By Greg Wehner
(June 9, 2022) Jets and all manner of aircraft will scream and soar over Ocean City this weekend, giving visitors and residents an opportunity to witness high-flying, death-defying aerial acrobatics and an idea of why this nation’s military pilots are the best in the world.
The 2022 Ocean City Air Show is set to take place from June 11-12, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-18 Rhino Demo Team, SOCOM Para-Commandos, helicopter demonstrations, and more for what marks the 15th year of its stop in the resort.
“It’s sort of a milestone,” Chris Dirato, the director of public relations for the Bitner Group – which organizes the Air Show – said on Tuesday. “We’re in celebration mode.”
Consisting of six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the U.S. Thunderbirds will perform nearly 20 formations and maneuvers in over 45 minutes.
During that performance, the Thunderbirds will fly as close as four feet away, push several G’s, and close in on each other at 1,000 mph before tipping their wings to avoid colliding.
In addition to the Thunderbirds, F-18 Super Hornets, one of the military’s main jets that was recently featured in the movie “Top Gun: Maverick,” will show off its capability that allows it to take off and land from an aircraft carrier and engage in aerial dog fights.
The show’s not just about jets, though.
Michael Goulian, one of the top aerobatic pilots in the world who’s flown in Red Bull Air Races, will perform heart-stopping drops from the sky, tumbling and twirling in his propellor-driven airplane.
The UH-72A, a light utility helicopter used by the military on search and rescue missions as well as MEDEVAC missions, will be part of a demonstration that shows off its capabilities. A special ops parachute team known as the Para-Commandos will also jump from a plane above Ocean City and land near center stage.
In total, there will be 11 performances taking place this Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re hopeful that people will come out, weather being a factor, and we think weather will hold out,” Dirato said. “It’s been an ongoing event, and people always look forward to going to it each year.”
Tickets for the air show start at $35 for adults and $24.50 for children. Purchasing tickets give ticket holders access to Drop Zone Beach, between 14th and 15th streets.
Additional ticket options are available that range from $189 – $499.
Experiences differ on price point and range from bringing your own chair to the sandbox, getting your own tent with a catered lunch that includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a penthouse suite 10 floors up in a hotel at the center of action.
VIP Penthouses are sold out for Saturday but as of Tuesday were still available for Sunday for $499.
For more information about the Air Show and to purchase tickets, visit www.ocairshow.com. Also on the site is a map of how the beach is laid out, as well as Air Show merchandise.