Aviation experience, air show coming to Muskegon airport in July

The Muskegon County Airport was home to the popular Muskegon Air Fair for 23 years, with the last show occurring in 2006.

“When F3 Airport teamed with Muskegon County to manage their airport, one common request we kept getting from the community was if we were going to bring back the show,” says Rick Taig, director of operations for F3 Airport, the Muskegon airport’s management company. “I’ve worked with the Yankee Air Museum CEO, Kevin Walsh, and his team for over 20 years with air show planning and knew they would be perfect for the job.”

The result is Wings over Muskegon, an aviation experience and air show scheduled for July 6-9 at the Muskegon County Airport. The Yankee Air Museum will produce the show in conjunction with the Muskegon County Airport and F3 Airport.

‘Experience to remember’

Ashley Myers, Wings Over Muskegon director, is excited to be able to bring a full aviation experience to the Muskegon area.

“The Yankee Air Museum’s historic flying aircraft collection has visited Muskegon throughout the years, but the community’s enthusiasm for these aircraft helped solidify that we need this event to be not just an air show but an experience to remember,” Myers says.

All four of the flyable aircraft at the Yankee Air Museum will provide rides July 6-9. The air show will be Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9. Gates for the airshow will open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., with the aerial display in the early afternoon.

The FG-1D Corsair will be at the Muskegon Air Fair in 2023. (Yankee Air Museum)

“Wings Over Muskegon will engage the public with four days of flying opportunities in Yankee Air Museum’s four incredible aircraft, including the B-17 bomber of World War II and the Huey helicopter of the Vietnam War,” Myers says. “Along with public aircraft rides, Wings Over Muskegon brings back an air show on July 8 and July 9 to showcase world-class military and civilian aviators, along with appealing ground displays and exhibits.”

Air show attendees can expect a family-friendly aviation experience, including seeing aircraft up close and meet-and-greets with the pilots and crew. There will be retail and novelty vendors, local food trucks, and a kids zone. Attendees can upgrade their experience by purchasing tickets to “chalets” that offer food, beverages, premium seating, and other perks. They also will have the chance to check off a bucket list item by purchasing a flight in one of Yankee Air Museum’s historic aircraft.

While updated FAA regulations prohibit bringing military jet teams such as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels to Muskegon, Wings Over Muskegon will feature single-ship military demonstrations and flyovers along with civilian performers.

Tickets now available online

Wings Over Muskegon is the inaugural stop of the Yankee Air Museum’s Aviation Experience Tour. The B-17 Yankee Lady, B-25 Rosie’s Reply, and C-47 Hairless Joe will be providing rides all four days. Tickets for those flights are on sale now, and walk-up sales will be available. The UH-1H Huey Greyhound will sell walkup rides July 8-9.

Wings over Muskegon is scheduled for July 6-9 at the Muskegon County Airport.

Tickets can be purchased at www.wingsovermuskegon.com. General admission and general parking prices follow the dynamic pricing model, meaning that tickets are cheapest when they go on sale, and prices will increase without notice as preset ticket thresholds are hit. Premium chalet tickets are on sale as well.

As of Oct. 8, general admission tickets for the air show were $25. Children 15 and under are admitted free. Tickets for flights ranged from $225 to $575. Those tickets include general admission entry to the air show.

All four of the flyable aircraft at the Yankee Air Museum will provide rides July 6-9. (Yankee Air Museum)

“The Yankee Air Museum’s goal through putting on air shows is to inspire generations by providing immersive encounters with our nation’s aviators and America’s airpower up close,” Myers says. “We are looking forward to providing Muskegon and the surrounding community more than just an air show but an experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in vintage aircraft.”

Taig says F3 Airport’s goal is “to help reconnect the community with their airport by providing public events that they can once again partake of and garner support for the advancement of the airport to help us better compete in our industry.” 

Yankee Air Museum will take on management and the financial costs of the event with the goal of raising funds for the nonprofit. 

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Read more articles by Kelsey Sanders.