Oregon International Air Show

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Oregon International Air Show
Blue angels 1 on runway.jpg
Blue Angels jet in 2007
GenreAir show
DatesJuly, August, rarely September
VenueHillsboro Airport
Location(s)Hillsboro, Oregon
Coordinates45°32′25.418″N 122°56′59.37″W / 45.54039389°N 122.9498250°W / 45.54039389; -122.9498250Coordinates: 45°32′25.418″N 122°56′59.37″W / 45.54039389°N 122.9498250°W / 45.54039389; -122.9498250
CountryUnited States
Attendance93,000 (2007)
Activitystatic displays
aerobatic displays
fireworks display
Organized bynon-profit organization
Smoke plume from the 2006 crash
An A-10 Thunderbolt II and a P-51 Mustang at the 2006 Oregon International Air Show

The Oregon International Air Show is an annual event held at the Hillsboro Airport in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. The event began in 1988, and has an annual attendance of 65,000.[1] It is the largest civilian air show on the West Coast of the United States.[2] Profits from the show are distributed to local charities.[3] The air show includes static displays as well aerobatic maneuvers.


The air show began as part of the annual Portland Rose Festival in 1988.[4][5] Early names of the event included the Maxwell House Rose Festival Airshow and the U.S. Bank Rose Festival Airshow, and the event was held in June or July.[5][6] The 1989 event, held in June, drew 296,000 spectators.[7] In 1991, during a performance an aircraft wing walker had to be lowered into a speeding truck on the runway as the plane flew just above the ground after the performer had become entangled.[4] The 1992 show included both the Blue Angels and a flight team from Russia flying SU-27s. This show marked the first time in post Cold War history that a former Soviet flight team performed in the U.S. The show had a three-day total of 122,000 visitors.[8] The 1993 show was the first show that had rain during the event, and had a fly-over by an F-117A stealth fighter.[5][9]

In 2002 the Rose Festival and the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce ceased their association with the annual event and organizers formed a non-profit group to continue the show as the Oregon International Airshow.[4] In 2004 the United States Navy’s aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels performed at the show, and 88,000 people attended the three-day show.[10] The next year 77,000 were in attendance when the headline act was the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.[3]

The 2006 event drew 58,000 spectators.[10] On the last day after the show ended, Sunday, July 16, 2006, a Hawker Hunter jet (N58MX) flown by pilot Robert "Bob" Guilford, crashed after takeoff.[11] After the plane was airborne, Guilford climbed about 1500 feet into the air and made a right turn. He came back around towards the Hillsboro Airport, and after his turn and passed by the airport losing altitude and speed quickly.[11][12] Soon after, the Mk.58 Hunter stalled and impacted the ground in a fireball.[11] Four houses were damaged and the pilot died on impact, but there were no casualties on the ground.[13] After the crash, the rest of the air show was canceled.[13] The jet had been on static display at the show, and was not an aerial performer.[13] The pilot had taken off to return to his home in California near the end of the show when the crash occurred.[13]

The 2007, event featuring the Blue Angels drew 93,000 spectators.[14] The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were the headline act at the 2009 show.[15] The show also featured a B-25 World War II bomber, biplanes, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, Robosaurus, and drew 87,000 spectators.[3][15] The Thunderbirds returned in 2012, with the Blue Angels scheduled for the 2013 show,[16] but due to the sequester resulting in the cancellation of Blue Angels performances for 2013, the Patriots Jet Team served as the replacement headliner for the 2013 show.[17]


Displays at the air show include aerobatic demonstrations and static displays on the ground.[18] Static displays in the past have included items such as Robosaurus in 1999 and 2009, as well as classic and modern aircraft.[19] Aircraft on display in previous shows include an F-86 Sabre, an F-15 Eagle, a MiG-17 and MiG-21, an F-104G, an A-26 Invader, an UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, a T-1A Jayhawk, and a HC-130 Hercules among others.[19][20]

Aerobatic displays have included on multiple occasions the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the Air Force's Thunderbirds, the Navy's Blue Angels, Patty Wagstaff, and the Patriots Jet Demonstration Team.[3][19][21][22] Other performances have come from the Oregon Air National Guard, the Red Bull MiG, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Hammerhead Aerobatics, drag-races between jet cars and aircraft, and a man pulling a C-130 cargo plane.[20]


  1. ^ Oregon International Air Show Archived 2007-07-12 at the Wayback Machine. U.S. Air Force. Retrieved on July 12, 2007.
  2. ^ Oregon International Airshow Announces Growing List of Sponsors. Business Wire, August 5, 2003. Retrieved on March 5, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Eckert, Kurt (September 4, 2009). "Sunday Air Show numbers soar on weather, ticket deals". Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  4. ^ a b c Bermudez, Esmeralda (July 18, 2006). "Tragedy clouds air show's future". The Oregonian, p. 1.
  5. ^ a b c "Air Show capitvates spectators". The Oregonian. July 17, 1993.
  6. ^ "Old airplanes bring back similar memories of different wars". The Oregonian. June 15, 1989.
  7. ^ "The Memory of a Sentimental Journey". The Oregonian. June 21, 1990.
  8. ^ "Airshow Attendance Best since 1992". Eugene Register-Guard. June 16, 1997.
  9. ^ "`Stealth' takes bow on public stage". The Oregonian. July 17, 1993.
  10. ^ a b Oregon International Airshow will include Blue Angels. The Oregonian, May 16, 2007. Retrieved on March 5, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c NTSB Identification: SEA06FA142 Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on March 5, 2008.
  12. ^ Pilot Identified In Hillsboro Air Show Accident. Aero-News Network. Retrieved on March 5, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d Tareen, Sophia, Stuart Tomlinson, Noelle Crombie, Esmeralda Bermudez, Holly Danks and Michelle Roberts. Investigators hope to find why jet crashed into house. The Oregonian, July 17, 2006.
  14. ^ Cromwell, Lisa and Kurt Eckert. "2007 Airshow draws 93,000". The Hillsboro Argus, August 14, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Haight, Abby (August 29, 2009). "Air show in Hillsboro wows the crowds in air and on ground". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  16. ^ Driessen, Katherine (August 1, 2012). "Washington County Fair and Oregon International Air Show scheduled for same weekend next year". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  17. ^ "Oregon International Air Show 2013: Patriots Jet Team headlines show after Blue Angels' cancellation". Oregon Live. July 27, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  18. ^ Eckert, Kurt (August 21, 2009). "Hillsboro skies ready for Oregon Air Show". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  19. ^ a b c Uno, Wesley (August 27, 2009). "The Thunderbirds are back". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  20. ^ a b Gregory, Roger (August 7, 2008). "Air show will dazzle with flying, pyrotechnics and a man pulling a plane". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  21. ^ Christensen, Nick (August 26, 2009). "Thunderbirds rule Oregon's Air Show: Old friends, new features also dance in Hillsboro's sky soiree". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  22. ^ Gregory, Roger (January 23, 2008). "Patriots Jet Team returns to Air Show". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2009-11-10.

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