprated J79-GE–17 engines, zero-zero ejection seat, fixed slat on the tail-plane, a 7th fuel cell, and manual folding wings. The F–4E was the primary USAF variant
F–4G ‘Wild Weasel V
The ‘G’ version was a post-Vietnam modification the ‘E’ replacing the cannon with an AN/APR–38 RHAWS, with 52 antennas littered over the fuselage. This radar could locate and identify radar emitters, target them for attack with ARMs, or cluster bombs and other munitions; including the Texas Instruments AGM–88 "High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).

McDonnell F–4D ‘Phantom II painted dark blue as the North Dakota Centennial Aircraft.
A member of NDANG ground crew guy told us this aircraft had numerous stress cracks. While performing acrobatic maneuvers, it was pulling 8.5 Gs. Neither Bob nor I got any photographs of this aircraft performing, and now I question whether it flew on either day.

1989 Fargo Airsho Map1989 Fargo Airsho MapI drew this map to help locate the aircraft in my photographs. It's not to scale and there are errors. Also many aircraft were moved during the day(s) as they flew demonstration flights.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show CAF Centennial Confederate Air Force Dakota Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector NDANG North Thunderbirds Thu, 26 Dec 2013 16:00:00 GMT
1989 GFAFB, Snowbirds Saturday, May 27, 1987

Friends And Neighbors Day, at the Grand Forks AFB

The weather is clear, warm and sunny but with a 40 mph wind.  Although I didn't seem them, about 20 protesters greeted visitors to the base with signs reading "Stop the Arms Race," and "U.S. Air Force: Good People, Bad Product."

My friend, Bob Nelson, and I aren't expecting much more than last year's displays. There are a few new inclusions: an A-7 from the SDANG, TR-1A (U-2S), a B-52H from the Minot AFB, a P-3C Orion, FB-111, and it's cousin the EF-111. A UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) helicopter demonstrates over the Canadian CT-114s. At 1:45 pm we find a spot on the edge of the flight line, the Snowbirds take off. They disappear for 15 minutes. They have nine aircraft; flying routines all over the field like a swarm of bees. Their fly bys were close.

After the show, the security guy opened up the B-52H. We were first in line but the line moved and we were in the back of the line. I tried to compose shots, without people walking in my frame. I went around the B-52H photographed the bomb bay. The B-1B took off 15 minutes early. The KC-135R 'Stratotanker' flew by. The B-1B 'Lancer' followed pulling a tight turn right over the field. It scared all the kids. It was louder than my Stratocaster, even louder than the Who! The ground shook under the four afterburners. Everyone plug their ears. The kids were rolling on the ground in terror. The B-1B swung north and disappeared. Bob and I knew they'd be back for a bomb run. The B-1B came screaming in from the North. I didn't see the bomb blast until it was too late. Bob looked at me, I looked at him, shook our heads, like last year we missed it again!

At 4:00 the Montana ANG F-16 Falcon was still crowded. I checked out GE's CFM jet engine display, this engine has greatly improved the performance of the KC-135R.

B-52H 'Stratofortress' from the Minot AFB, 5th Bomb Wing.B-52H 'Stratofortress'The Minot Air Force Base put one of their B-52H 'Stratofortress' on display at the Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB) 'Friends And Neighbors Day' on May 27th 1989. The 5th Bomb Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command's Eighth Air Force. It is stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. The 5th BW is one of only two B-52H Stratofortress wings in the USAF. In September 1991, the wing pulled its aircraft from continuous alert status - a job it performed for 35 years. The 5th Wing became the 5th Bomb Wing following the activation of Air Combat Command.


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show: 78 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions. All the Black & White photos are © Bob Nelson as are some color slides, many thanks.


Photo descriptions come primarily from many sources including Wikipedia: B-1B (Wiki), B-52H (Wiki) (5th BW) (M61), CT-114 (Wiki) (Flying) (Antaya RIP) ( (s/n), C-130 (Wiki), EF-111A (Wiki), F-111 (Wiki), F-16A ( (MT ANG), KC-10 (Wiki), KC-135 (Wiki) (CFM56), OA-4M (Wiki) (, TR-1A (Wiki) (17th TW)

I have scanned and made available additional GFAFB Information from the Grand Forks Herald, which I used to refresh my memory and fill in some gaps to my journal.

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery. Aircraft without links are often visible in the photos of the aircraft surrounding them.

ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name S/N Notes
A-7 LTV Corsair II SDANG      
B-1B Rockwell Lancer GFAFB Bone 6113 3:20 PM fly by
B-52H Boeing Stratofortress 5th Bombardment Wing, Minot AFB The Baron 10008 Charon
C-5A Lockheed Galaxy Travis AFB 60th MAW 90024 22nd Airlift Squadron or 75th
C-130 Lockheed Hercules        
C-141 Lockheed Starlifter       ? was it here
CT-114 Canadair Tutor 431 Air Demonstration Squadron Snowbirds   2:00 show, 9-planes
F-4E McDonnell Douglas Phantom II NDANG Happy Hooligans   12:15 PM fly by
F-16A General Dynamics Falcon Montana ANG Big Sky Country 80565  
EB-111A General Dynamics Raven        
F-111 General Dynamics Aardvard        
KC-10 McDonnell-Douglas Extender     0188  
KC-135R Boeing Stratotanker GFAFB 319th Bombardment Wing   3:15 PM fly-by 37576?
OA-4M Douglas Skyhawk Marines DA 153507 Major G.M. Dellemat?
P-3C Lockheed Orion       ? was it here
T-38 Northrop Talon GFAFB Pilot Trainer   12:30 PM fly by
TR-1A Lockheed Dragon Lady 17RW   80-01082 Bulldog logo 000026
UH-1 Bell Huey       1:15 PM fly by
AH-1 Bell Huey Cobra       ? was it here
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Canadian Snowbirds Fighters Friends And Neighbors Day GFAFB Grand Forks Air Force Base Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:15:00 GMT
1988 GFAFB, Blue Angels Saturday, June 25, 1988

