Smoky Mountain Air Show inspires East Tenn. student to serve her country

More than 9,000 guests made their way to Tennessee Air National Guard grounds on the opening day Saturday.
Kinsley Carol and her friends get inside a F/A-18 Hornet for a photo opportunity.
Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Saturday, the rainy weather did not stop people from attending the Smoky Mountain Air Show. The two-day event gave guests a chance to get as close as possible to the action.

Kinsley Carol, a junior at Campbell County High School, said that the Smoky Mountain Air Show was an event she wished she remembered when she was younger.

“I came to watch the blue angels, six years ago here and I didn’t really remember it because I was only 10-years-old,” Carol said.

The A-10C Thunderbolt II, the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces, performed some aerial acts during the show.

“It’s super cool to get to experience this,” Carol said.

Guests wait for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels to take off at the Smoky Mountain Air Show.
Guests wait for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels to take off at the Smoky Mountain Air Show.(Richard Mason)

The Smoky Mountain Air Show has a variety of experiences for guests to enjoy.

One interactive experience provided by Dream Big Entertainment allows guests to get inside a F/A-18 Hornet based on the hit movie, Top Gun: Maverick.

Carol, her friends and family gathered around the F/A-18 Hornet and got inside the cockpit for a photo opportunity.

But for her, the action movie, which made over a billion dollars, is also an inspiration to serve her country.

“I got really excited because I pre-ordered the movie two days after it came out. I’ve been waiting so long to watch it,” Carol said. “It has influenced me because now I want to join the Navy.”

A goal she has to one day take to the skies.