Riverside air show to feature wing walkers, aerobatic stunts

RIVERSIDE – Parachute jumps, wing-walking stunts and aerobatics displays will be featured Saturday in the Riverside Municipal Airport’s 22nd annual Air Show.

More than 90,000 people are expected to turn out for the event, which gets under way at 9:30 a.m. and goes into late afternoon.

The Menifee-based ”Just In Time Skydivers” will welcome spectators with a parachute jump from the back of a transport plane, deploying an American flag on their way down.

Thirty minutes later, stunt pilot Frank Donnelly will wow the crowd with ”Dr. D’s Old-Time Aerobatics” in his single-engine 1946 Taylorcraft.

At 11 a.m., John Collver will steer his T-6 Texan warbird through a number of high-speed maneuvers, all of which will be repeated during an afternoon encore, according to organizers.

Famed aerobatics pilot Jon Melby is also slated to power up his Pitts muscle bi-plane for two performances, during which he’ll demonstrate snap rolls, loops and dives.

Aviatrix and skydiver Melissa Pemberton is scheduledto be on hand with her husband, Rex Pemberton, for a wing-walking exhibition, followed by a Riverside Police Department chase simulation on the airport tarmac using the agency’s Air 1 helicopter, a K9 team and several patrol units.

Aerobatics performer Doug Jardine will be running his experimental Sbach 342 Thunderbolt through a series of low-altitude maneuvers, after which the annual ”Smoke-n-Thunder” contest is planned, pitting a ”jet car” against Collver’s T-6 in a race down the runway, with Collver flying a couple hundred feet above the car.

A series of flybys are scheduled, with P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Skytrains and other classic planes lined up to participate, but no active-duty military pilots will be taking part as a result of cuts in Department of Defense spending.

A car show, aircraft static displays and military vehicles will be available for visitors to see up close.

The air show is free to the public. Parking will be available at the airport and in surrounding lots owned by local businesses.

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