'Thunder Over Dover' Brings Thunderbirds, Public Access to DAFB - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

'Thunder Over Dover' Brings Thunderbirds, Public Access to DAFB

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DOVER, Del. -- A public open house will be held at Dover Air Force Base for the first time in several years, bringing an air show featuring the Thunderbirds and other pilots to Delaware's Capital City for "Thunder Over Dover."

The two-day event is being held on Saturday and Sunday at the air base and allows the public to get up close to military planes like the ones frequently seen flying above the skies in Dover.

"Average Joe isn't allowed to come on the base for obvious reasons but Saturday, Sunday, he is," said Lt. Col. Ryan Orfe, the head organizer for Thunder Over Dover. "He gets to be out there right on the main ramp, gets to climb through air planes, talk to air crew, other military members up close and personal."

The Thunderbirds, the tactical demonstration unit of the United States Air Force, is set to fly above the skies twice during the event, according to the event schedule. The group flew above the skies of Dover on Thursday and conducted a survey of the area.

Maj. Alex Turner with the Thunderbirds said the audiences attending the event will be in for an exciting aerial demonstration involving a number of precise maneuvers.

"We perform for hundreds of thousands of people sometimes, at those altitudes and speeds, just a couple hundred feet away from the crowd most of the time," he said.

Organizers said they don't know how many people to expect since an open house hasn't been held at Dover since 2009, though the event website says up to 150,000 visitors could attend.

Vic Schimp, the director of sales at the Home2 Suites in Dover, said he expected to see a higher volume of occupancy during the weekend.

"The hope those people who come to see the show will come back in the months following and visit the museums, the beaches, that type of thing," he said.

You can get more information about Thunder Over Dover's lineup and features on the Air Mobility Command Museum's website.

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