Air Show Report : Thunder Over New Hampshire 2021 - Pease ANGB
Thunder Over New Hampshire 2021 - Pease ANGB
The Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hosted the 2021 Thunder Over New Hampshire Air Show featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Report and photos by Dave O'Brien.
It had been 10 years since the USAF Thunderbirds had an air show at the former Pease AFB. Due to COVID, it was also 3 years since my last air show. So I was so excited to have Portsmouth authorities and the 157th ARW not cancel the show as this is my home airport where my passion for aviation was born. The bad part of shows at Pease ANGB is that you have to shoot into the sun all afternoon. Lighting was difficult with the sun in and out of the clouds and a haze in the air on this hot weekend of July 11-12, 2021.
A Rhode Island C-130J from the 143rd AW was the Jump Ship for the US Special Ops Jump team. As they climbed for the National Anthem, Mike Wiskus performed in his Lucas Oil S-1-11B known as the Super Stinker. The Vermont ANG’s F-35s had taken off prior and came back to make a few passes to show off the 158th FW’s new toys. They had just transitioned out of their F-16s to become the first guard unit with the F-35 Lightning II.
Greg Colyer in his T-33 Shooting Star took center stage next. Then local pilot Rob Holland took off for a quick intro demo. Then it was time for the F-22 Raptor to rock the show line, the way this plane moves and just amazingly performs always leaves the crowd in awe. On Sunday, we were treated with a Charleston C-17 that had stopped in overnight coming from Europe. On his departure during the show, he asked if he could make a few passes, which was a nice addition.
P-51D Quick Silver flown by Bill Yoak went up after the F-22 landed for some beautiful passes. Then Mike Wiskus took off again so he could race the Jet Truck Coinforce. The 157th ARW’s new tanker, the KC-46A Pegasus, also presented a demo. The 157th ARW had just transitioned out of the KC-135, which had been at Pease for over 60 years. The last KC-135 departed for the AZ ANG in 2019. The unit’s first KC-46A arrived on August 8, 2019.
Now it was time for the main act, the USAF Thunderbirds, it was a great end to a fantastic show. A sneak pass was performed by female pilot Michelle “Mace” Curran, who finished out her 3rd Thunderbird season this year, ending her rotation with the team. She mentioned on Instagram that she’ll be leaving the Air Force and moving into the Air National Guard. She’s been an amazing advocate for the team and women pilots.
There was a great mix of static airplanes, VT F-35 Lightning IIs, MA F-15 Eagles, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from Pope, two E-2 Hawkeyes and a C-2 Greyhound from NAS Norfolk, a KC-135 Stratotanker from Mildenhall, USAF T-6 Texan II from NAS Pensacola, and a T-1 Jaybird from Laughlin AFB. For the heavies, we had a C-17 Globemaster III from Dover, KC-10 Extender from McGuire, a C-5 Galaxy from Westover, about seven local KC-46 Pegasus tankers and the New England Patriots’ airplane.
I’d like to thank the 157th PAO for giving me access Friday and Saturday. They’re already talking about the air show returning in 2 years, so stay tuned.
Report and photos by Dave O'Brien ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 12 December 2021