PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Aerial acrobats. Thunderbirds. “Wings over Pittsburgh” is back, for the first time in six years.
While the pilots are winging it, two-time Team USA Olympic goalie Brianne McLaughlin poses with her silver medals, then dons a different uniform than the red, white and blue she wore on the ice.
She’s prepared for a breathtaking flight on a Thunderbird.
Meanwhile, Columbus Blue Jackets’ winger Brandon Saad, formerly of Penn-Richland High School, prepares for a flight of his own.
“Playoffs, been there, done that before,” he said. “But for my first time doing this, I’m full of excitement, for sure.”
From the ice to the football field, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also got a special preview of the show. He got a ride on the T-33, a training plane used by new recruits.
“We just chatted back and forth. He wanted to fly over the stadium, down around Pittsburgh, the practice facility,” said pilot Greg Colyer. “I let him fly the airplane around a little bit, and then we came back and landed.”
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Roethlisberger flies with Wings Over Pittsburgh —
So, what did the quarterback think of his bird’s eye view of the city?
“It was an unbelievable experience. It was something I can cross off my bucket list now,” Roethlisberger said. “You understand the power that the plane has, and how sensitive it is, and how awesome these pilots are.”
KDKA was given the runway rundown on the weekend air show from base commander Col. Jeff Van Dootingh
“Acrobatics. We’re going to have some gliders. We have World War II aircraft. First jet engines. Transports, big as a city block. And then, of course, the Thunderbirds,” he said.
The theme of this year’s Wings over Pittsburgh is “Forging the Future.”
The air show will feature the old standby, the C-130. But this time around, they’ll “Forge the Future” with a C-17 – something new at the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township.
As a result of the show, there will be traffic restrictions in place.
According to PennDOT, the following restrictions will be in place:
• The I-376 off-ramps at the Moon/Business Loop 376 West (Exit 57) will close from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
• Business Loop 376 will close to traffic between Ewing Road and Thorn Run Road from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day. However, motorists can use Business Loop 376 eastbound toward I-376 from Ewing Road. Motorists can use Business Loop 376 westbound toward University Boulevard from Thorn Run Road.
• The westbound Business Loop 376 off-ramp to Thorn Run Road will close to traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• The eastbound Business Loop 376 off-ramp to Thorn Run Road will close to traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
More information on these restrictions and others around the area can be found here.