Category Archives: Airshow News America

Airshow to return to Dalton after more than 30 years

DALTON, GA | Thirty years since Dalton hosted its last airshow, JLC Airshow Management and the City of Dalton have announced a new show will go ahead in 2020.

Wings Over Dalton will include performances by Tora Tora Tora, Patty Wagstaff, Dash Aerosports’ L-39C Albatross and others, with further additions to the line up to be announced at the ICAS Convention in December.

Andrew Weirsma, manager of Dalton Municipal Airport, told ABC News: “The City of Dalton is delighted and proud to be bringing an airshow of this magnitude to the Dalton Municipal Airport in what will be our 75th year of operations at Jolly Field

“We haven’t had an airshow in Dalton since the 1980s and many of our citizens who attended those shows as kids, will now have the opportunity to bring their kids to this show. This is monumental. It’s an experience that will stick with many people for a lifetime.”

Wings Over Dalton will be held on the 9th-10th May 2020.

JLC Airshow Management also run Wings Over North Georgia, one of the largest in the state, and are pioneering the Airshow Racing Series.

BREAKING: One killed in OV-1 Mohawk crash at Stuart Airshow

STUART | One person has been confirmed to have died in a plane crash at the Stuart Airshow in Florida, with the opening two days of the airshow cancelled.

The OV-1 Mohawk came down at 13:15 on Friday 1st November, just hours before the scheduled start of the Stuart Airshow at 17:00 on the same day. The Mohawk is a two-seat observation and attack aircraft designed by Grumman. Introduced in 1950, it was retired in 1996.

The crash occured during a practice flight for the airshow. The pilot, Joe Masessa, who also owned the aircraft, did not survive. He was the only person on board. The plane was adorned with the names of US troops missing in action in the Vietnam War.

The Stuart Airshow said: “Due to an unfortunate incident today, the Audi Stuart Air Show’s night time air show and TD Bank Dirty Flight Suit Party have been cancelled for this evening, Friday, November 1, 2019. We are working to reschedule this event for after tomorrow’s airshow, Saturday, November 2, 2019. At this time, the remainder of the weekend’s event will resume as planned.”

Saturday’s show was later cancelled due to poor weather. Friday and Saturday tickets will be accepted on Sunday, the organisers said.

The Stuart Airshow is one of the last major airshows of the season, and is due to run from Friday evening until Sunday.

New airshow in Pierre planned for 4th July weekend

PIERRE | A new airshow is planned for Pierre, SD, on the 4th-5th July 2020, with “military assets” among the attractions.

Jim Peitz of Mustang Aviation, who run FBO services at Pierre Regional Airport, announced the new airshow on Tuesday 22nd October at a meeting of the Pierre City Commission.

Mr Pietz said he was planning a “full blown airshow of epic proportion for Pierre”, adding: “We’ve got preliminary commitments, we’re working on military assets.” He said he was working with federal officials to secure as many military aircraft as possible.

As well as running Mustang Aviation, Mr Peitz is a well-known airshow pilot, who currently flies aerobatic displays in a Beechcraft F33C Bonanza. He has also flown the Extra 300L and Christen Eagle.

City Commissioner Jamie Huizenga said the planned show was “a big deal for Pierre”. The event could attract as many as 10,000 people.

Space Coast Warbird Airshow postponed pending restructure

TITUSVILLE | The Space Coast Warbird Airshow 2020 in Titusville, Florida, has been cancelled while the event is restructured for financial reasons.

The board of the Valiant Air Command, who organise the show, voted on the 15th October 2019 to postpone the show until 2021 as the costs of holding an airshow, which include fuel, oil and performers, have become “prohibitive” for a volunteer non-profit organisation, the group said.

In a statement, the organisers said: “Donations and sponsorship for the event from the local community, businesses and municipalities have declined significantly the last 5 years, yet the cost to sponsor an Airshow have increased exponentially.

“The Board has, however, decided to restructure and renew our commitment to sponsor a 2021 Space Coast Warbird Airshow with support of the public and our local community. We will be announcing shortly new fundraising efforts to insure the continued successful growth of the museum and the events we sponsor.”

The Space Coast Warbird Airshow had been scheduled for the 13th-15th March 2020, and would have been one of the first major events of the 2020 airshow season.

Red Arrows complete landmark tour of North America

SCAMPTON | The Red Arrows have completed their largest ever tour of North America, returning to their base at RAF Scampton on Thursday 17th October.

