California Capital Airshow | MATHER AIRPORT, SACRAMENTO

SEPTEMBER 24-26, 2021

Featuring the USAF Thunderbirds & the Canadian Snowbirds!

Airshow Performers

Who will you see in the air?

New performers may be added leading up to the show, so be sure to check back here for the latest additions. Become an Airshow Insider and be the first to get updates!

Please Note: Performers are subject to change or cancellation without notice. If there are any changes, we’ll do our best to let you know. Thank you!

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds perform for crowds all over the world with the mission to display the pride, precision and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Air Force. Returning to Sacramento for the first time since 2018, the Thunderbirds will thrill crowds with each demonstration that combines years of training and experience and what the Thunderbirds describe as “an attitude of excellence” to showcase the Air Force.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon jets blaze through the sky, flying only a few feet apart from wingtip to wingtip. It gets loud and proud as Thunderbird solo pilots show of their skills as well as the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet. Get ready Sacramento!

Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Snowbirds signature 9-jet precision formation flying is conducted in CT-114 Tutor aircraft and has a very different feel from the fast and loud of US Demo Teams. The team is based out of 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan (it’s CRAZY cold there) and is composed of approximately 80 Canadian Armed Forces members, 24 who will travel to 30 locations across Canada and the United States for the 2021 season and will showcase the skill, professionalism and teamwork of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Snowbirds are THRILLED to be coming back to Mather Airport to celebrate their 50th season, (their last visit was in 2018 for CCA’s 10th anniversary) they look forward to showcasing their aviation expertise (or aerial ballet as we commonly refer to it) with the Sacramento region.


F-35 Lightning II FULL Demo

For the FIRST time in Sacramento, the F-35 Lightning II will perform its FULL DEMO comprised of 14 maneuvers, showcasing its full capabilities.

On the slow end, the jet will get down to an airspeed of less than 100 miles per hour, just barely hanging there but in complete control. Then on the high end, Captain Kristin ‘Beo’ Wolfe, will take it up to just below the sound barrier for the high-speed pass. The jet will pull up to 9G’s, nine times the force of gravity, and carve into the air at huge angles of attack of more than 50 degrees.

Other demo teams may give you a sample of one or two of these maneuvers, but nowhere else will you see all the best maneuvers on the planet combined into one epic demo. There’s no filler in this demonstration, it’s a ‘light the afterburner and rage for 30 minutes kind of show’.

F-35C Lightning II

For the first time in U.S. naval aviation history, radar-evading stealth capability comes to the carrier deck. The F-35C carrier variant sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius and payload that bring true multi-mission power projection capability from the sea.

Air Force Heritage Flight featuring the F-35 Lightning II & P-38 Lightning

CCA is excited to welcome back the iconic Air Force Heritage Flight! Watch the P-38 Lightning fly side by side with the US Air Force’s most advanced and sophisticated multi-role fighter, the F-35 Lightning!

The F-35 is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It will eventually replace the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years. It brings with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35 provides next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

The legendary World War II-era piston-engine fighter aircraft, P-38 Lightning, with its distinctive twin booms and a central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament was most successful in the Pacific Theater of Operations, where it received its nickname “fork-tailed devil” by Allied propaganda.

Together, these aircraft will perform to honor the contributions of every man and woman who served in the USAF while sharing the importance of the US Air Force and its mission.

USN F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet TacDemo

The FA-18 E/F Super Hornet, also know as the ‘Rhino’, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day/night precision strike. Compared to the original F/A-18 A through D models, the Super Hornet has longer range, an aerial refueling capability, increased survivability/lethality and improved carrier suitability.

Returning to Sacramento for the first-time since 2017, Sacramento native Lieutenant Matteo “Hog Sweat” Mezzetti will fly the jet as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow. This AWESOME routine highlights the Rhino’s maneuverability and slow-speed handling characteristics thrilling fans around the country.   

