Cameron Taylor WSMV
The Great Tennessee Air Show returns this weekend, U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds to headline
June 2, 2021
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  • SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) – After taking a break for a year due to the pandemic, the Great Tennessee Air Show is back. It will run from June 5-6 at the Smyrna airport.

    “Our family is going to get together and watch it together,” Randel Henson, a Rutherford County resident said.

    The U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds will be this year’s headliners. They haven’t been back to Smyrna in a decade.

    “It’s gonna be a great show,” John Black, Executive Director for the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority said.

    Black said it will be a reserved seating event this year so people can socially distance. He’s glad the show is back.

    “I think everyone is ready to get outside and have some fun. To be up close and personal with aviation is a great way to spend a whole day,” Black said.

    Even with preparations well underway, Black said what happened in 2016 still weighs on him. That’s when a Blue Angels pilot crashed during a practice run before the show and died.

    A memorial near the airport continues to honor Captain Jeff Kuss. The city placed a wreath there to remember the Blue Angel No. 6 pilot.

    Wednesday marks five years since the crash.

    “It was a hard time for our community,” Black said.

    For Henson, he said it wasn’t a quick healing process for the Midstate.

    “It has taken a little bit of time for the community to come back and embrace it again, but we’re excited to have it back,” Henson said.

    The airport is expecting around 10,000 to 15,000 people each day for the air show. For more information about tickets and the lineup, head to the air show’s website.