Category Archives: Airshow News America

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.

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.

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.

WWII-inspired paint scheme for 2020 A-10 Demo Team jet

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstrations are about to get more exciting, as team’s jet gains a special paint scheme and is allowed to fly closer to the crowd.

Heritage Paint 2019

Back to the Future. Stay tuned…

Posted by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Wednesday, 28 August 2019

On the 28th August, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base shared a video showing an A-10 with part-painted green camouflage and the caption “stay tuned”. Our friends at AirshowStuff.com have reported that the scheme is probably inspired by a WWII P-51 Mustang, and the aircraft is the 2020 A-10 Demo Team’s demonstration jet.

Later, AirshowStuff published exclusive photos from inside the paint shop, showing that the aircraft also wears D-Day invasion stripes.

The US-based airshow site also said that the A-10 Demo Team has recently been approved to fly in the “Category II” aerobatic box. There are three sizes of aerobatic box in the US – Category I (1,500ft of lateral separation from the crowd) for the fastest aircraft, an intermediate Category II box (1,000ft) and Category III (500ft) for smaller, slower planes.

This year, the team performed a full demonstration at AirVenture in Oshkosh, despite Oshkosh generally having only Category II and Category III boxes available. Other Category I performers were limited to non-aerobatic “mini-demonstrations”.

The change will allow the team to fly at venues without a Category I box available, and fly 500ft closer to the crowd at those that do.

Blue Angels’ “Fat Albert” replacement will be British C-130J

PENSACOLA | The US Navy has confirmed that the Blue Angels’ latest support aircraft will be an ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules.

Photo: David Leadingham

The team’s ageing C-130T was retired earlier this year, after several years of maintenance problems and fleet groundings, with rumours circulating that the Navy may pursue a British Hercules to replace the much-loved plane.

The Navy confirmed on Monday that they have signed a $30 million deal with the UK Ministry of Defence to purchase a surplus C-130 – less than half the cost of buying an entirely new aircraft, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

The C-130J variant will also offer greater capacity and better maneuverability than the C-130T, which could lead to enhanced aerial demonstrations if the new plane becomes part of the show.

The aircraft will be delivered in spring 2020.

Wings Over North Georgia Airshow cancelled for 2019

ROME, GA | The Wings Over North Georgia Airshow has been officially cancelled, but will return in 2020.

The airshow organisers confirmed today that this year’s event, scheduled for the 31st August-1st September, has been called off. No reason was given in the official media advisory.

The event was due to be headlined by the USAF F-16C Viper Demo Team and the Aeroshell aerobatic team, but no jet aerobatic team was scheduled to fly. The Thunderbirds will headline next year’s show, which will take place on the 24th-25th October.

At previous events, the Thunderbirds have operated from a remote location due to the size of the runway at Rome. With extension works due to be completed before the 2020 show, the Thunderbirds will stage out of Richard B. Russel Regional Airport for the first time. The organisers say this will provide “a better experience for air show spectators and the jet demonstration team.”

Tickets for the 2019 show will be refunded by ETIX and other fees, such as camping bookings, will be repaid by the airshow office.

Red Bull pulls the plug on the Red Bull Air Race

The Red Bull Air Race will wrap up for good after an abbreviated 2019 season, it was announced today.

In a surprise announcement, the Air Race said that “Red Bull has decided not to continue the Red Bull Air Race World Championship beyond the 2019 season.”

They added: “The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world. Red Bull thanks the pilots, their teams, partners, the host cities as well as the Red Bull employees for all they have done to make these enjoyable and memorable events.”

Just four of the eight planned races will go ahead this year: the Abu Dhabi round, which has already been staged, Kazan, Russia June 15-16), Lake Balaton, Hungary (13-14 July) and Chiba, Japan (7-8 September). Planned races in the USA and Saudi Arabia have been dropped.

Confirming the American race had been cancelled, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said they and their fans would be “disappointed” not to host the air race again. “We enjoyed watching the pilots navigate the unique course over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds,” they said. “We were especially excited to see American pilot Michael Goulian celebrate a well-earned victory last year.”

Customers who have already purchased tickets will receive a refund.

Martin Sonka, the 2018 World Champion, was the first pilot to comment online, describing the announcement as “really sad news” and indicating he had only heard of the decision earlier that day.

In a statement, Matt Hall Racing said: “While disappointed that a sport, which had significant potential to succeed, will be no longer, Matt Hall Racing express their gratitude to Red Bull for the opportunity to compete at the top level of aviation for the past eight seasons.”

The unique motorsport, which began in 2003, sees a selection of elite pilot flying highly-modified raceplanes around a course of inflatable pylons. More than 90 races have taken place around the world, in locations as diverse as Longleat in the UK, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the USA and the Swan River in Perth, Australia.

Major update to USAF Demo Team schedules sees RIAT, Oshkosh gain displays

Three of the USAF’s acclaimed solo demonstration teams have announced sweeping updates to their display schedules.

The announcements began in the past few days with the F-35A Demo Team adding EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh to their schedule. More recently, the A-10 Demo Team did likewise, cancelling its performance at Grand Junction to attend AirVenture and the Miwaukee Air & Water Show.

It looked briefly as though all four demo teams would be attending AirVenture (albeit limited to “mini-demonstrations” due to the small size of the aerobatic box at Oshkosh) until the F-16C Viper Demo Team announced their own schedule update, dropping AirVenture from the list. Milwaukee was also removed.

Several shows were added, however, including Grand Junction (replacing the A-10), the Chicago Air & Water Show and Wings Over North Georgia in Rome. The team will also perform a Heritage Flight at the Indy 500 on the 26th May.

Most notably, though, the Viper Demo Team have added the Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK. They are the first display act from outside Europe and the Middle East on the flying display lineup this year.

VIEW THE FULL SCHEDULES HERE