Aaron Fitzgerald in the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter

Weighing more than two-and-a-half tons, somehow flying upside down is a piece of cake for the BO105! It’s the only helicopter fit for aerobatics, it’s been used by both military and civilian operators across the globe since 1970, and the German ‘Bölkow’ Twin Jet has a full bag of tricks up its sleeve to share in an awesome performance.

Pilot Aaron Fitzgerald grew up in Wenatchee, Washington – home to a United States Forrest Service Tanker base – watching airplanes and helicopters overhead as they fought fires in the surrounding mountains. Seeing these aircraft in the skies each summer instilled in him a strong desire to fly, leading him to get begin his private pilot license training at the age of 15. Aaron served as a paratrooper in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division before joining the Red Bull Team and flying for the film and television industry. He has performed in over 100 movies and television shows. You won’t want to miss the surprises he has in store for us in this ‘unhinged whirlybird’ when he gets to Mather Airport!

Red Bull Air Force

The Red Bull Air Force’s mission is to push the limits of human flight. They continually rethink what is possible and envision a world where all people live with boldness — then strive to bring that to reality.

It starts with a core belief. They believe that humans can fly and relentlessly pursue what is thought to be impossible. And then they go and do it!

Kirby Chambliss in the Red Bull Edge 540

As a child, Kirby Chambliss was always playing and running around with toy planes. “I don’t ever remember saying I wanted to be a pilot, I just always wanted to be a pilot.” At only 13 years old, he began flying. By 24, he was the youngest commercial pilot at Southwest Airlines and made captain by 28. Although he enjoyed flying commercial, it became a means to pay for his true love for aerobatics.

Kirby continuously trained to perfect his aerobatic skills and routines, which he was able to display at various air shows. There, he began to establish his continuously growing fan base and earned recognition for his skills with an acceptance onto the U.S. National Aerobatic Team. To date, Kirby has accumulated 13 medals in world competition.

By the early 2000’s, Kirby was recognized as one of the top 15 aerobatic pilots in the world and was asked to compete in the very first Red Bull Air Race. He transferred his explosive, aggressive flying style to the racetrack and is now a two-time Red Bull Air Race World Champion.

Shockwave Jet Truck

Picture a Semi Truck speeding down an open runway…racing an airplane. Who wins? When the truck is propelled by 3 jet engines wit 21,000 pound of thrust at speed over 350 miles per hour, it could be a close call!

Shockwave Jet Truck is a custom-built race truck equipped with 3 huge J34-48 Pratt & Whitney Jet Engines originally out of the US Navy T2 Buckeye. The result is 36,000 of combined horsepower! Not only is Shockwave the most powerful truck in the world, it also holds the record speed for Semi Trucks at 376 mph! This performance is an assault to the senses. Flaming jet engines and smoke stacks, intense heat, bone-rattling noise and speed!

Kent Pietsch Interstate Cadet

While most aerobatic performers have one basic program, Kent executes three storied acts in his Interstate Cadet that leave spectators mesmerized. These include a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV! However, Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe. When Kent is at the controls of his plane, it is impossible not to watch him perform.

Jim Peitz in an Aerobatic Bonanza

This specialized Beechcraft F33C Bonanza, one of only 118 built, performs an amazing demonstration that will leave fans completely mesmerized! It is capable of a wide range of aerobatic maneuvers (unusual for a Bonanza) including loops, point rolls, barrel rolls, snap rolls, Cuban eights, and hammerheads (yes, it goes vertical). The Bonanza handles it all in style and with Jim’s expert touch he makes it all look easy.

Jim Peitz is from Pierre, South Dakota where his father taught him to fly in the 1970’s. He began teaching himself aerobatics in 1992, and has since amassed over 14,000 incident-free hours in over 100 aircraft types! His most recent addition to this impressive list is the P-51 Mustang. Jim was checked out in the storied aircraft by Mr. Mustang himself, Lee Lauderback.

Stay tuned for more performer annoucements!

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