During the course of the Western Hawk ’19 tour, which began in August, the team participated in some of the largest and most prestigious airshows in the US and Canada, including the Miramar Airshow in San Diego, the New York International Airshow, the Chicago Air & Water Show and others. Their activities totalled 21 aerobatic displays, 30 flypasts and over 120 ground engagement activities.

The team also performed joint flypasts with US and Canadian jets, including with the Thunderbirds, F-22As and F-35As from the US Air Force over New York City, with Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft over Halifax and with the Snowbirds in Toronto.

Wing Commander Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “From start-to-finish, the tour has exceeded all expectations – from the warm reception of the huge crowds at our displays and flypasts, to the packed programme of ground events.

“Thank you to every person who watched the team or played a role in making the tour such a success, whether they are from other parts of the Royal Air Force, overseas authorities on the transits and across Canada and the US, military counterparts, airshow organisers, the countless volunteers and colleagues in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Trade.

“It takes a massive team effort to plan and then carry out such a far-reaching tour and the activity is a fantastic demonstration of the skills, talents and dedication of those involved.”

Upon the team’s return to Scampton, Red 1 Sqn. Ldr. Martin Pert tweeted: “Couldn’t be prouder of the whole Red Arrows family and what we achieved. See you soon, for winter training 2020.”

He later said: “It’s great to return home after one of the Red Arrows’ biggest and most high-profile overseas tours ever, representing both the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom. The tour not only provided the chance to get magnificent images over iconic locations – which will long be remembered and shared – but the whole team revelled in the opportunity to meet and interact with a new audience and show them exactly what we’re capable of.”

Western Hawk’ 19 was the Red Arrows’ first display in North America since a short visit in 2008. The previous full-scale tour was in 1993.

Snowbirds cancel remainder of 2019 season after Atlanta crash

ATLANTA | The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have cancelled the remainder of their display season after a pilot ejected from his jet at the Atlanta Airshow on Sunday 13th October.

Commanding Officer of the Snowbirds, Lt. Col. Mike French, said shortly after the accident that Snowbird 5, Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier, was “forced to eject” from his aircraft shortly before the team’s performance. He said: “We’re very grateful that Captain Domon-Grenier made it safely to the ground. He was taken to hospital as a precaution and has since been released. He remained calm throughout the entire incident, which is a testament to his skill and professionalism.

“Our priority right now is to provide support to the members of our squadron and their families and to investigate fully the cause of the accident,” he said.

The empty jet crashed in an unpopulated area and there were no injuries on the ground, and the remainder of the Atlanta Airshow was immediately cancelled. An investigation has been launched.

 

On Tuesday 15th October, the Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed that their CT-114 fleet had been temporarily grounded, and that the team’s last performance of the year, at Wings Over Houston on the 19th-20th October, had been cancelled.

The Air Force said: “The decision is necessary to ensure the safety of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who operate the aircraft and that of the general public. The pause on the RCAF’s CT-114 Tutor fleet will be in place as long as needed to ensure the aircraft can be operated safely.

The Snowbirds are the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aerobatic team, displaying with nine CT-114 Tutors. Snowbird 5 flies in the Second Line Astern position. The Atlanta Airshow was due to be the penultimate show of their 2019 season, which included dozens of appearances across Canada and the United States.

The cause of Sunday’s crash is still unknown, but there is widespread relief that nobody was hurt in the accident. Lt. Col. French said: “We want to thank the Atlanta Airshow for its timely and professional response, the first responders from Fayette County and Henry County who attended the scene, and the pilots from the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation who launched a helicopter to check on Kevin’s wellbeing.

“We also owe thanks to our colleagues, the USAF Thunderbirds, who did not hesitate to jump in and help the team as we dealt with this situation. Finally, I want to thank my dedicated team of professionals, who maintained their composure through the incident.”

Wings Over Houston will go ahead without the Snowbirds, featuring the USAF Thunderbirds and F-35A Lightning II Demo Team.

New airshow-based air racing series to begin in 2020

A new air racing series is to make its debut in October 2020, with a full calendar of races expected in 2021, JLC AirShow Management have said.

The Air Show Racing Series (ARS), developed by JLC AirShow Management, will see pairs of pilots race simultaneously along two identical chicane courses, marked by inflatable pylons. The planes will be lead into the track by a pace aircraft, before weaving between ten inflatable pylons around 180 metres apart, at a height of less than 75 feet. They will then execute a half-cuban manoeuvre and fly through the course once more, before a final half-cuban and a sprint to the finish line.

