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Community watches the Thunderbirds soar at Colorado Springs watch parties

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 30, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Several Colorado Springs businesses hosted watch parties where people could see the Thunderbirds fly over the graduation.

The roaring sound of fighter jets is something Retired Air Force Colonel Hank Poburka knows all too well.

"I love it, the sound of those engines, the same ones I had in my ear, just give me goosebumps!" said Retired Col. Poburka.

He flew F-15's for 27 years during his time in the service, and says these pilots are precise and tough flying within three feet and 18 inches of each other.

"They'll pull up to 7 G's," said Retired Col. Poburka. "So, when you see a turn coming around there, that will be about a 7G turn..."

He took his family to watch the Thunderbirds at the Western Mining and Industry Museum, something the museum has been doing for 10 years.

"It's local Americana in a sense, right?" said Retired Col. Poburka. "It's part of our culture here in Colorado Springs along with the Air Force Academy and we're part of that too historically... It's so fun to have the mix altogether."

He says the Thunderbirds have an important part in the military, inspiring the next generation of pilots to think about flying.

"It brings a lot of people into the Air Force," said Retired Col. Poburka. "So when people, these little kids, see this they say 'oh I want to be a fighter pilot, I want to fly the Thunderbirds.' That's one of the main things they do, try to bring people into the military and tell them what it's like."

The Western Museum of Mining and Industry says they plan to hold this exact same event this time next year.

'Not another one,' three people rescued from Arkansas River, one still missing

The Otero County Sheriff's Office, La Junta Fire, and several other agencies are searching for a man who went missing in the Arkansas River on Wednesday morning.

Rescue crews search for 19-year-old boy around Arkansas River

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