BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — One East Tennessee Pilot will be a part of one of the main acts at the Smoky Mountain Air Show.
There are just a few more days until the Smoky Mountain Air Show is open to the public. Those who are on the air base have been set up and getting ready for the big weekend.
The Blue Angels team arrived Thursday along with other pilots and their air crafts. The Blue Angles are one of many acts that will be performed over the weekend, other acts are comprised of local pilots.
Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Wes Stowers loves soaring to new heights.
“I went to the Air Force Academy and graduated in ’76,” he said. “I spent 12 years active and 10 years in the reserves and I primarily flew the F-4.”
After retiring from the military he became the chairman of his family’s company the Stowers Machinery Corporation which is based in Knoxville, but even with his new title, he isn’t giving up his wings.
“Well I still love to fly. I’m 68 and I’m slowing down a little bit. Our company has a corporate plane, a Citation, and a small Twin Engine Baron.”
Not only does he fly for the company, but he’s a volunteer pilot with the Commemorative Air Force.
“The Commemorative Air Force is a volunteer organization, its a nonprofit, we have, gosh, close to 200 vintage air crafts.”
They’ll have six of their various aircraft at the Smoky Mountain Air Show.
“We like showing the Warbirds because they won’t be flying forever, and these are all very historic airplanes from World War II.”
If that’s not enough work for this retired veteran, he’s on the board of the Boys and Girls Club.
“We have all these academic programs, character-building programs, life skills programs,” he said.
Stowers adds that being in the Smoky Mountain Air Show, a show close to home has been a lot of work, but is another high-flying moment in his career,
“It’s great, everyone who’s friends will have a great time getting back together again.”
You will be able to see the Commemorative Air Force War Birds Fly-bys and the Warbirds Aerobatics on both Saturday and Sunday.