As a reminder, the TBM Avenger Reunion and Salute to Veterans is on for 2022! This great event, which seems to grow in strength with each iteration will take place at Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, Illinois on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st, with a full air show each day. In addition to the usual large gathering of TBM Avengers, numerous other warbirds will likely attend as well. The Friday evening display will see the return of several favorites, including the always spectacular AeroShell Aerobatic Team’s Night Airshow, the TBM Night Time Flame Show, beer garden, food, and live music! Saturday will feature the Salute to Veterans Parade and Veterans Flag Missing Man Flight (more on this later) along with the traditional air show.
Another major warbird now scheduled to attend this year’s event is the Yankee Air Museum‘s beautiful B-17G Flying Fortress Yankee Lady. Not only will visitors see this magnificent bomber in the air during the show, but they will have the opportunity to purchase rides in the aircraft on both Thursday and Sunday (prices and times TBA). Other warbirds will also be available for flights, which will again take place on Thursday and Sunday to avoid potential conflict with Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) times on the Friday/Saturday display dates.
As already noted, the Veteran’s Flag Missing Man Flight will again take place this year. If you want the flag of a veteran loved one flown, then please make sure to bring it to the event so it can be a part of the honor flight. More details to come!
Furthermore, the event is still seeking volunteers, as recently stated: “We are in urgent need of volunteers. Without volunteers, this event wouldn’t be one of the Best Warbird Gatherings in the country! Please join our family and help us out. Please contact our volunteer coordinators, Tracy & Nikki Baer at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also shoot us a Facebook message and we could forward a contact phone number as well.”
This year’s event is bound to be a great experience for all who attend… one of the best little air shows of the season, so be sure to make your plans to attend!
Brad Deckert, who owns TBM-3E Bu.85632, initiated the gathering back in April, 2016 as an effort to bring TBM owner/operators together for training and the discussion of mutual concerns. While the original event wasn’t an air show, per se, it proved so popular that the local community embraced the idea and has helped fund and promote the gathering ever since. The show involves much more than Avengers now, of course, although the type is still a major component.
Regarding this year’s event, Deckert stated: “We are excited to be back with the gathering and honor our Veterans. The event has grown tremendously in just a few years, and it has become a tradition for our small community. Thank you, everyone, for your support, and don’t forget to have May 20th & 21st marked on your calendars for the event….and May 20th and 21st for aircraft rides!”