Duluth Airshow: Educating on Aviation Careers

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 20, 2019 10:38 PM

Day one of the Duluth Airshow was packed with thousands of people enjoying the variety of aircraft, vendors, and performers at the popular event.


It's the fourth consecutive year of the show and the 12th overall since the show was founded in 2001.

While seeing the performers is a big highlight of the show, the event is also an opportunity to learn about the variety of opportunities the aviation industry offers.

“I’m from the 148th Fighter Wing and our jets just flew. We have a static display people can check out as well. We have an F-22 Raptor flight simulator and video game people are playing and physical fitness tests,” Casey Underdahl, a 148th Fighter Wing technical sergeant, said.

“Being a former KC-135 pilot, it’s nice to see heavier aircraft fly and perform,” David Puchalla, an air education and training instructor pilot, said.

From fast planes like F-16's and F-35's, to C-17's and cargo planes, there's something for every aviation fan to enjoy at the airshow.

"I used to work in F-35’s and my wife did F-16’s. I worked 22 years for Lockheed Martin, who built these planes behind me, so it was a good opportunity to come see them in action and appreciate the work done to get them here," Brent Anderson, a first time airshow attendee, said.

“We are showing the C-130 H3 model and it’s based in St. Paul. We have eight of them. Its main purpose is cargo transportation and it can also do air drop and air troop drop,” Riley Lender, a C-130 loadmaster, said.

The airshow is an opportunity to get a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the aviation industry.

“I’m an aviation student myself at the University of North Dakota, so seeing all the other aircraft flying around and seeing the career tents for myself is pretty exciting,” Reid Strid, a first time airshow attendee, said.

“The world of aviation is small. It’s a small community but going to all the airshows and seeing how much support we have from the community is super awesome,” Landon Lindsey, a Lake Superior College aviation student, said.

The airshow sparks interest in the aviation field. Attendees learn about the variety of jobs that men and women can get involved in.

“I’m a flight nurse with the 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron with the 133rd Airlift Wing. We have both male and female nurses and it truly is one of the best jobs in the world,” 2nd Lt. Lauren Weber, said.

“It’s a great way for the international guard to get the word out of who we are, what we do, and talk about the benefits we offer,” Underdahl said.

Seeing the planes up close and personal through the ground static displays and admiring them flying high in the sky during the performances brings out the little kid in you and makes you wonder what those pilots feel when they do their job.

“It’s something that I’m around everyday as an aviation student so it’s something I love and it’s cool to see all these people here who have a mutual interest in it like I do,” Strid said.

To learn more about the airshow, click here. The event runs through Sunday. 


Alejandra Palacios

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