The 2017 Wings Over Wayne Airshow
Having served in the military I must say that I have never visited a ‘military town’ like Goldsboro in Wayne County, North Carolina. This town loves Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the jet noise it brings. From the time you reach the city limits you know you are somewhere special. A sign along the interstate welcomes you to Goldsboro, home of Seymour Johnson AFB greatest fighter wing on earth. As you walk through the airshow gate the local community sponsors showered guests with everything from bumper stickers saying ‘I love jet noise’ and aircraft themed pens and trinkets. It is also evident that the Air Force loves Goldsboro as well as they presented a first class airshow and weekend out for the community.
The 2017 Wings Over Wayne Airshow featured a stellar line up starring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the F-22 Raptor Demo, CF-18 Hornet Demo, U.S.A.F. Heritage Flight (F-22, A-10, P-51), Lima Lima Lima Demo team, Tora Tora Tora Demo team, Scott ‘Scooter’ Yoak’s Quick Silver P-51 Demo, The T-33 Acemaker, Paul Woods F-86 demo, the U.S. Army Special Forces Black Daggers parachute team with C-27J, Gene Soucy Showcat Demo, Kevin Coleman Aerosports X300 Demo, Bill Stein Airshows Edge Demo, Buck Roetman Pitts Demo and Jacquie B Airshows X300 demo. Then there were the static displays of multiple F-15E’s, F-16’s, F/A-18F’s, F-22, B-52, C-5, C-17, E-3, MV-22, P-51, T-38, the North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association brought several Hueys and Kiowa helicopters, the Civil Air Patrol and several civil aircraft. That would be a full show anywhere, but Wings Over Wayne had a home team that wanted to participate which may have stole the show depending on who you ask.
The home team is the 916th Air Refueling Wing and the Fourth Fighter wing who are celebrating their 75th Anniversary. The airshow opened with Seymour Johnson’s own Fourth Fighter Wing’s F-15E’s giving a four ship pass. Two of the Strike Eagles then joined up with a KC-135R for a three ship pass before breaking off and making solo passes. The 4th FW celebrated their 75th Anniversary with a 4th FW review flight that included two F-15E Strike Eagles, F-86 Sabre and a P-51 Mustang all of which served with the 4th FW. The 2017 Wings Over Wayne Airshow featured the 4th FW historian Doctor Roy ‘Doc’ Heidicker who is a wonderful color commentator with tremendous stories about rich history of the ‘Fourth But First’.
Just when you thought you had seen it all the 4th FW unleashed a Combined Arms Demo featuring the U.S. Army Special Operations Black Daggers parachuting onto the airfield with a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). The JTAC then requested support from the eight Strike Eagles overhead. After the Strike Eagles vanquished the T-38 aggressors and owned the airspace, they turned their attention to the ground forces. With plenty of flares and pyro they put on an impressive display.
This is a show I would highly recommend for anyone to attend when it returns in 2019.