Friends And Neighbors Day, at the Grand Forks AFB

Bob Nelson called me on Thursday, "There's an air show in Grand Forks on Saturday." Friday I stopped at The Image Place for ten rolls of Kodachrome and rented a 500mm CAT lens. They only had a Nikon mount but Bob said I could borrow his Nikkormat and monopod. I had no need for other amusements as we talked about aviation and photography the whole way. We even sang "Old McDonald had a MIRV, EIEIO." Bob followed the crowd on Highway 2. At the base entrance a guard saluted everyone coming in. Bob asks the airman, "Is that your German Shepherd?" pointing at a large jack rabbit? The guy laughs and says, "Yah, they're specially trained."

We were too late to catch the F-16 'Falcons' flying around. This would be our first airshow at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, and our first chance to see the B-1B 'Lancer' supersonic bomber.  As we near the flight line, I notice the B-1B, that's cool. Bob says, "Is that what I think it is?" I assume he meant the 'Lancer' but he was looking behind it to the C-5A 'Galaxy'. Bob was really excited to see the largest flying U.S. aircraft, but it didn't do anything for me. The GFAFB also is home to a squadron of KC-135R tankers. Based on the Boeing 707- the 'R's have new engines. To demonstrate, one of their KC-135R took off and almost went into a vertical climb. The new Turbofan engines have almost twice the thrust. This was follow by a B-1B 'Lancer'. Both planes did a series of passes with the B-1 making a bomb pass on the last run. They simulated the bomb blasts with pyro behind the Blue Angels. Bob and I were too surprised to photograph it.

The Blue Angels were now flying the F/A-18A 'Hornet'. Another first for us. Commander Gil Rud from Portland, ND was still leading the 'Blues'. He got a rare third year because of the transition from the A-4K Skyhawk. The Blue Angels flew a similar routine as two years ago including the sneak fly by. The only difference was with the F-18A they could pull some snappy turns. I thought the planes were smoky. I had smoke, dust, sun and sunscreen in my eyes.

I didn't spend much film on the static displays. I was more interested in aircraft I hadn't seen yet, so I have quite a few photos of the B-1B. It was guarded and roped off with a sign that said, Use of deadly force authorized." The good news is it kept other guests out of my photos. Bob and I, along with a group of photographers moved a ladder to the front of the F-16C 'Fighting Falcon' to get some nice top nose shots. I didn't notice at the time but this was the first 'C' version of the F-16 that I had seen. It was from the 314th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, activated in 1986, and was only the second F-16C squadron in the Air Force.

"It's 5:00. 'Friends And Neighbor's Day' is over, everyone out!" was announced in a curt voice. On the way back to the car, a fire truck rounds the corner with a manned water gun. Bob raised his arms in a mock surrender, they honk their horn in reply. Bob told me about a premonition he had regarding a crash at the airshow thankfully he was wrong. The premonition was correct, it was the wrong airshow.

If I was underprepared for the 1987 airshow I was was over-prepared for this show. Ten rolls of slide film was over kill. I would have been better off with three rolls of print film, especially as I underexposed two rolls, which required a crazy amount of time with my Minolta F2900 film scanner and Adobe Photoshop. I worked hard to get some decent images from these underexposed slides. I scanned them three times! In 2003, 2010 (, and 2015. Four rolls of color photos are mine (1988.06.25.xx, 1988.06.25axx, 1988.06.25bxx, 1988.06.25cxx). Bob has shared three rolls of Black and White film (1086.xx,1086.xx, 1088.xx). Occasionally you'll see some people as silhouettes- I find people milling around the aircraft to be distracting so I mask them out in Adobe Photoshop.

B-1B 'Lancer' nose and cockpit. At the GFAFB 'Friends And Neighbors Day' on Saturday, June 25th 1988. 1988.06.25c12a1B-1B 'Lancer'B-1B 'Lancer' nose and cockpit. At the GFAFB 'Friends And Neighbors Day' on Saturday, June 25th 1988.



See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show: 105 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions. All the Black & White photos are © Bob Nelson.


Photo descriptions come primarily from Wikipedia. Addition informational sources: B-1B (Wiki), GFAFB (Wiki) (SAC), C-5A (Wiki) ( , F-16C (Wiki) (Luke AFB) (Aragon) (85-447), and the F/A-18A Blue Angels (1988 Team) (1988 News). I also used some excerpts from "Blue Angels: 50 Years of Precision Flight" by Nicholas A Veronico & Marga B. Fritze.

I have scanned and made available additional Historic Information from the Fargo Forum, and a history of the Blue Angels that I think was in the 1988 GFAFB Program.

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery.  Aircraft without links are often visible in the photos of the aircraft surrounding them but not in this this case, if not for the sketch below I would have no memory of these aircraft.

ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name S/N Notes
B-1B Rockwell Lancer GFAFB Bone 6108  
C-130 Lockheed Hercules USMC Fat Albert    
C-47 Douglas Dakota Canadian Air Force   12590 Navy Trainer
C-5A Lockheed Galaxy Travis AFB 22nd Military Airlift Squadron 00446  
F-16C General
Luke AFB
Glendale, AZ
314th TFS
58th Tactical Training Wing
85-447 Major Hank Aragon
Staff Sergeant John Slandridge
F-4D McDonnell Phantom II NDANG Happy Hooligan    
F/A-18A McDonnell-Douglas Hornet   Blue Angels   7 Aircraft
KC-10 McDonnell-Douglas Extender        
KC-135R Boeing Stratotanker GFAFB 319th Bombardment Wing    
LGM-30G Boeing Minuteman III        
P-51D North American Mustang Commemorative Air Force     Guess
T-38 Northrop Talon GFAFB     Pilot Trainer
T-6 North American Texan Commemorative Air Force     Guess
TA-4F Douglas Skyhawk        

Aerial Demonstrations

  • The B-1B 'Lancer' from the Grand Forks AFB flew and did a couple passes including a mock bomb run with real pyro that both Bob and I missed.
  • The KC-135R 'Stratotanker'  from the Grand Forks AFB did high angle take off too show its new powerful engines.
  • The Blue Angels perform for the crowd in six F/A-18A 'Hornet' twin engine fighters
  • Skydiver

1988 GFAFB Flightline1988 GFAFB FlightlineMy 1988 sketch of the GFAFB 'Friends and Neighbors Day' flight line. Saturday, June 25, 1988. Not only does it show the layout (obviously not to scale) but it also illustrates some events of the afternoon.
See my
blog post for more information about the show and references for the images.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show B-1B Blue Angels Bone F-16C Fighters Friends And Neighbors Day GFAFB Grand Forks Air Force Base Jet KC-135R Mon, 21 Oct 2013 05:00:00 GMT
1987 CAF Air Display Sunday, August 16, 1987

Third Annual Red River Valley Wing Confederate Air Force Air Display '87

This was a low key air show. I may not known it was in town until I dropped off company at the airport that morning. I certainly wasn't prepared for it. My friend and fellow aviation/photography enthusiast, Bob Nelson, picked me up and off to the airport we went. Bob shot two rolls of B&W film (#1091,1092) All I had was my old Hanimex compact-A with a bad 40mm lens and a half roll of color print film, and my Minolta SLR, a 50mm lens and half a roll of slide film.

A Civil Air Patrol cadet is handing out food coupons on the way in. It was fun to see the CAP busy at the air show. It had been 12 years since I was a CAP cadet. It was an eclectic collection of aircraft as you can see from the list below. I spent most of my time around the Minot AFB F-15A 'Eagle' and Montana ANG F-16A 'Falcon'. Good thing Bob was along and shares his photos, or I wouldn't have much to show here. At the time I was only interested in current military aviation. I did get some photos of the Commemorative Air Force/Arizona Wing B-17G 'Flying Fortress' - It was the first WW-II bomber I had ever seen. Funny I wasn't more interested at the time. I had done a lot of reading on WW-II: bombers and fighters. Later I would recover my enthusiasm. Thankfully "Sentimental Journey" would be back in Fargo a number of times.

From my 1987 Journal, "It was announced the Falcon and Eagle would be leaving shortly, so we decided to wait. Shortly, turned out to be two hours. The F-15 'Eagle' went up first. It pulled up in front of us at a 60 degree angle and was gone. Bob and I  bought aircraft pins for $3. I got a F-16 'Falcon' while Bob got a P-51 'Mustang'. The F-16A 'Falcon' went up but at a 70 degree angle with a roll. It was so cool: the sun and mist rolling off the wing. I had used up all my film by this time. The aircraft displays were packing up. The B-17G crew had struck down their displays and concession stand. They boxed it up and wrenched it up into the bomb-bay of the B-17G. After the Falcon took off, so did everyone else. Bob and I celebrated at Godfathers Pizza."

It took hours of work: adjusting exposures, color balance, and cropping to get the Hanimex photos to look half decent. I could do nothing about the out-of-focus images. I find large crowds of people milling around the aircraft to be distracting so occasionally you'll see these people as silhouettes- even more hours in Adobe Photoshop.

B-17G Sentimental Journey noseSentimental Journey"Sentimental Journey" was the first B-17G 'Flying Fortress' WW-II heavy bomber that Bob or I ever saw. I was cool to see it shining in the sun with its aluminum skin; bristling with .50 cal. machine guns.


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show: 51 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions. All the Black & White photos are © Bob Nelson.


Photo descriptions come primarily from Wikipedia. Addition informational sources: B-17G (Sentimental Journey) (Photos) (History) (Betty Grable), P-51D, PT-17, A-7, F-101B (119th Air Wing), F-16A (120th Fighter Wing), and F-15A (#1) (#2) (Minot AFB) (Mike Ford).

I have scanned and made available additional Historic Information from the Fargo Forum, and the Confederate Air Force Air Display '87 Program.

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery.  Aircraft without links are often visible in the photos of the aircraft surrounding them.

ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name S/N Tail Notes
UH-1 Bell Iroquois (Huey)         Helicopter
C-90 Beech King Air Meritcare     N4742M Air Ambulance
B-17G Boeing Flying Fortress CAF Arizona Wing, Mesa Sentimental Journey 44-83514 N9323Z  
PT-17 Boeing-Stearman Kaydet          
C-47B Douglas Skytrain          
F-16A General Dynamics Fighting Falcon Montana ANG   81-723    
C-130A Lockheed Hercules          
F-4C McDonnell Phantom II NDANG Happy Hooligans      
F-101 McDonnell Voodoo NDANG Happy Hooligans      
F-15A McDonnell Douglas Eagle Minot AFB Spittn Kittens 76-012 5 FIS  
P-51D North American Mustang     45-11628 NL151X Pilot: Bill Hane
AT-6A North American Texan          
A-7 Vought (LTV) Corsair II SDANG        
BT-13A Vultee Valiant          


Scheduled but not there. It is possible some of these were on the south end, where I had no photos

ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name S/N Tail Notes
UC-43 Beech Traveler         Helicopter
OH-58 Bell Kiowa (Longranger)          
A-26B Douglas Invader          
TBF-1 Grumman Avenger          
OH-6 Hughes Cayuse         Helicopter
T-28A North American Trojan          
L4 Piper Grasshopper          
L5 Stinson Sentinel          

Aerial Demonstrations

The F-15A 'Eagle' from the Minot AFB flew off before the show was over.
The F-16A 'Fighting Falcon'  from the Montana ANG did a pass before leaving.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show CAF Confederate Air Force Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet Minot AFB Montana ANG NDANG SDANG Tue, 03 Sep 2013 21:00:00 GMT
1986 Fargo Airsho, Blue Angels td {font-size: .8em;}

Saturday/Sunday, June 21 & 22, 1986

This was the second part of a multi-week air show to celebrate the opening of the new Hector Airport Terminal. Friday, I watch the 'Blue Angels' practice from work. They would be performing on Saturday and Sunday. I was attending both performances. On Saturday I was going with my cousins and Sunday I was going with my friend and fellow aviation & photographer enthusiast: Bob Nelson.

