GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — An estimated 100,000 people are turning their eyes to the skies this weekend at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
The Wings Over Wayne Air Show is this weekend.
On Saturday, The Blue Angels were the highlight of the show for many of the visitors.
The Navy pilots wowed the crowd with a precise performance.
The audience gasped and clapped as the fighter jets flew in formations with their wingtips less than two feet apart.
The Blue Angels were the main event just after 3 p.m. and many spent hours waiting patiently in prime positions.
“We came in early about 7:30 this morning, parked, took a bus in, came right on through. Got seats close to the front here,” said spectator Kelly Langdon.
As the aircraft overhead performed death-defying moves, more than 600 security and safety officers on the ground made sure no other lives were in danger.
“We have so many moving parts with almost maybe 100,000 plus individuals coming on today that we really want to make sure there’s safety for everyone that’s trying make it in,” said Maj. John-Paul Adrian.
To the Air Force, this is more than just an airshow.
It’s an open house at a secure military installation.
“The folks off the base, they might see them above, but they don’t really get to see them up close and personal. So this gives them an opportunity to do that,” said Maj. Matthew Olde, the air show director.
The regular 250-person security squadron had help with traffic and crowd control from an additional 300 Airmen, plus about 30 deputies, and even more city and state officers.
“You had to go through a security checkpoint where you had to have everything checked, which is good. It makes us all secure,” said Jim Sotello, an Air Force veteran.
There were no reported problems, although many people had pocket knives confiscated
“Individuals are bringing them in. They’re not thinking anything malicious whatsoever. They just think it’s something they carry around with them every day. But just in the interest of security and safety, we want to make sure that those are not brought into our primary areas,” Adrian said.
The air show director says he wants people to see risk, not be at risk.
His personal highlight is that the F-22 Raptor is making its first full demonstration in Goldsboro.
“Put on a performance that will absolutely wow everybody. It looks like that thing is defying the laws of physics. It’s got supermaneuverability, that’s a technical term,” said Maj. Matthew Olde, the air show director.
The show continues Sunday.