Each race will include two classes – Super Sport and Extreme Sport – with eight pilots in each class. The pilots will compete in a series of knock-out heats, with the winner of each class decided on the day.

In a press release, the company said ARS is “the newest and one of the most exciting additions to the air show industry” and describe the series as “a show within an air show”. John Cudahy, president of ICAS, praised the series as “compelling entertainment” and a “huge step forward” for the airshow industry.

The inaugural event is scheduled for Wings Over North Georgia in October 2020, with a full series to follow in 2021. This will take the ARS to multiple locations, with pilots accumulating points over the season to decide a winner for each division at the end of the year. JLC AirShow Management say that the ARS can form part of an existing airshow, or act as a standalone event.

John Cowman president of JLC AirShow Management, said that the sport has been under development for two years, with FAA certification coming in October 2019. Competitors in the series will be selected and invited by ARS management based on their airshow certifications and experience.

JLC AirShow Management are the organisers of the Wings Over North Georgia airshow, which began in 2012.

Seven killed in crash during B-17 passenger flight

WINDSOR LOCKS | Seven people were killed when a B-17 Flying Fortress crash-landed at Bradley International Airport, Connecticut, on Wednesday 2nd October.

NBC News report that the aircraft, with a crew of three, was taking ten passengers for a ride when it attempted to make an emergency landing due to possible engine problems shortly before 10:00 local time. The aircraft then crashed into a shed and burst into flames.

Windsor Locks Fire Department confirmed that the aircraft is a B-17 Flying Fortress, with Bradley Airport adding that the aircraft comes from the Collings Foundation. Seven fatalities have been confirmed, along with a number of injuries – including one person on the ground.

The Collings Foundation said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were on that flight and we will be forever grateful to the heroic efforts of the first responders at Bradley. The Collings Foundation flight team is fully cooperating with officials to determine the cause of the crash of the B-17 Flying Fortress and will comment further when details become known.”

B-17G “Nine-O-Nine” was one of five historic aircraft taking part in the Wings of Freedom Tour at Bradley International Airport on the day of the accident. The other aircraft included a B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk, all owned by the Collings Foundation. During the tour, the aircraft appear on static display and take paying passengers on experience flights.

XtremeAir XA-41 and XA-42 banned from flying aerobatics

HECKLINGTON | Aircraft from the XtremeAir XA-41/Sbach 300 and XA-42/Sbach 342 family have been banned from aerobatic manoeuvres by the aircraft’s manufacturer.

Photo: James Connolly

XtremeAir GmbH placed restrictions on the highly advanced aerobatic aircraft family in a Service Bulletin on Monday 23rd September, which said both the left and right hand diagonal struts of the engine mount had been found to have separated during a routine inspection of an XA-42. The bulletin bans all aerobatic manoeuvres with immediate effect and requires a placard reading “AEROBATIC MANOEUVRES PROHIBITED” to be placed in the cockpit, in view of the pilot.

The manufacturer also says a ten-minute visual inspection of the engine mount must be completed before each flight. This inspection was previously required only once every ten aerobatic flights.

EASA published an Emergency Airworthy Directive the following day, which said cracks had been found on the engine mount, which “could lead to in-flight detachment of the engine, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane”.

Photo: Jim Lucas

The XA-41 and XA-42 are popular with airshow and competition aerobatic pilots, and are also used by aerobatic teams including Team Xtreme from South Africa, the Flying Bulls of the Czech Republic and the UK’s Matadors Aerobatic Team.

The aircraft had already been under the spotlight after cracks were detected in the engine mount during a separate inspection last year.

Pilot pronounced dead after plane goes missing at air display

SMITH | A pilot has died after a light aircraft crashed during a flying display for the Smith Fall Fair in Alberta, Canada.

Two aircraft were performing an aerobatic display at the annual festival and rodeo when one of the planes “disappeared”, according to CTV News. The downed aircraft – a Nanchang CJ-6 – was located an hour later, east of the town.

Officials said there was only one occupant, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. He has not been officially identified, but he is reportedly local to the area. The event had previously promoted an air display by Barry Pendrak Airshows, a local outfit headed by Barry Pendrak and his Steen Skybolt.