Planes and Temperatures Soar over the Coachella Valley

Planes and Temperatures Soar over the Coachella Valley

Max Rodriguez

It really felt like summer at the Jacqueline Cochran Air Show in Thermal on Saturday.

The temperature broke into the triple digits and desert locals and visitors found shade wherever possible, many of them huddled under the planes on display for a chance to cool-off.

Chris Bouquardez drove to the show with his family from Orange County, “We came here and saw all of the people sitting under the planes in that direction so we walked this way and found this empty space here and took it when we could.”

But the heat was worth it as the main event did not disappoint, the planes soared over the crowd creating formations in the sky.

Bourquardez’s daughter, Abby, said she does not see these types of show back home,”In Orange County you don’t get to see the planes close at all, except for John Wayne airport, so it’s really cool to see them this close.”

The event is held every two-years by the Riverside County Economic Development Agency Aviation Division, and they encourage visitors to discover the world of aerobatics through the event.

Such as discovering that there are planes without motors.

Lea Chicoine is the Vice President of Cypress Soaring, and they train pilots to glide in the sky, “We are towed up by another plane and then we release from the tow plane and our goal is to stay up as long as we can.”

The sail planes use the power of mother nature as lift, and as it turns out the desert in the Coachella Valley is the perfect venue to glide.

Chicoine said, “So if there’s as least 30 degrees between night and day you are going to get, as the rocks warm up as the ground warms up the air rises and we go with it.”

As Saturday’s afternoon flew by, the people who missed this year’s event can count on the show returning in 2020 and expect lots of sun and planes dancing around it.