SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) - After taking a break for a year due to the pandemic, the Great Tennessee Air Show is back this weekend at the Smyrna Airport.
The U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds will be back in Smyrna for the first time in nearly a decade as this year’s headliners.
“It's gonna be a great show,” John Black, executive director for the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority said.
Black said it will be a reserved seating event this year so people can socially distance.
Even with the changes, Black is glad to have the airshow back.
"I think everyone is ready to get outside and have some fun. To be up close and personal with aviation is a great way to spend a whole day,” Black said.
Even with preparations well underway, Black said what happened in 2016 still weighs on him. That's when Blue Angels pilot Captain Jeff Kuss crashed during a practice run before the show and died.
A memorial near the airport continues to honor Capt. Kuss. The city placed a wreath there to remember the Blue Angel No. 6 pilot.
Wednesday marks five years since the crash.
“It was a hard time for our community,” Black said.
It’s a day that will forever be etched in Smyrna’s history. On June 2, 2016, Blue Angels pilot, Captain Jeff Kuss, lost his life after he crashed his jet while practicing for the Great Tennessee Air Show.
The airport is expecting around 10,000 to 15,000 people each day for the air show.
Other performers at this year's show include the U.S. Special Ops Command Parachute team and the Quicksilver P51 Mustang.
Please follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts for up-to-date traffic information throughout the Great Tennessee Air Show. The detailed list of road, park, and area closures can be found here: https://t.co/O2IFrbqADA pic.twitter.com/s1FGx8n2JE— SmyrnaTNPD (@SmyrnaTNPD) June 2, 2021
The air show will cause a number of greenway closures this weekend in Smyrna, including the Old Jefferson Pike, Sewart Airbase and Ninth Avenue trailheads. Those will be closed Friday through Sunday from 2:30 to 5 p.m..
For more information about tickets and the lineup, head to the air show’s website.