Gunfighter Skies at Mountain Home this weekend

Posted at 10:03 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-01 00:03:38-04

The Air Force Thunderbirds are back in Idaho to help Mountain Home Air Force Base celebrate 75 years. They'll be part of this weekend's free Gunfighter Skies Air Show at the base, and the F-16's they fly have a real connection to Mountain Home.

The Thunderbirds haven't forgotten how great it is to fly in Idaho.

Lead solo pilot Major Whit Collins told us it's always a pleasure to come to the Gem state.

"Man it's great to be here in Idaho being a short flight from Las Vegas.  We were here last year in Boise, and it was a fantastic time. One of our last shows of the season last year and we're really excited to be back," said Whit.

The Air Force demonstration team arrived at Mountain Home with a flourish, making several orientation passes over the base before taxiing in to address the media.
And they say it's appropriate the F-16's are here on a special anniversary.

"What you're seeing here is a block 52 F-16.  Interesting story, when the Air Force converted from block 30 to block 52 which is the newer version, they actually came from right here in Mountain Home.  So this base used to be an F-16 base back in the day when they brought the Strike Eagles in and brought the Vipers out, we got the F-16's, so this is kind of a homecoming for all the jets you see here," said Whit

The rest of the vast field of performers arrived just after the Thunderbirds. Including a first-ever visit by the F-22 raptor performance team. An arrival sure to be popular with Air Force fans young and old who get a chance to talk to the pilots.

The teams will be practicing Friday, and the Gunfighter Skies runs both Saturday and Sunday.

Gates open at nine, admission and parking is free.