Saturday, I was running late and missed the A-7 demonstration. By noon all the parking lots were full all the way back to Fargo North High. The F-15 was in the air as we walked to the old terminal. This was followed by two Huey 'Cobra' helicopters. The North Dakota Air National Guard took to the air with a four plane F-4D 'Phantom II' flight. They did some passes in formation. It suddenly clouded up. The Blue Angels jumped the schedule, hoping to finish before it rained. They made a couple passes but lightning and rain suspended the show. My parents and grandparents left at that point. I stayed and talked with my cousins in the aircraft hanger. Like many summer rain storms it was over quickly and soon the sun was out. I took some photos of the static displays. The F-16A 'Falcon' and FA-18B 'Hornet' were first time visitors and I was excited to see them. I find crowds of people distracting in my photos. I try to work around them, but when I can't I will silhouette them out of my photos using Adobe Photoshop. The 'Blue Angels' returned to a clear blue sky.

Sunday, I woke up with a pretty good sunburn. Bob wanted to get there early while the sun was low in the sky and no crowds.  I spent most of my time photographing my pet aircraft: A-10, F-14, F-15, F-16, and F-18, which was a shame. There were some really interesting aircraft that I would never see again. But that's the problem with shooting film. I shot five rolls of color film (a-e) and feel like I missed half the air show. Bob shot one roll of color film (f) and three rolls of black and white film. (g,h,i) Bob was shooting with a Leica M2 and 21mm ultra wide lens on the ground. And a Nikon FM, auto-winder, and a 300mm ƒ4.5 lens for the aerial demonstrations. I had two Minolta SLR bodies, a 28mm, a 50mm, and 135mm lens. I've arranged the photos geographically rather than chronologically as there was a lot of overlap between these four cameras. The Blue Angel photos are of two performances from two locations; a mile apart.
Mom and dad were working at the YMCA lunch booth. I ran into my grandfather- another set of photographs I wish I had taken. I talked with some of the pilots by the static displays and bought a Hill AFB hat from the F-16A pilot. Bob and I stayed for the F-14 'Tomcat' and F-15 'Eagle' aerial demonstration. We both wanted to photograph the 'Blue Angels' from a different location. Bob suggested the 12th Avenue Bridge- a raised platform overlooking the airport. I didn't have much success, my shutter speed was far too slow. I blame my sunburn, I was roasting up there. From 12th avenue it was a short drive to our favorite pizza place.

 F-16A Falcon by Bob Nelson F-16A Falcon by Bob NelsonSunday morning, June 22nd 1986. The first time I got to photograph and touch my all time favorite aircraft: the General Dynamics F-16A 'Fighting Falcon' This was Col. John Boyd's dream and it became mine as well.




See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow for more photos from the air show: 166 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions.




Photo descriptions come primarily from Wikipedia. Addition informational links: Florida ANG (Maj. Visyak), Bear Alumni (Lt. Col. Danforth), F-14 Squadrons, F-5E sources: #1 #2 #3, F-4D Radar, and the Blue Angels Association.


I have scanned and made available additional Historic Information from the Fargo Forum, The Blue Angels, and the Fargo Airsho Program.


Aircraft On Display


Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery.  Aircraft without links are often visible in the photos of the aircraft surrounding them.


North side of Flightline (west to east)


ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name SN Tail Notes
KC-135 Boeing Stratotanker          
C-141 Lockheed Starlifter          
F-4D McDonnell Phantom II NDANG   40959    
T-37 Cessna Dragonfly USAF Tigers     White
AT-37 Cessna Dragonfly     73-072 NF Camo
F-106B Convair Delta Dart Montana ANG     #21  
F-16A General Dynamics Falcon 388th TFW Rams 82-974 HL  
F-16A General Dynamics Falcon 388th TFW Rams 82-000 HL  
A-7 Vought Corsair II SDANG        
A-10A Fairchild Republic Thunderbolt II/Warthog MB   79-132 MB  
F-111A General Dynamics Aardvark MO   67-070 MO  
F-15A McDonnell-Douglas Eagle TAC 5th FIS Minot AFB   76-021    
CT-114 Canadiar Tutor     09...    
T-33 Lockheed Shooting Star NDANG   35326    
T-38 Northrop Talon NASA        
F-4D McDonnell Phantom II NDANG       in the hanger


South side of Flightline (east to west)


ID Manu Name Unit U-Name SN Tail Notes
EA-6B Northrop Grumman Prowler       NG #607  
EA-6A Northrop Grumman Prowler     162180 NJ #801  
F-5E Northrup Tiger II US Navy   159880 #542  
F/A-18B McDonnell-Douglas Hornet USMC VFA-106 Gladiators 161719 AD #356  
F-14A Grumman Tomcat VF-101 Grim Reapers 162688 AD #000 sn+140
F-14A Grumman Tomcat VF-101 Grim Reapers   AD #484  
KC-10 McDonnell-Douglas Extender USAF   40191    
RP-3AD Lockheed Orion VXN-9 US Naval Oceanographic Office El Coyote 149667 IFP3012 Project Seascan
C-130 Lockheed Hercules Tennessee ANG   70464    
A-26 Douglas Invader          


