Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona air show returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

The Thunderbirds, Air Force’s demonstration squadron, will perform at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 25-26.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 9:50 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Officials at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are getting ready for this year’s Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Air Show on Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26.

The air show returns to Tucson for the first time since 2021, and with it come many road closures and a lot of traffic congestion around the base. Whether you are planning on attending the air show or not you’ll want to be prepared.

If you do plan on going, gates at the base open at 9 a.m. both days and the fun gets going at 11 a.m.

There will be plenty of action to see from up above including;

  • The Thunderbirds.
  • The Wings of Blue jump team.
  • The A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo Team.
  • The F-35 Lightning II Demo Team.
  • The USAF Desert Lightning Team CSAR Demo (HH-60, A-10, HC-130).
  • Vicky Benzing (Stearman).
  • Tom Larkin (Mini Jet).
  • KP Stunt Productions.
  • Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Shows.
  • Red Bull Fixed-Wing Aircraft.
  • Pylon Aviation BE105 Helicopter.
  • Red Bull Skydivers.
  • 161 ARW KC-135.
  • T-33 Shooting Star.
  • EA-18G Growler.

There will be merchandise for sale, as well as food and drinks, but it’s also recommended that you bring an empty water bottle so you can fill it up on base.

Officials say you should also bring your own seating if you don’t want to stand or sit on the ground.

The air show comes to Tucson every two years.

“We’re really providing the opportunity to say thank you to the community,” USAF Captain and Wing Open House Director Luke “Ray” Rockwell said. “Obviously, yeah, it’s a large footprint and it can be a burden but the community treats us extremely well so it’s a way to give back and say, ‘Hey, come hang out for the weekend and thanks for all the support you give us.’”

The air show is free but there are certain areas where tickets are required such as the beer garden and tickets are still available.

There is also a list of items that you can and cannot bring, some items that can come onto base include:

  • Small items like water bottles.
  • Small purses.
  • Umbrellas.
  • Cameras and tripods.
  • Strollers.
  • Wagons for toddlers.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Clear plastic water bottles.
  • Wheelchair.

Some items that are not allowed include:

  • Any kind of weapons.
  • Toys that resemble firearms.
  • Flammable items or fireworks.
  • Walking sticks.
  • Cooking equipment.
  • Large backpacks.
  • Balloons.
  • Animals and pets.
  • Alcohol and drugs.
  • Tens and canopies.
  • Coolers.
  • Drones.
  • Scanners.

You can check out the full list here.