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Air show goes off fairly smoothly


Traffic doesnt deter crowds from attending events at Hillsboro Airport, county fair complex

by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Greg Colyer amazes Oregon International Air Show crowds in his T-33 Shooting Star that showcases the capability of this Korean War-era two-seat version of the P-80 jet fighter.Zack McDowall attended his first Oregon International Air Show on Sunday. Munching on a sugary Elephant Ear a full two hours before the show was set to begin, Zack said he was excited about “seeing all the different kinds of airplanes” that would be flying and on display at the Hillsboro Airport.

The show ended as scheduled Sunday afternoon with a crowd-pleasing performance by the Patriots Jet team, which grabbed headlines after the U.S. Navy Blue Angels cancelled because of federal budget cuts.

Zack was accompanied on his walk through the displays by Steven Freise, a family friend. It was the tenth time Friese, 64, had come to the show. A pilot with a small plane at the Scappoose Airport, Friese said he keeps returning because “they always put on a good show.”

Although Freise was disappointed the Blue Angels were a no-show, he was still looking forward to other performers. “I’m just interested in planes,” he explained.

Several regular participants said the crowds looked a little more sparse than in previous years. Show-goers — including many families with children — began flowing in Sunday around the time of the 11:30 a.m. opening ceremony, however. Those stopping by the Hillsboro Tribune booth said said they came from all over the region, including Salem and Vancouver, Wash. by: TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Mike Wiskus flies his Lucas Oil Pitts in the Oregon International Air Show. This 310 horsepower machine allows him to perform spins and flips to entertain the crowd.

Attendance may have been affected by the cancellation of the Blue Angels and worries about traffic problems because of the show being scheduled on the same weekend as the Washington County Fair across Cornell Road.

Leo Lotito, a traffic officer with the Bend Police Department said traffic was not particularly bad, however. Lotito and three other Bend traffic officers came over Thursday to help man control stops at intersections and patrol around the airport. Lotito said the visit was part of a regular exchange with the Hillsboro Police Department, which sends traffic officers to Bend to help out with the annual Cascade Cycling Classic bike road race held in that area.

“Hillsboro really knows what it’s doing. The’ve got the situation well under control,” said Lotito.