Thunderbirds scout Waterloo Airport for upcoming show - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thunderbirds scout Waterloo Airport for upcoming show


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Cedar Valley families -- prepare to be blown away. The US Air Force Thunderbirds are flying into Waterloo this summer. A couple pilots were in town Wednesday to check out the airport and meet with organizers.

"I did not grow up thinking -- I could be a fighter pilot. I chose the most difficult thing and just continued to push and push," said Captain Kristin Hubbard.

You might say Hubbard gets a thrill out of high-pressure situations. With every twist and turn, Hubbard and her fellow pilots are showcasing the pride and passion of the military.

"We fly the maneuvers, very tight formations, rolls and loops, and really wow the crowds, wow the kids, in recognition of those airmen who are deployed overseas right now," said Hubbard.

The Thunderbirds are looking forward to wowing crowds August 27-28, thanks to a little persuasion from the Kiwanis Club.

"We called the office of the Thunderbirds repeatedly, to the point that I think they agreed to come to Waterloo just to get us to stop calling!" said Chris Harshbarger.

Pilots like Hubbard go through rigorous training to make the airshow a success, but it's up to a committee in the Cedar Valley to cover the rest of the planning.

"From the parade of flags coming into the airport, from the logistics related to traffic in and traffic out, from the crowd who will be out in front, resting under the wings of the aircraft, this is going to be one fabulous show," said Hubbard.

While flying at 500 miles per hour is exhilarating, Hubbard believes her job really begins when she sets foot on the ground -- talking to kids, and reminding them to reach for the sky.

"There's nothing that they can't do. It may seem challenging, it may seem impossible. But that's not the case. That's why I wanted to join to say -- hey, you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard," Hubbard added.

Organizers are receiving help from Waterloo and Cedar Falls Police and Fire, not to mention the National Guard, Emergency Management, and Allen Hospital.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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