The Gunfighter Skies air show at Mountain Home Air Force Base, about 50 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho, saw the triumphal air show debut of the unique Yak-110 twin-fuselage aircraft on June 3, 2018.
The Yak-110 is made from two single-engine Yak-55s joined at the wing and tail, with a jet engine added beneath the wing center section to make a unique trimotor air show aircraft.
Unfortunately, the show also witnessed the demise of popular hang glider pilot Dan Buchanan on June 2, 2018, after his craft crashed during his performance. Buchanan was airlifted to a Boise hospital where officials said he died from his injuries. Cause of the mishap is still under investigation.
The remainder of Saturday’s air show was canceled. Sunday’s event began with a memorial tribute to Buchanan.
Mountain Home Air Force Base’s host unit, the 366th Fighter Wing, started the flying agenda both days with a vigorous ground attack demonstration by four of the unit’s F-15E Strike Eagle fighters making low passes while releasing bright flares as ground pyrotechnics hurled flame and smoke skyward.
A pair of A-10 attack jets from the Idaho Air National Guard joined in the fray.
Civilian aerobatic performers included Steven Bennett and his Christen Eagle biplane, Nathan Hammond who flew a deHavilland Chipmunk in graceful aerobatics as well as skywriting, and Brad Wursten’s MXS-R.
Boise’s Mark Peterson performed a crisp and powerful aerobatic show in his P-51D Mustang “Hell-er-Bust.”
The Heritage Flight Museum’s F-51D “Val-Halla” joined up with an Air Force F-22 Raptor on Sunday for a heritage formation.
From the Commemorative Air Force, a menacing team of seven replica Japanese warplanes executed the group’s Tora! Tora! Tora! scenario about the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Pyrotechnics and smoke from the aircraft added to the hectic sense of battle as the attackers rat-raced over the field.
The U.S. Air Force Parachute Team, Wings of Blue, jumped from a deHavilland UV-18B Twin Otter.
Air Combat Command’s F-22 demonstration team showed the maneuverability and capabilities of the Raptor fighter.
And the Air Force’s Thunderbirds performed with six red-white-and-blue F-16s in formation.
Attendance for the free two-day event was estimated at 60,000.