1998 GFAFB, Thunderbirds

July 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

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.

Photographs

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

Schedule

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).

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