Aerial Demonstrations


ID Manu Name Unit U-Name SN Tail Notes
A-7 Vought Corsair II SDANG        
AH-1G Bell Cobra/Huey Cobra         Model 209, two
F-14A Grumman Tomcat VF-31?        
F-15A McDonnell-Douglas Eagle HO 7th Fighter Squadron   77-079    
F-4D McDonnell Phantom II NDANG       four
C-130A Lockheed Fat Albert         did not fly
A-4 Douglas Skyhawk USN Blue Angels     six
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Blue Angels Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Mon, 26 Aug 2013 20:00:00 GMT
1986 CAF Air Show Saturday June 14th, 1986

The Red River Valley Wing of the Confederate Air Force sponsors the Fargo Airsho '86 as a fund raiser to build a museum although at the time this didn't really register. Instead I woke up feeling kind of sick. I wasn't sure I wanted to go at all. Odd, as I had not seen an air show since 1977. I pick up my friend and fellow aviation/photography enthusiast, Bob Nelson and we head over to the old airport terminal. This is a CAF show; the aircraft are primarily World War II vintage. The North Dakota Air National Guard have parked a couple of their jets on the taxiway for us to see. There are some aerial demonstrations including the Red Baron Pizza Squadron flying PT-23 Stearman bi-planes. In 1986 many of the most interesting aircraft did not appeal to me at the time and I left somewhat bored. I shot less than one roll of color film. Bob shot three rolls of B&W film (#1069, 1071, 1072)- it should be easy to figure out who shot what. I find large crowds of people milling around the aircraft to be distracting so I silhouette these people in some photos using Adobe Photoshop. I also adjust exposures, color balance, and crop a few images.
If I could go back in time, I would photograph this show in depth: site photos.. how all the aircraft were arranged; the Red Baron Squadron- if only for all the Red Baron Pizza I eat; the Warbirds in the air; more details (Bob covered a lot of that); the beautiful P-51D that I only photographed once (double exposure); and the F4U fuselage, that I assume would become the Corsair on display in the Fargo Air Museum 20 years later. It was an excellent show, if only I had paid more attention.

FG-1D Corsair TailCorsair TailFG-1D (F4U) Corsair sitting in the sun at Airshow '86, a fund raiser for the Red River Valley Wing of the Confederate Air Force.


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow, for more photos from the CAF air show: 42 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions.


Photo descriptions come from various sources including: Wikipedia, The Planes Of Fame Air Museum, Napoleon130 ("Puss n Boots"), The Orlando Sentinel (Obit for Kermit M. LaQuey), High Sky Wing, and the FG1D, P51P51, B5N, T6G, B25, and T28.

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery

  • T-6G  North American 'Texan'                                    (N29935)   49-3085
  • B5N   Nakajima 'Kate' replica torpedo bomber                    (N7130C)     90712
  • B-25J North American 'Mitchell' "Bronco Bustin' Bomber"         (N3155G)  44-30832
  • A-26C Douglas 'Invader' "Puss 'n' Boots"                        (N4823E)  44-34749
  • PT-23 Stearman "Red Baron Pizza" Acrobatic Squadron
  • C-47  Douglas 'Dakota'
  • T-28C North American Aviation 'Trojan'                          (N146GB)    146286
  • P-51D North American 'Mustang' "Button Nose"                    (N151BP)  44-74908
  • FG-1D Chance Vought 'Corsair' piloted by Kermit M. LaQuey, USMC (NX62290) Bu.92629
  • F-4D  McDonald 'Phantom II' of the NDANG                                   64-0953
  • T-33  Lockheed 'Shooting Star'
  • F-101 McDonald 'Voodoo'
  • P-51D North American 'Mustang' "What's Up Doc"                  (N151MC)  44-15459
  • P-51D North American 'Mustang' [a second camo & shark teeth, no logo]
  • F4U   Chance Vought 'Corsair' [fuselage only]
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Confederate Air Force Fargo Airsho '86 Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector NDANG Red River Valley Wing Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:15:00 GMT
1985 CAF Air Show These undated photos (August 7-11, 1985) are from one of the few air shows I did not attend with my friend Bob Nelson. I was at work and then Jamestown over the weekend for a family event. Bob shot two rolls of film at the show.*  The show was held on the South General Aviation Ramp at Fargo Hector Airport. It featured World War II aircraft from the Confederate Air Force, some Vietnam Era aircraft, and a couple local aircraft: including a 1917 J-1 Standard and an Experimental aircraft- both would reappear in the Fargo Air Museum- twenty years later; we wouldn't see them until then. The long shadows by the Stinson L-5 suggest a late afternoon or early evening attendance. And the shadows show Bob photographing with his father, Doug Nelson, beside him. This makes sense as Doug flew in the B-25 Mitchell during the war, much like the one on display. The Junkers JU-52 was an unique aircraft, but not so unique I didn't build a 1/72 scale plastic model of it. I believe this aircraft made a return trip to Fargo in 1989, but I haven't seen it since.

* Note: in 2016 Bob found a couple rolls of slide film from this air show (probably from a different date). I have since added them to this portfolio and listing.

B-25J "Mitchell" Medium WWII BomberB-25J 'Mitchell' Medium WWII Bomber by Bob NelsonThe "Yellow Rose", the christened name of the vintage B-25J Mitchell WWII bomber. Restored and operated by the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).


See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow, for more of Bob Nelson's photos from the CAF air show: 47 total including my detailed photo/airplane descriptions.


