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Female Pilots at Controls for Bluebonnet AirSho

The PBJ-1J Devil Dog is returning to the Bluebonnet AirSho on Saturday, Sept. 8, in Burnet. The PBJ-1J was the U.S. Marine Corps version of the B-25 bomber and played a crucial role in winning World War II. This is a great chance to see many historic war birds up close. The air show is at the Burnet Municipal Airport, 2402 U.S. South in Burnet. Go to bluebonnetairshow.com for more information. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

BURNET — The Bluebonnet AirSho is one of the most anticipated events of the year. If you’re near the Burnet airport on Saturday, Sept. 8, you can’t miss it.

The air show celebrates aviation history, particularly the venerable warbirds from World War II. This year, however, the event will also highlight “Ladies in Aviation.”

The Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force is hosting Jane Doyle as one of the event’s featured VIPs. Doyle was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. Though she and the more than a thousand other WASPs did not fly combat missions in the European and Pacific theaters, they played a major role in the Allied forces winning the war.

Along with Doyle, members of WASP Class 44-4 will hold a homecoming celebration at the air show.

Aerobatics star Debby Rihn-Harvey, one of the highest-ranked aerobatic competitors in the United States, will perform. She won the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in 2006, 2008, and 2009 and was the top-ranked U.S. women’s aerobatic competitor for more than 10 years, along with receiving a number of other Texas, national, and international honors.

Rihn-Harvey is a Southwest Airlines captain and manages a flight school.

She’ll demonstrate her piloting skills during the air show in her CAP 232.

Of course, the Bluebonnet AirSho includes many incredible craft from the World War II era, including the A-26K bomber Special Kay, the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders, the PBJ-1J Devil Dog, otherwise known as a Marine B-25 bomber, and the P-51 Mustang Pecos Bill.

A highlight of the show will be the Red Stripe MiG-17 piloted by Greg Howell.

The show includes aerobatic demonstrations by the Falcon Fight team and others as well as pyrotechnics. Plus there’s a chance for some spectators to “shoot down” the Immortal Red Baron.

A noted absence from this year’s air show will be the Highland Lakes Squadron’s Bluebonnet Belle. The Belle, a 1944 C-47 Douglas Skytrain, crashed July 21 during takeoff from the Burnet Municipal Airport. The plane and her crew were on their way to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin. All 13 of the crew escaped the crash. Though it was a blow to the squadron, officials with the Highland Lakes wing said they would carry on and work to make the 2018 Bluebonnet AirSho one to truly remember.

The air show takes place at Kate Craddock Field at the Burnet Municipal Airport, 2402 U.S. 281 South. Gates open at 9 a.m. for aircraft tours and static displays. The air show is 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adult general admission; $10 for adults 60 and older; $10 for military members with IDs; $5 for ages 6-17; and free for children 5 and younger.

Free parking is available across U.S. 281 behind the Cecil Atkission dealership. A shuttle service will bring people to the airport. Onsite airport parking is available for $10, but it can fill up quickly.

Go to bluebonnetairshow.com for more information or to purchase tickets. Tickets will also be available at the gate.

editor@thepicayune.com

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