Pilots and fireworks crews make final Thunder preps - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Pilots and fireworks crews make final Thunder preps

Final preparations are taking place tonight for Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Final preparations are taking place tonight for Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The air show will be limited due to weather, but the F-35 will be featured, as well as participate in the heritage flight. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The air show will be limited due to weather, but the F-35 will be featured, as well as participate in the heritage flight. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Thunder officials, pilots and fireworks crews are all finalizing preparations for Saturday’s show.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the 2nd Street Bridge closed to traffic. The Zambelli fireworks crew attached wiring and hung racks of flares and fireworks off the side of the bridge.

UPS displayed its 757 plane and for the first time ever, the all-female crew to fly it.

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"I think it's great to be seen as a role model,” pilot Donnelly-McLay said. “It sets an example out there for those who may have never seen this."

Frances Perryman is the assistant chief and said the crew will go through a simulator performance one more time Friday.

"Slow flight capability will be our first pass,” Perryman said. “If weather permits, we'll do a high speed pass, but that's mostly to demonstrate how quiet we can be.”

The all-female crew goes right down to the air mechanics working on the plane.

"I wish there were more females involved,” Stella Burton, an aircraft maintenance technician said. “I think a lot of it is intimidation because it's a male-dominated field, but we're trying to work on that."

Down the runway at the Kentucky Air National Guard, the much faster and more flashy F-35 arrived late Thursday afternoon.

"The F-35 is the cutting edge of the Air Force arsenal and not just the Air Force,” Major Will Andreotta, F-35 pilot, said. “The Marines and the Navy are also getting it."

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The P-51 and A-10 will join the fighter jet in a heritage flight in Saturday’s show.

"It really actually is our chance to say thank you to the veterans and those who serve now,” Maj. Andreotta said. “When you come out there, I guarantee it's going to be a great time to see kind of the lineage of air force aviation."

Everyone from the firework teams to the pilots, is keeping a close eye on the weather.

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"We're watching the forecast and we have our plan in place,” Donnelly-McLay said. “We can only hope for the best."

Friday’s practice won’t include all of the acts, but with the poor weather in the forecast, it may be the best time to get a glimpse at the show.

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