Photo descriptions come from various sources including: Wikipedia, The Planes Of Fame Air Museum, The Central Texas Wing of the CAF ("Yellow Rose"), The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Obit for Mr. Pond), the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Washington DC), and the Military Aviation Museum (Virginia Beach)

Aircraft On Display

Note: colored links in the ID column lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery

ID Manufacturer Name Unit U-Name S/N Tail Notes
F-4D McDonald Phantom II NDANG   40952    
F-101B McDonald Voodoo NDANG        
F-106 Convair Delta Dart Montana ANG   72453    
C-47 Douglas Dakota     Su. No. 394548 #37 USN automobile
P-51D North American Mustang          
PT-23 Stearman Kaydet       N5057N yellow with red trim
PT-23 Stearman Kaydet       N---3N silver
L-5 Stinson Sentinel          
F-6F Grumman Hellcat USN     NX4964V piloted by Robert J. Pond USNR
JU-52 Junker's Tante Ju          
B-25J North American Mitchell CAF Yellow Rose   N25YR  
T-6 North American Harvard IV RCAF 595 CCF4-97   N13595 silver
BT-13A Vultee Valiant US Army Air Corp.   41-11538 N52411 silver
BT-13A Vultee Valiant US Navy SNV-1   N63884 silver
D3A Aichi Val   EI-231 41-22578 N56336 dressed up Vultee BT-13A
Exp ?           Experimental Aircraft
J-1 Standard   U.S. Army Trainer       four-cylinder inline Hall-Scott A-7a engine
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Fighters Hector Sun, 09 Jun 2013 18:37:00 GMT
1977 NDANG 30th Aniversary Air Show The North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo celebrated their 30th Anniversary with an Open House and Air Show on Saturday, June 25th 1977. I attended with my friend Bob Nelson. This would be the first of many air shows we've attended together. The highlight of the show was an aerial demonstration by the USAF Thunderbirds at 3:25 PM. Bob and I were just as interested in the static displays of modern (and not so modern) aircraft from the Air Force, Air Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps. We weren't interested in the 1:30 band concert by the Strategic Air Command band. I'm not sure we took advantage of the NDANG facility tours either.

USAF Thunderbirds Diamond FormationUSAF Thunderbirds Diamond FormationLt. Col. Dan Cherry - Commander/Leader in Thunderbird #1, Captain John Lapoint - Left Wing in Thunderbird #2, Major Walt Parker -Right Wing in Thunderbird #3, and Major Lloyd 'Fig' Newton -Slot in Thunderbird #4

It was good air show. The skies were clear and the forecast called for highs in the mid 90s. It was the only time I got to see the Thunderbirds flying the T-38 Talon.  There was a nice selection of older aircraft including much of the 'Century-Series' of fighter jets and some newer aircraft like the S-3A, A-10A, F-14A, and F-15A. I shot almost three rolls of color film. (Prefix a,b,c) Time and poor storage has taken its toll. I was unhappy with my negatives scans. Even after an hour per image in Adobe Photoshop there are still problems with damage and color balance.

I feel I missed much of the air show. So, I asked Bob to share his photos. He had his own issues with damage- losing all the images shot with his Mamiya. He did have two rolls of Kodachrome slide film shot with a Nikkormat FT2, 45mm, 135mm, and possibly a 2x converter. These slides have aged well and required almost no work after I scanned them in my Minolta F2900 Dimage film scanner. (Prefix r,s)

I wish I had been more patient. There were crowds around the static displays, but if I waited I could have shot around them. Instead I spend a lot of time in 2013 masking out those crowds. Usually I like to get there early to avoid the crowds (or stay late) but the show didn't open until 11 AM. I wish had shot more film, but three rolls at the time was a lot; especially due to my finances. I am happy with the aerial shots. I didn't waste a lot of film, which is easy to do when you get caught up with the speed and noise. I only had a 135mm lens, so there was a limit to what I could capture.

There were many aircraft I wish I had photographed: C-124, WB-57F, O-2A, F-89, A-7, and surprisingly the F-14 Tomcat. I even missed the P-51D Mustang (Boomer)- thankfully Bob caught this on Kodachrome. In addition to the aircraft I missed there were many I wish I had covered better: The Century Series of fighters, especially the unpainted F-104, which looked great in the sun. The camouflaged F-4D of the Happy Hooligans (NDANG) would soon be painted Air Force gray. The NDANG F-89 and a A-37 soon to be retired.

Bob Nelson with F-104 StarfighterBob Nelson with F-104 StarfighterBob is checking his reflection in the F-104 'Starfighter's body at the 1977 Fargo Airshow.



See the full Gallery or the Gallery slideshow, for more photos from the NDANG air show: 85 total by Bob Nelson and Craig Maas, also includes my detailed photo/airplane descriptions.


Coverage in the 1977 Fargo Forum


Aircraft On Display

Note: colored ID links lead to photos of the aircraft in the Gallery

  • North Flightline: C-124 Globemaster II, C-130 Hercules, WB-57F Canberra, A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-104 Starfighter, A-37 Dragonfly, F-15 Eagle, F-106 Delta Dart, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4D Phantom, F-101 Voodoo, F-100 Super Sabre, T-38 Talon (two), T-33 Shooting Star.
  • East Flightline: T-34 Mentor, O-2A Skymaster, F-104 Starfighter, F-89 Scorpion.
  • South Flightline: Helicopter (UH-1)?, S-3A Viking, F-4J Phantom II, A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder, EA-6B Prowler, F-14A Tomcat, KC-135 Hercules, C-141 Starlifter, C-131 Samaritan.
  • West Flightline: P-51D Mustang (Boomer), Starduster One SA100 biplane, five T-38 Talons (The Thunderbirds).
[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Thunderbirds Mon, 20 May 2013 18:47:23 GMT
1975 Fargo Centennial Air Show Sunday, June 22 1975

Fargo-Moorhead celebrated their 100th Anniversary in June of 1975. There were events held all year, but the big celebration was held on June 21st and 22nd. The entire town got into the spirit of the Centennial. All the men grew beards- or a mustache in the case of my father. My mom wore an old fashion dress on the Soroptimist float in Saturday's parade. Our next-door-neighbor drove the KQWB 'Boogie Buggy' around town and in the parade. I was most excited about the Centennial All-Military Air Show: "featuring three of the nation's four military aerial teams." (Fargo Forum)
I was plastic aircraft model hobbyist, The NDANG was only a mile away, and I had spent a couple years in Civil Air Patrol, but I had never seen the Blue Angels. In April of 1975 I bought a Minolta SRT-102 camera with a 28mm, 50mm, and 135mm lenses to go with it. (The negatives were scanned with a Minolta F2900 Dimage film scanner at 2810 dpi in April of 2013.)

