The Thunderbirds are the U.S. Air Force’s precision flight demonstration team. They were activated in 1953 as the 3600th Air Demonstration Team the successor to earlier Air Force aerobatic teams including the Acrojets Red Devils Skyblazers and Saber Knights who flew flight demonstrations in the late 1940s and 50’s. The Thunderbirds were originally based at Luke AFB Arizona until 1956 when they moved to Nellis Air Force Base Nevada. The Air Force Thunderbirds have been seen by millions of people all over the world but few have seen what it takes behind the scenes to safely execute their dazzling air show. This exhilarating program allows viewers to join the Thunderbird squadron and discover what it takes to be a part of America’s Team. While only six pilots fly in the air show there are over 120 support members on the team ranging from aircraft technicians to public affairs personnel. America’s Team follows the Thunderbirds for an entire air show season at home in the Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas and on the road across the United States. The documentary includes footage of rarely seen moments including a patching ceremony where an enlisted person becomes a member of the team after weeks of study as well as the loading and unloading of equipment as the team goes from location to location. The program also introduces the inspiring story of the first female pilot who joined the ranks of this elite fellowship. Ever since Nicole Malichowski was five years old and went to an air show with her father she knew she wanted to be a fighter pilot. Not only did she achieve her childhood goal but has since been selected to become the first female demonstration pilot in the United States.
17 November 2008
Colour, DVD-Video, PAL