Atlantic City Airshow brings thousands to the New Jersey beaches

Airshow organizers say the event draws more than 500,000 spectators.

Trish Hartman Image
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Atlantic City Airshow takes flight at the Jersey shore
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The beaches were packed as thousands of people came to the Jersey shore Wednesday for the high-flying action at the Atlantic City Airshow.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The 2022 Atlantic City Airshow is in the books, giving beachgoers an eardrum-rattling good time.

Hours before the pilots even started their engines, spectators were saving their spots on the beaches.

"We put our stuff here at 8 this morning and had breakfast," said Bob Rankin of Upper Darby, Pa.

As the U.S Army Golden Knights kicked off the 2022 show, dubbed "a salute to those who serve."

Many took a moment to appreciate the US military.

"This is the best place to watch. It's a great thing for the country," said Rankin.

The New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard and other participants gave viewers a close-up look at training maneuvers they don't often get to see.

"We love to demonstrate and show what we do every day. And there's no better place to do it than right here on Atlantic City," said Col. Aaron Dunn, 177th Fighter Wing Vice Commander.

"You hear about it but when you finally see it I'm in awe of them," said Irene Rankin of Upper Darby, Pa. "They're our heroes."

And of course, the big finale was the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Six-year-old Sebastian Vega said he likes the Thunderbirds "...because they go crazy!"

His father, Victor Vega, added, "He wants to watch Top Gun so bad but we have to wait a little bit for that."

Vega says his son's first air show was full of fun and patriotism.

"I love everything from the United States to be represented. The culture of the country, the city, the people. It's beautiful. Pride," he said.

Absent from this year's show were the Geico Skytypers, a popular act and sponsor of the show.

The WWII aircraft stunt group was a staple at the show for years, but pulled out after a fatal crash at another air show last summer.

However, officials found a new act: the Full Throttle Formation Team.

The also found a new sponsor in Meet AC.

The air show was canceled in 2020 and returned after the pandemic last year. Officials believe the event brings in about $50 million to the local economy.