Page 10 - World AirshowJuly-Aug 2018






Page 10 - World AirshowJuly-Aug 2018
P. 10


                              A Salute from the Shore

                             T   here’s nothing more American   humidity really gets cranked up. Believe me, you wouldn’t want
                                 than going to the beach on July 4,
                                                               to be on any of those hot airshow ramps in June, July, or August.
                                 particularly where I live in North
                                                               way to celebrate the Fourth of July.
                                 Carolina. With our southern   But as I said, being on a South Carolina beach is actually a great
                             summer heat waves seeming to start   This year, we decided to spend several days on Hilton Head
                             earlier and get longer and more op-  Island just prior to and including the Fourth. As we were pack-
                             pressive each and every year, about the   ing for our trip, it dawned on me that we would be there to see
                             only place to get relief is on the beach,   a July 4 South Carolina aviation tradition – the Salute from the
                             where the sea breezes make it feel a lit-  Shore. Organized by  a non-profit, grass roots  group of  South
                             tle cooler than it really is. With a beach   Carolinians, for the last nine years, the Salute from the Shore has
                             chair, an umbrella, and a cooler full of   featured a holiday fly-over of the South Carolina beaches by mili-
                             your favorite liquid refreshment, a day   tary and civilian aircraft to honor our armed forces.
                             at the beach can be a pleasant way to   In our September/October 2015 issue, we featured a report on
        relax on a hot summer day and celebrate our 242-year-old heri-  that year’s Salute written by T-6/SNJ pilot, and Salute participant,
        tage as a nation.                                      Bobby Jonte, with photos by Dean Wingard. I was excited that I
          The state of South Carolina has some of the most popular   was going to get to see the 2018 Salute for myself from the Hilton
        beaches  in  our region, with  the most notable  probably being   Head beach.
        the area called the Grand Strand, home to Myrtle Beach, North   On the morning of the Fourth, I was concerned to see quite
        Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, and several other popular beach   a few showers and thunderstorms on the radar moving off
        communities. Back in the spring, Myrtle Beach even had a great   the ocean towards the beaches up around Myrtle Beach and
        airshow featuring the Blue Angels. In this issue, you can read   Charleston. But by 1:00 pm, my iPhone radar app showed most
        Denise Decker’s feature article on that show, which is airshow   of the activity had moved inland, and the coast appeared to be
        producer John Cowman’s latest venture.                 clear for the Salute.
          Heading south along the coast from the Grand Strand, you   Thus the Ninth Annual Salute from the Shore began at 1:00
        come to the historic city of Charleston and its beaches, includ-  pm over Cherry Grove Beach, just south of the North Carolina
        ing Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, and the Kiawah   state line. The Salute continued for about 175 miles, all the way
        and Seabrook Islands. Ironically, the very same spring weekend   down to Hilton Head. This year’s Salute was led by two South
        as the Myrtle Beach airshow, Joint Base Charleston also hosted   Carolina Air National Guard F-16s from the 169th Fighter Wing
        their own open house and airshow.                      at McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Columbia, followed
          Farther south on the S.C. coast are the beaches of Edisto Island,   by several vintage warbirds.
        and just north of the Georgia border a favorite southern-beach   According to the Salute website, the F-16s were due over
        destination for my wife and I: beautiful Hilton Head Island. Not   Hilton Head at 1:31pm, and as you would expect from the mil-
        far from Hilton Head is MCAS Beaufort, which hosts their open   itary, the Vipers hit their time-over-target right on the nose.
        house and airshow every other spring.                  About 18 minutes later, the slower warbirds came by, a three-
          By now you should be seeing a trend. All of these Carolina   ship formation of a British Provost jet and two T-28 Trojans. A
        coastal airshows are held in April and May, before our heat and   bit later, the beachgoers were treated to that unmistakable sound
                                                                             of the Merlin engine on a P-51 Mustang.
                                                                               Based on the videos I saw on the web, I
                                                                             think the Salute got a little more advance pub-
                                                                             licity up on the Grand Strand, as many Myrtle
                                                                             Beach area sun worshipers came prepared with
                                                                             banners and American flags. On our beach at
                                                                             the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort, there
                                                                             were certainly some cheers as the F-16s roared
                                                                             overhead, and people stopped and watched as
                                                                             the warbird formation flew past, but I don’t
                                                                             think many people realized it was all an orga-
                                                                             nized event.
                                                                               Thank you to the volunteer pilots who make
                                                                             the Salute from the Shore a reality. I can’t think
                                                                             of a better way to spend a day at the beach on
                                                                             the Fourth of July.

                                                                             Beachgoers on Hilton Head Island stop and take notice
                                                                             as warbirds from the Salute from the Shore fly over the
                                                                             beach on the Fourth of July (photo by the author).
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