By Justin HAGER
After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Heroes Airshow is scheduled to land at the Hansen Dam Sports Complex on Saturday, Nov. 13. The free event features nearly 20 helicopters that are sure to inspire awe and inspiration in aviation enthusiasts as well as demonstrations, display aircraft, first responder personnel and educational history on the development of aircraft technology and why helicopters are often the first tool out of the toolbox in times of natural disasters, search and rescue operations or national security threats.
This year, event exhibitors will include helicopters and crew personnel from police, fire, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the United States military, including search and rescue Blackhawks. One particularly rare aircraft on display will be the Los Angeles Fire Dept. Historical Society’s restored Bell 47G helicopter, which has not been flown in more than four years. Volunteer Executive Director Jim Paules said he is especially excited about the presence of the U.S. Air Force 66th Rescue Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will be bringing its HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter.
The 66th RQS motto is “This I Do That Others May Live,” a theme of heroic sacrifice that underpins the American Heroes Airshow that Paules said is not just about “promoting the diversity of rotary-wing aviation, the event also provides great recruiting opportunities.”
“We hope attendees will talk to these crew members,” he said, “hear their stories of what they do day in and day out and learn about the heritage and mission of law enforcement.”
To this end, the event also invites representatives, recruiters and crew team members from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. State Department, and numerous local police and fire departments to talk about career opportunities and the lived-daily experiences of law enforcement professionals.
One special and unique part of the airshow is the naturalization ceremony that takes place in the early morning. Fifty to 60 people take the oath of allegiance the morning of the event and then get to spend their first day as U.S. citizens at the airshow.
Event Director Steve Goldsworthy said, “It is our special privilege to partner with the USCIS on this special day when we recognize our Southern California neighbors as they recite the Oath of Allegiance and become U.S. citizens during the American Heroes Air Show.” Paules added that he believes that “new citizens get to spend their first day seeing the best of what America has to offer.”
At 9:30 a.m., Professional Cars International will arrive with lights and sirens blaring as they “Roll to the Rescue” in vintage police, fire and emergency vehicles.
Admission and parking for the event are free, with parking availability near the Los Angeles Cube Museum. Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office is providing free shuttle bus support to and from the parking lot. Attendees are encouraged, though not required, to wear masks and free masks are available at the event. More information about the American Heroes Airshow can be found by visiting Heroes-airshow.com. And afterward share or view stories and photos from the event using the Twitter hashtag #CAHeroes.