A-10 Thunderbolts Strike at Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s WWII Weekend Air Show

Reading, PA — The Mid-Atlantic Air museum held the 26th annual World War II weekend from June 3 to June 5th. An East Coast staple, this airshow and reenactor gathering has over the years become extremely popular. Fans from all over the country made their way to Reading Pennsylvania in order to see warbirds, reenactors and vehicles from a different era. The weather always seems to be a factor in Pennsylvania this time of year. As the day approaches, weather radar apps must experience high usage. This year was no exception. A storm front moving east and a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic threatened this event. It wouldn’t be the first time and certainly not the last.

Hog coming in low – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

The gates opened as scheduled and the air show crowd shuffled in. Everyone ran to stake a claim on front line real estate. Also in attendance was the less than stellar overcast sky. Clouds of different shades rolled over the hills overlooking Reading Regional Airport. To Rain or Not to Rain, that was the question. By 10 am the usual aircraft (P-51D “Red Nose”, B-25 “Panchito”, SB2C-5 Helldiver and SNJ-4B Texan) would have had flown several “ride” sorties, but the low ceiling seemed to limit the morning flying activities. Some air show fans killed time by visiting the reenactor section of the event, while others talking about air shows and photography techniques.

A-10 displaying its maneuverability – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Sometime late Saturday morning, the air show got some uninvited guests. Out of the sky, descended a pair of A-10’s from the Maryland Air National Guard. The dark ghost gray aircraft barley distinguished themselves against the hazy sky. It was the distinctive shape of the “Hogs” that gave it away. People turned, Lenses up, and shutters went off. Reminiscent of the 1980 film “The Final Countdown” modern day aircraft swooped low and mean over a field of warbirds. The “quiet” Thunderbolt IIs hugged the deck and then demonstrating the aircraft’s maneuverability as it pulls up into the sky.

Hog Heaven – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Someone called out “Hog Alert” as the Mickey Mouse looking aircraft came barreling down the runway. One final pass to thrill the crowd. Although the excitement was short lived, it seemed to cheer up the crowd and leave everyone with a huge grin on their face. The A-10s were a kick start to the day, like a cherry on a cake. If these modern day aircraft were the cherry, then all the warbirds present were the huge triple layered velvet cake.

Up Close and Personal – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Distinctive tail and engines – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Bugging Out – Photo by Richard J.M. Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

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