AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.—A Coeur d’Alene Air Force veteran saw the Thunderbirds at SkyFest for the first time on Saturday. SkyFest returned to Airway Heights Saturday after a four-year hiatus.
The air show featured several demonstrations, including the Air Force Thunderbirds. It was the first time 75-year-old Del Still of Coeur d’Alene saw the fighter jets in action.
"Over the years, I kept saying, I got to see the Thunderbirds, I got to see the Thunderbirds,” said Still.
Still joined the Air Force in the late 50s. He was a part of a new breed of pilots that were learning to fly high performance aircraft.
"It was quite the thrill to kick in the after burner and feel that aircraft just lift off underneath you,” said Still.
PHOTOS: Vintage planes at Skyfest
During Still’s time in the Air Force, he was never given the opportunity to see the Thunderbirds.
Still was not able to visit the Thunderbirds in 2010 at Fairchild.
"The one time the thunderbirds showed up, I couldn't see them. So I was disappointed. And I said this time, I am not going to miss these guys. I want to see them perform,” said Still.
Still said the discipline of the Thunderbirds on Saturday showed what type of men and women were inside of them.
"And that tells me that our country is in good hands when I see what these young men can do,” said Still.
Still said he was already looking forward watching the show in 2015.