CBS 2’s Marissa Parra takes a ride in the KC-135 Stratotanker before the Chicago Air & Water Show


CHICAGO (SCS) — The Chicago Air and Water Show is less than two days away, and we’re giving you a sneak peek inside.

CBS 2’s Marissa Parra has had the ride of her life on the KC-135 Stratotanker, which is used to refuel other planes in the skies, keeping them aloft longer.

Parra caught up with the planes they refuel, like the Blue Angels, and the fighter planes like the F-35s.

The level of athleticism required of these pilots is unbelievable just from traveling so fast.

Many of them are grown at home. One of the Blue Angels team members hails from Sandwich, Illinois, just outside of Aurora.

He said going home that weekend, where he told his family for the first time that he wanted to be part of the Chicago Air and Water Show one day, was a surreal experience.

“Yesterday was even more surreal. We got to visit the Chicago Bears training camp, and I got a little choked up, because that’s my childhood team,” said master Brandon Franciscy. “I’m really happy to be here.”

He said the Bears players were just as excited to meet him as he was to meet them.

“They were like ‘Oh, Blue Angels!’ and I was like, ‘Oh, Chicago Bears!’ “, said Franciscy.

The refueling you’ll see at the Air and Water Show is a simulation, but Parra got to see the real thing happening in the skies.

We’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look on air and online Friday, so keep an eye out for that on the stream and on our newscasts.

The performers will do a dress rehearsal on Friday before the full show on Saturday and Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled for the sky.

You can watch the action for free at North Avenue Beach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can also enjoy great views from Navy Pier or Fullerton Avenue Beach.

Or you can fly to Gary/Chicago International Airport for his hooker version. It costs $10 to park on the paved lot during the show, starting at 8 a.m. each day, and you might even get the chance to meet and talk to some of the pilots.


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