The excitement built quickly as the US Navy Blue Angels arrived in Fargo on Thursday, circling the city. On Friday, they flew through-out the day as the practiced their routine. On Saturday, our entire family was in Moorhead for the 10 am Centennial Parade. By the time we returned home the Blue Angels were flying over our backyard. Sunday, I was concerned about the weather. It had rained heavily all week. It was clouding up again and the wind was strong. The Fargo's Chamber of Commerce aviation committee were expecting 20,000 visitors. Attendance was free, and the farmers were unable to get into their flooded fields.

Dad and I arrived when it opened at noon. I photographed the static aircraft displays. Including a line of 'Century-Series' jet fighters: The F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104. F-105, and F-106. The Navy had their brand new F-14 Tomcat on display. Each branch of the military had their own aircraft with 5 from the Navy, 10 from the Air National Guard, 5 from the Air Force, and 4 from the Army (Helicopters). Nothing from the USMC, except Fat Albert the Blue Angel's support C-130.

The first aerial display of the day was a free-fall parachute demonstration by a single member of the Valley Sky Divers. It was very windy out. Winds of 22 mph with 26 mph caused the Army's Golden Knight team to cancel their parachute jump. Team captain Gene Dal Paggetto said, "It's just too much of a chance of our going into the crowd. We possibly could land on some people. They might be young children, and we never would forgive ourselves just to put on a show. It isn't worth it." (Fargo Forum)
Before the decision was made their C-130 circled the city for an hour waiting for a lull in the ND wind that never came.

The U.S. Army's helicopter demonstration team 'The Silver Eagles' flew next. They flew seven OH-6A Cayuse helicopters, trailing red and white smoke to show how maneuverable they are. The Silver Eagles team flew from 1972 until 1976. They were based at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
"The Silver Eagles flew seven aircraft during each demonstration: Lead, Left Wing, Right Wing, Slot, Lead Solo, Opposing Solo and Bozo the Clown.  Bozo wore the face of a clown and performed antics to entertain the audience while the other aircraft were positioning for the next maneuver.  Speeds and altitudes of precision maneuvers ranged from zero miles per hour at ground level to 140 miles per hour at one thousand feet.  The most unique thing about the performance was that there was at least one helicopter performing in front of the crowd at all times during the 35 minute presentation. " (

The four hour show finished with the Blue Angels. Lt. Al Cisneros narrated the show from the ground. The Blue Angels have three shows depending on the cloud ceiling height (8000, 3500, or 1500 ft.) It was cloudy but not too low, so they probably ran the 3500 foot show. The Blue Angels demonstrated their 'Close Canopy Separation' formation flying including the four aircraft Diamond and the six aircraft Delta; all at speeds of 500 mph or more. The two Solo aircraft did opposing passes that were very dramatic. I don't believe 'Fat Albert' the C-130 performed.

Flying Lead Blue Angel #1 was Commander Tony Less. Captain Bill Holverslott, USMC and Lt. John Patton flew Right Wing #2 and Left Wing #2; while Lt. John Chehansky flew the #4 Slot aircraft. Lt. Vance Parker and Lt. Denny Sapp flew the #5 Lead Solo and #6 Opposing Solo aircraft. (complete listing and team photo)

I had one photo left on my roll after the Blue Angels landed. I used it on this F-14A Tomcat. Considering it was a new camera, my first real air show, and an overcast day with slow Black & White film- the photos came out pretty well. I did spent quite some time this year (2013) rescanning the negatives with a Minolta F2900 Dimage Film Scanning and editing them in Adobe Photoshop. In addition to cleaning up images I also cropped some images, silhouetted out some distracting individuals, and hand coloring some Black and White images of the Blue Angels.

F-104 Starfighter TailF-104 Starfighter TailThe F104 'Starfighter' was one of many Century Series aircraft. Fitting for the Fargo Centennial.


See the Gallery or Gallery Slideshow for more photos from the 1975 air show. 71 total including my detailed photo/plane descriptions.

Aircraft on Display

Facing West toward the Flightline and runaway L-R: C-130 Hercules of the Golden Knights, the OH-6A Cayuse of the Silver Eagles, The A-6 Skyhawks of the Blue Angels, and the C-130 'Fat Albert' of the Blue Angels.

Facing North L-R: C-131 Samaritan, P-3 Orion, RB-57 Canberra, F-106 Delta Dart, F-104 Starfighter, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-101 Voodoo, F-100 Super Sabre,
F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-4 Phantom, and another F-4 Phantom.

Facing East L-R: A-7 Corsair II, A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder, and T-33 Shooting Star.

Facing South L-R: OH-58 Kiowa, AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, F-105 Thunderchief, F-14 Tomcat, and OH-6 Cayuse.


