‘Super cool, awesome’

Young people thrilled by fancy tricks during Stephenville air shows

Frank Gale fgale@thewesternstar.com
Published on June 23, 2014

“Super cool” were the two words that A.J. Gale of Codroy Valley used to quickly sum up an air show demonstration by Capt. Adam “Manik” Runge in his CF-18 Hornet jet on Saturday.

Runge is a member of the 409 “Nighthawks” Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta.

The seven-year-old said it was the Hornet was loud, but was willing to put up with the noise for what he saw. He also liked the music that was being played during the show.

His five-year-old brother, Gareth Gale also noted the screaming fighter jet was a little bit loud when it zoomed along at about the speed of sound, but liked it a lot just the same. He described it in a single word, “awesome.”

Hailey Brown of Stephenville, who was watching the show from the same vantage point as the Gales, while her mom Bev shot photos, said the show was great and the best part was when Runge did all those fancy tricks in the air, especially the barrel rolls.

Following a later performance by the Snowbirds aerobatic team, Bertie Garnier of St. George’s, who was seeing the show for the first time from close up, said it was excellent.

“It was great when they were doing the tricks and rolling over,” he said. “I hope they come back soon because they were fantastic and it was great to meet them all.”

Members of the Snowbirds autographed their 2014 posters following their 2,420th show when they set up under the wing of a CF-130-J Canadian Forces Hercules that was on static display for people to go inside and have a look around.

In addition a large crowd at Saturday’s show, thousands of people attended a second air show by Runge and the Snowbirds on Sunday.

The shows were brought to Stephenville by the Stephenville Airport Corporation through funds provided by the towns of Stephenville and Kippens and other financial support from a number of businesses.

Gerry Clarke, co-ordinator of the Stephenville-Kippens-Port au Port Search and Rescue team, which handled traffic and crowd control, said his people were kept quiet busy throughout the weekend.

Airport manager Brenda Martin said judging by the amount of people who showed up on the weekend there is still a great interest in air shows with people from all across western Newfoundland and some from even beyond attending.

She said with the start of the Sunwing Airlines summer schedule last week and the launch of a Porter Airlines schedule on the coming weekend, Stephenville airport is getting more active.