C-17 West Coast Demo Team kicks off Airshow Season

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colleen Anthony
  • 62d Airlift Wing

The skies are set to come alive this weekend as the West Coast Demo Team kicks off their much-anticipated airshow season at Luke Air Force Base on Saturday and Sunday. Spectators will witness the precision flying of one of the most iconic aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet.

The C-17 Globemaster III, known for its versatility and capability to rapidly deploy troops and cargo to any corner of the globe, will take center stage as it demonstrates its agility and power. With a wingspan of 169 feet and a length of 174 feet, the C-17 is the second largest U.S. Air Force aircraft in the skies, capable of carrying a payload of up to 170,900 pounds over long distances.

“The C-17, also known as the workhorse of the Air Force, never ceases to amaze even me after I have been flying for around 8 years,” said Capt. Jennifer Lucas, West Coast Demo Team pilot, 8th Airlift Squadron. “I am beyond grateful for the chance to showcase this amazing aircraft to all of the great fans at Luke Days Airshow for our first show of the 2024 season!”

The West Coast Demo Team is crewed by highly skilled pilots, load masters, and flying crew chiefs: who showcase the aircraft's capabilities through a series of quick turns, low-level passes, tactical descents, and impressive display of their thrust reversers and backwards taxi. These demonstrations highlight the aircraft capabilities all with the goal of building community partnership.

“The mission is to give back to the community and show the capabilities of the C-17 to help with recruitment and retention,” said Capt. Dillon Crawford, West Coast Demo Team lead with the 8th Airlift Squadron.

Airshows serve as a crucial platform for the U.S. Air Force to connect with the public and inspire the next generation of aviators. The excitement of seeing an aircraft like the C-17 in action often sparks an interest in aviation among spectators, particularly young enthusiasts.

Airshows have a significant impact on recruiting efforts, notably an increase in inquiries and applications after the show.

 “We’re going to have joint force participation at the Luke Airshow where we will have operators jumping out of the aircraft and then immediately after; they will go into a simulation of a rapid offload, this kind of stuff really puts the whole picture together,” said Crawford.

Through their promotional efforts the West Coast Demo Team prepares our wing to win through building community partnerships and bolstering recruiting efforts.  


West Coast Demo Team 2024 Schedule:

Mar 23-24: Luke Days 2024, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona

Apr 12-14: Wings Over Cowtown Airshow, Fort Worth, Texas

May 17-19: Oregon International Airshow, Hillsboro, Oregon

Jun 15-16: Moses Lake Airshow, Moses Lake, Washington

Jun 21-23: Sky Fest 2024, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

Jul 13-14: California Capital Airshow, Sacramento, California

Aug 16-18: Pacific Airshow Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

Aug 31-Sep 2: Cleveland National Airshow, Ohio

Sep 20-22: Central Coast Airshow, Santa Maria, California

Oct 4-6: Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach, California