FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. –The skies over the Fairchild Air Force Base were filled with the sights and sounds of large planes.
The Fairchild Skyfest event attracted about 60,000 people to watch planes launch from the base’s runways.
The F-22 Raptor was one of the main stars of the event.
The aircraft flew just hundreds of feet above the crowd. It darted across the sky, accelerating from 100 to 700 mph in just seconds.
“It’s the most advanced jet in the world,” said Joey Aronson, a tech sergeant for the Raptors. If you think of some of the older airplanes you see, those would be like a mustang. This one is more like a Tesla.”
At one point during its routine, the Raptor almost flew faster than the speed of sound and had to slow down.
“You would have seen glass shattering, heard car alarms going off. That would have been very bad,” said Travis Edwards, a Fairchild spokesperson.
The event also featured several other types of aircraft and stunts.
“We have just about every fighter and heavy aircraft in the inventory,” said Mark Watson with the base’s Air Mobility Command.
Paratroopers jumped from planes and spun through the sky, one of them demonstrating the experience of falling with a damaged parachute.
“All this, and to know that they’re serving their country for all of us,” said Alice Melewski, who attended the show. “There is so much here. Everything is so interesting. Every pilot you talk to, there’s just so much for everybody.”
Travis Edwards said, because of the extensive coordination required for the event, it will likely be held every other year.