Places & Faces
Your Insider’s Guide to the 
Chennault Air Show 
May 10-12
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

It’s the 2019 Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow, presented by Phillips 66 … and it’s set for May 10-12 at Chennault International Airport.

World-class aircraft, aviators and ground displays are hallmarks of the Airshow. The popular, family-friendly event is a patriotic gumbo of majestic aircraft, breathtaking piloting, proud military might and nostalgic memorabilia.

"Our weekend of family fun will center around aviation, with a focus on education and history,” said Kevin Melton, president of the Airshow’s board of directors.

Organizers say there’s something for everyone, whether you’re one of the Airshow faithful or will be experiencing it for the first time.

"It’s the newest and freshest show in years. We have more first-time performers than ever,” said Mary Jo Bayles, Airshow director. "If you’ve never been to the Airshow, the excitement will blow you away — and if you have been, you’re going to see lots of new performers.”

Bayles’ announced lineup — the schedule and ticketing info can be found on its website and Facebook page — suggests that this year’s edition is a feast for the eyes and the ears, both in the skies and on the ground.


Go for the action overhead — and stay for the variety of attractions at eye level.
Here’s a rundown of the can’t-miss performers that will the headline the show:

F-16 Viper. The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team will maneuver above Chennault to show off the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Pro tip: Though you’ll feel driven to capture the action on your phone, keep your eyes on the skies as you do to take in the full sensory experience of this state-of-the-art marvel.

Phillips 66 Aerostars. Thrill to precision team aerobatics as the Aerostars fly at speeds exceeding 250 mph … sometimes just a few feet apart. Pro tip: The key tricks beyond the familiar barrel rolls are the soaring formation loops and the opposing maneuvers. 

Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter. It’s retrofitted with the kind of power — and apparently, magic — to accomplish what helicopters aren’t supposed to pull off. Pro tip: Watch when it flies upside down. This is not a misprint. Upside down.

Red Bull Jump Team. Gravity, schmavity! Four aerial acrobats start as vague dots above you, then head toward you in a hurry. Pro tip: Keep watching them as a quartet rather than singling one guy out, and you’ll get the full effect of skill, smoke and sportsmanship.

Ashley Shelton, wingwalker. Several women appear in the Show this year . . . both performers and pilots. That Sunday of the airshow will be Mother’s Day. We’ll salute women in aviation all weekend.

Kevin Coleman, second-generation aerobatic pilot. He’s a young star who flies likes a seasoned professional — because he is one, having started at such an early age. Pro tip: His plane is an Extra 300SHP, and he makes it do things the inventors probably never expected.

Kirby Chambliss, Red Bull aerobatic pilot. Watch a master at work with his aggressive, innovative performances. Pro tip: He’s a five-time U.S. National Aerobatic Championship winner.

MiG 17-F. An old Soviet fighter jet that can make 8-G turns and hit speeds of 700 mph.

A P-40 Warhawk. The plane you think of when you think of Major General Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers. 

Ground show. A national BMX star to do bike stunts, the Aftershock Jet Fire Truck, and military exhibits.

The Airshow has as evening performance Friday, May 10, and day-long performances and exhibits on Saturday and Sunday (Mother’s Day), May 11-12.

General admission tickets are $20 plus fees, available in advance at Children 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult. General admission tickets will be $24 at the gate. Food, beverages and souvenirs will be sold. A general admission weekend pass for Saturday and Sunday is $40. The Friday Twilight Show is $15, with children 12 and under admitted free with an adult.

Pro tip: The Airshow also has VIP seating opportunities:

Observation Deck Chalet — Saturday or Sunday adult VIP ticket: $90; Saturday or Sunday kid VIP ticket (ages 4-12), $35, with kids 3 and under free.

Flightline Viewing
Saturday or Sunday adult ticket, $39
Saturday or Sunday kid ticket (ages 4-12), $12, with kids 3 and under free.

For all the speed and splendor that will soar through the skies, 
the heart of the Airshow’s purpose is education. Proceeds from the 
Airshow are used to support interest in science, technology, 
engineering and math (STEM) education in Southwest Louisiana schools. That means programs, outreach at the classroom level, grants, college scholarships and visits by aviation professionals to local schools.

The Airshow is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) effort. It is governed by an unpaid board of directors comprised of civic and business leaders, aviation enthusiasts and veterans.

For complete ticket and sponsorship information, or 
details on how to be a vendor or volunteer, visit or the Airshow’s Facebook page.

Posted by: | Submit comment | Tell a friend


Share and enjoy:   Google Bookmarks   Reddit   Stumble Upon


© Copyright 2021, Thrive Magazine. All rights reserved.