Kankakee Air Show
June 27, 1993

Click on any picture to open a slideshow. Once there, you can click the link in the caption for the full-size picture.

On a hot June day in 1993, my sister, brother-in-law, and I drove down to the Kankakee Airport for an air show featuring the Navy Blue Angels. Having seen them several times as a kid at the Chicago Air & Water Show, we were looking forward to seeing the Blues again. We had no idea it was going to be so much better! The air show was right on the airport, and once in the gates we were free to walk around most everywhere. We could see the planes parked on the ramp, and even get up close with some of the non-flying aircraft. Then when the actual air show started we could watch the planes taxi and takeoff and then perform practically right over our heads. The difference from the wide open space of Kankakee versus Chicago meant that the planes could fly lower and you could see them farther out. And the Blue Angel solo pilots could also fly a high-speed pass from behind us, scaring the daylights out of everyone!

The videos are not mine, but I was happy to find them on YouTube!

The Red Baron Squadron turn on smoke prior to takeoff.

The Red Baron pizza company retired the squadron in 2007.
Here they circle the flag-carrying skydivers as the national anthem played.



1944 P-51 Mustang
This plane is still registered to the same pilot and is still flying. He is from Springfield, IL.
U.S. Navy North American T-2C Buckeye
This was a Navy intermediate trainer.


U.S. Navy Grumman A-6E Intruder

The B-17 Sentimental Journey was on static display. It belongs to the Arizona wing of the Commemorative Air Force and she still flies today giving rides.
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II
More commonly known by its nickname "Warthog", these are still in service today with a role of Close Air Support.

They're not the prettiest of military aircraft, but they are very effective!

The Blue Angel's C-130 "Fat Albert"

Fat Albert demonstrating the C-130's JATO - Jet Assisted TakeOff.

Here is video of the JATO and Fat Albert flying:

The Blue Angels F-18 Super Hornets


Unfortunately, these pictures have faded a bit. But these planes were beautifully gleaming in the sunshine!


They were lined up precisely.


The team preparing for the show.

#1, #2, and #3 taking off in formation.
#4 followed shortly after.

#6 in flight.
The Delta formation.


#1 and #4 inverted in the Delta.


#5 and #6 in a high-speed pass.

You can get a good idea of how low they were in this shot with the trees. Assuming those trees are maybe 30' tall, they are flying about 100' off the deck!
#5 inverted and both he and #6 in a "dirty" configuration with the gear extended.

Here is video of The Blue Angels' performance:

Unfortunately, during the air show a non-participating plane suffered an engine failure and crashed on takeoff departing the airport. It was My Mary Lou a Douglas A-26 Invader that belonged to the Collings Foundation. The right engine failed at 140mph causing the plane to start to roll. It crashed upright and the pilot and passenger were not injured. The plane was destroyed. The Collings Foundation did strip her of useable parts to possibly use them on another A-26 restoration. Here is a good description of what happened.
I also found this video on YouTube of the crash. We were standing a ways further back from the flight line and didn't see the engine let go.

Back to Top      My Home Page