Thunderbirds ready to rumble at Andrews AFB

Tuesday - 5/17/2011, 10:31am EDT

Lt. Col. John Klatt, an Air National Guard F-16 fighter pilot, aeronautic team and civilian air show performer

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The Air Force is hosting it 2011 Joint Service Open House and Air Show this Friday and Saturday at Andrews Air Force Base, celebrating 100 years of military aviation. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute teams will headline the show.

Lt. Col. John Klatt, an Air National Guard F-16 fighter pilot, will be flying some "hardcore aerobatics."

He told Federal News Radio the excitement won't all be in the skies. "We also have a Flash Fire jet truck that's going to be going 350 miles an hour, making smoke and noise at the air show, so we have some creative, exciting ways to bring the 17 to 40 year olds to our booth and the can learn what the Guard has to offer," he said.

Klatt has a tip for feds wanting to beat the traffic and crowds. DoD cardholders can "get their own private airshow on Friday."

Also on Friday will be a flight featuring alternative fuels. "Today's fuel pump can be a little bit painful, so I think everybody's trying to think outside the box as to what we can do to create more economical fuels," said Klatt.

The show will feature "gyro-balls" for the kids to play with, some "great giveaways, but more importantly they can learn about how they can get their college paid for," said Klatt, by joining the Guard and choosing from over 200 career fields.

Asked what it takes to do what he does, Klatt responded, "I think you've got to be a little crazy. I think it requires a little bit of craziness, but it's been a lifelong passion of mine." He added, "the neat thing is, it's like a golf game: you can always get better."

You can see for yourself how good Klatt has gotten. He'll be performing on Saturday and Sunday.