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Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Wright Flight kids open D-M air show

Performances still a go despite weather

Students from the Wright Flight program opened the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Open House air show Saturday after taking off from Tucson International Airport and landing at D-M.

For Sabrina Gruenhagen, 11, her second time in an airplane was her first time taking the controls. Flying with a seasoned, licensed pilot by her side, Gruenhagen took off from TIA and learned how to make turns, including a high-bank 2G turn over the desert.

Gruenhagen said she spent some time in flight simulators through the Department of Defense Starbase program at D-M, and that whet her appetite for the real thing.

"It's kinda like this was meant to happen," she said.

During the flight, she chatted on the in-flight communications line about the experience.

Retired Col. Robin Stoddard, Wright Flight program founder and director, said the program is designed to get kids interested in science and aviation history, as well as flying.

Stoddard said that participation requires hard work and good grades, but it is a great way to engage kids and show them that with work comes reward.

The show goes on

D-M officials announced early Saturday morning that despite the rain, the show will go on. The weather may shake up the schedule a bit, but performance announcements will be made on the air show's Facebook page.

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A light sweater may be necessary as the rain clears and breeze kicks in. The high temperature is expected to reach 63 with winds expected to pick up as the day goes by. Wind gusts could reach 32 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday is expected to be a calmer day for the show with partly cloudy skies and a high around 69, the NSW predicted.


For those attending, traffic will be directed into D-M from Golf Links Road through the Swan Road and Craycroft Road gates.

The city is warning motorists of traffic changes in the area of the base during the air show on Saturday and Sunday that will end by 6 p.m.:

  • Westbound traffic on Golf Links Road will be reduced to one lane at Swan and Craycroft roads.
  • Eastbound and westbound lanes will be closed on Golf Links from Ajo Way/Aviation to Wilmot Road.
  • Southbound lanes will be closed on Swan and Craycroft roads from 29th Street to Golf Links.
  • There will be no left turns from southbound Craycroft and southbound Swan to eastbound 29th.
  • Eastbound travel lanes on Golf Links and on 29th Street will be closed at Swan Road.

Midtown feels boom

Tucson Police Department said 911 dispatchers received about 90 calls Friday, beginning around 2:25 p.m., from people reporting a sonic boom that shook homes and business and caused some damage.

The sonic boom was caused when one of the Thunderbirds' jets broke the sound barrier.

Anyone who has any damage from the sonic boom, can call Davis-Monthan at 228-5242.

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Click image to enlarge

Will Seberger/TucsonSentinel.com

Sabrina Gruenhagen, an 11-year-old Wright Flight student, flies a Cessna over Tucson during her second time on an airplane Saturday morning.

If you go

  • What: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's Open House air show
  • When: Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 8:30 a.m., flying starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.
  • Where: D-M, enter off Golf Links Road at the entrances from Craycroft and Swan roads
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: On base and free

D-M's rules for bringing items on base


  • Carts for physically challenged/handicapped visitors
  • Service animals for physically challenged visitors
  • One clear plastic (no glass) water bottle with water per guest
  • Strollers
  • Diaper bags
  • Baby food, baby water, formula, baby milk (no glass containers)


  • Coolers
  • Outside food, beverages, or alcohol
  • Large backpacks, purses, or camera bags (larger than18x24 inches)
  • Camelbacks
  • Paint
  • Balloons, kites, sports equipment (footballs, kites, etc)
  • Illegal drugs
  • Weapons (including brass knuckles, all size knives, Leatherman type tools, mace, pepper spray, box cutters, nunchucks and all firearms)
  • Military uniforms worn by non-military members
  • Bicycles, scooters, skates, skateboards, go-carts
  • Pets (exception for service animals, pets will not be left unattended in the parking area or inside a parked vehicle)
  • Umbrellas, folding canopies
  • Chairs and folding chairs
  • Political activity/demonstrations and associated items