The Chennault International Airshow in Lake Charles, Louisiana has had a last minute headliner swap. The US Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team (better known as the Viper Demo Team) was scheduled to appear, but updated their calendar today to remove the event. At the same time, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team announced that they would be attending. This sudden change occurs just 10 days before the show.
The change is almost certainly related to installing a new F-16 demo pilot after the sudden firing of the previously selected demo pilot, Capt. Zoe “SiS” Kotnick. That still mysterious incident came right on the heels of a massive Air Force publicity campaign tied in with the Captain Marvel movie and gained international attention at the time.
Previous demo pilot Maj. John “Rain” Waters returned to the team while another replacement was found. It takes many practice flights before a demo pilot can be certified, and the team presumably wants an off weekend to help with the transition process.
Well done by Air Combat Command and the F-22 Demo Team to make sure the fans in Louisiana get some jet noise at the show!
You can see more performer schedules and find events near you on our airshow calendar!