Hundreds of people gathered at the Columbus Metropolitan Airport Saturday morning, their heads craned toward a cloudy sky. They were waiting for a sunny sky. Weather at the first day of the 11th annual Thunder in the Valley Air Show was overcast and windy, but the skies cleared in the afternoon in time for the first aerobatic plane to take off a little after 1 p.m. While many event-goers may have been waiting for action in the sky, the air show also offered entertainment on the ground. Participants could tour and take pictures of modern civilian aircraft and vintage World War II bombers, displays were set up for the armed forces and vendors sold fried foods and popcorn. Amber Wescot came with her fiance, Cody O'Shea, who works on Marine helicopters in Atlanta. They had toured a Fed-Ex cargo plane parked nearby and strolled through the classic car show. "I came out, hoping it was going to be a nice day, I could get a tan," Wescot said. "My fiance likes to watch airshows. . .I hear it all from him." Gordon Duff came from Tifton with his grandson, Ethan Akins, to tour the B-25 Bomber displayed at the show. He said Akins is interested in vintage planes and the movie Black Hawk Down. "He really likes World War II aviation," Duff said. "He likes the Army displays too." Phenix City resident Stephany Washington brought her 10-year-old son James to the air show. She said James hadn't been on a plane since he was a baby and had been wary of flying since 9/11. They had looked at one of the cargo aircraft and were looking for a passenger plane to look at.
"It's a wonderful family event," Washington said. "I just want to spend time with my son."