Maintaining visiting aircraft ahead of Cherry Point Air Show

CHERRY POINT, N.C. (WITN) – The Cherry Point Air Show is only a few weeks away and with dozens of aircraft coming in from across the country, many are wondering how they’re maintained and ready to entertain thousands.

With so many planes ready to fly high and dazzle the thousands of people expected to be at the Cherry Point Air Show this May, there’s certain upkeep needed to make sure the aircraft are ready.

The Visiting Aircraft Line takes care of the aircraft that come into Cherry Point from outside the air station.

“Everything in the fleet that comes here, Army, Navy, Air Force, we take care of,” Visiting Aircraft Line Work Supervisor Levon Vance said.

Vance said his team handles anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 visiting aircraft per year.

“We’re a key asset in order to use in all the airspace on the East Coast,” Vance said.

Vance said they’ve been prepping and building for the air show since January. A few days before the show, the Visiting Aircraft Line begins receiving aircraft that will be on display or performing.

They’ll maintain the aircraft by fueling and parking them, while also making sure the performing aircraft are ready to shine.

“We’re gonna fuel them, give them smoke oil that way you get the nice white smoke out of the aircraft, and that’s a constant turnaround on the aircraft,” Vance said.

Coming up on his 13th air show at Cherry Point, Vance is ready to take care of the aircraft that both he and the community can’t wait to see take to the skies.

“If you haven’t seen the F-22 perform you’re really missing out on that one,” Vance said.

Although this year’s Cherry Point Air Show may not be as big as past shows, big-name flights like that F-22, the Blue Angels, and the last performance of the AV-8 for an air show are hard to pass up.

The show is set for May 11th and 12th.