See the complete 1975 Fargo Forum reference for more information on this 'Patriot's Day' show.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Airport Airshow Blue Angels Centennial Air Show Century Series Fargo Happy Hooligans Hector Jet Fighters NDANG Wed, 17 Apr 2013 23:54:29 GMT
1972 NDANG 25th Aniversary Open House The North Dakota Air National Guard's 25th Anniversary Open House
August 5th 1972

This was my first air show. Unfortunately I remember very little of it. There was little press coverage (see link below) other than a photo in paper of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels practicing over the skies of Fargo in their McDonald-Douglas F4J 'Phantom' jets. It is interesting to note the Blue Angels flew on a Friday, at 2 PM. I lived less than a mile from the airport at the time. I was interesting in aviation, but don't remember this performance. It is quite possible my friend Blaine and I didn't even know about it until they were flying overhead.

The 'Open House' at the Air Guard was held from 10 AM until 4 PM on Saturday August 5th 1972. Dad and I attended. I believe he photographed these four aircraft, the T-38 Talon, the F-102 Delta Dagger*, the A-7 Corsair II, and the UH-1 Huey helicopter. I wasn't yet into photography. The Yashica D was Ray's main camera at the time- and helps place these photos to this air show. It looks like we were there after lunch- it wasn't very crowded, maybe everyone was at the 1 PM hanger dance. (*Note: The NDANG flew the F-102 from 1966 to 1969)

Although I can't really remember this air show, it was important. Not only was it my first, but it was something dad and I shared along with photography. I've attended every air show in Fargo since then. The Fargo Air Sho got wildly popular over the years. The NDANG mission has changed a number of times, but they still play a vital role in our community.

More Information

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Air Show Blue Angels Fighters Happy Hooligans Hector Jet NDANG Mon, 18 Mar 2013 19:30:00 GMT
Combines The Combine: The Super Agricultural Machine

By Tim Dobbins, Junior Division Documentary
(Technical Assistance by Craig Maas. Some photos in the video are from my trips to Rollag in 2009 and 2012.)




Combine Intro

The Combine, The Super Agricultural Machine, harvesting a variety of crops. Now prepare yourselves as we see “how the combine technology changed America”.

Before The Combine

The combine is a great advancement in technology. It harvests a variety of crops with different cutter heads for each crop. Farmers use it all over the world for its abilities to plow, harvest, refine, and the quality of the crops that come out. Before the combine farmers would harvest by hand. It was a long process. Then more efficient farming tools were invented. Farmers would use crude wooden plows, cut hay and grain with sickles, do threshing with flails, and seed by hand. This made harvesting a little faster but not by much.

Invention Of The Combine

The combine was invented by Hiran Moore in 1838 but it was too expensive for the farmers back then so it wasn’t commonly used. The first combine was powered by horses and oxen. It would take about 16 horses or oxen to power it. The disadvantage was getting it in and out of the fields and only being able to harvest one kind of crop. Also the farmer would have to change the implements because the animals were not strong enough to carry both the harvester and the thresher. So the farmer would have to get off of the field to change the implements. The harvester is also called a swather, mower, or reaper-binder.

Steam Traction Engines

When the steam powered tractors were invented they replaced horse powered combines, but were more efficient and were able to hold the two main harvesting implements at once. At first they were hooked the horses to the wheels. At first farmers hooked the horses to transport the engine. Then the farmers hooked the power take-off to the wheels making it self-propelled. You would still have to get off the field to change the parts to protect the crops. When WWI occurred the government-encouraged farmers to buy tractors so that they only had to use one person to harvest crops and free up soldiers.

Self-Propelled Combines

After the tractor, implement manufacturers took the internal combustion engine and used it in the self-propelled combine. They also put both the harvester and the thresher on so farmers wouldn’t have to change the parts off the field. This new combine was a new way to harvest. This changed farming forever. Being able to use machines to harvest made production rate go up and food costs come down. Because many farmers knew how to operate the tractor it made it easier for them to learn how to use the combine.

How Combines Work

The combine gathers crops and removes seeds from the plant. How the combine works you might ask? First it drives through a field and cuts the stem of the plant. Then the crop goes into the machine. The combine can remove the seed of the plant then raise it up a rail and puts it into a large truck or tractor with a large storage space attached to it. It can also take the crop whole up the rail and deposit it into the truck or tractor. Some of the various crops that it gathers are corn, wheat, rice, soy beans, and other plants with a tall stem.

Lexion 590

The world’s largest combine is the Lexion 590. It weighs at about 46000 pounds. The width of the cutter head is about 40ft. the Engine is 462 horsepower caterpillar C-13 diesel. It can be used for 24 different crops. It can harvest 1800 bushels of wheat or 4800 bushels of corn per hour. The Lexion 590 has the largest production rate and the heaviest gross weight all combines. The Lexion 590 can hold about 20,000 pounds of grain. It has a multi-coupler to switch from the different cutter heads for each crop. Lexion 590 benefits the farmer by speeding up harvest and maximizes the grain quality.

How Combines Changed The World

The combine has changed the world due to its speed and ability to be able to gather and grind at the same time. Because of this speed and efficiency the combine has increased the food production rates all over the World. Before the combine, production was slow, tedious, and inefficient. People couldn’t eat as much as they do today. The farmer can now harvest more crops faster and they can check the quality of the crop for healthier yields, minimizing diseases that are caused by unclean or diseased crops.


The combine is a machine that can harvest a variety of crops. The combine can quickly harvest, refine, plow, plant, and grind crops. This has fed more people healthier food. Before the combine it would take a long time to harvest. When the first combines were invented by Hiran Moore it made harvesting a little faster. The steam-powered tractor replaced horse teams and harvesting sped up. The self-propelled combine with integrated harvester and thresher was the final step to the modern combine.  Now the combine is the most important harvester in America and the World.

[email protected] (Craig Maas) Agriculture Combines History Junior Division Documentary Tim Dobbins Thu, 28 Feb 2013 18:54:13 GMT