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Regulations make air shows safe, fun for crowd, performers


The much-anticipated Thunder over the Rock Air and Space Show comes to Little Rock Air Force base this weekend, Oct. 27 and 28, but with it comes some safety considerations.

As many people will be on the flightline or even attending an airshow for the first time, fun should be had while also maintaining an ever-present awareness of any potential hazards.

“If the patron wishes to have a positive memorable experience attending the airshow, they should always assess risk,” said Deane Duekop, 19th Airlift Wing occupational safety manager. “Keep safety in mind while focusing on the airshow."

The 19th Security Forces Squadron will have increased law enforcement and security coverage of the base this weekend.  All members assigned to 19th SFS will be working, as well as local, state and federal agencies.

“Our primary objective is the safety of everyone involved and the protection of our resources,” said Phillip Bates, 19th Security Forces Squadron police services operations supervisor. “We want all who attend to have a wonderful, safe and fun weekend. By keeping our patrons safe, we can establish a positive image of the U.S. Air Force and ensure their return for any events in the future.”

Follow the below guidelines for the best experience possible:

  • Security personnel are there to help; follow all of their instructions.

  • Keep an eye on young children. With large crowds it only takes one second for children to get away from their parents. If a child is unable to tell security their name in the event they are lost, please ensure they get a provided wristband at the start of the event with their name so they can be identified and safely returned to their guardians.

  • Do not touch aircraft or other equipment; most things on the flightline are made of metal and have lots of edges on them. Visitors should keep their eyes focused in the direction they're walking and be aware of low-hanging aircraft components and electrical cords.

  • Medical personnel are on-call to render assistance to anyone who requires it. Spectators can notify any security personnel or airshow volunteers if they or a member of their group requires medical attention.

  • Set a designated meeting place so in the event the members in a party become separated, they will know where to go to rendezvous.

  • Only smoke in designated areas.

  •  Slow down and be vigilant for pedestrians at all times.

  • If you notice something unsafe, tell an airshow volunteer wearing a red


“Our team will be on the ground to answer any questions or address any concerns that may arise,” Bates said. “Please talk to us if anyone is unsure of what they can and cannot do during the show.”

Some fun things to look forward to at the airshow include, but are not limited to:

  • Live demonstrations by multiple aerial performers, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

  • A Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics interactive event.

  • Static displays of a variety of aircraft.

  • A kid zone play area.

For more information, visit www.ThunderOverTheRock.com