Friday, October 4, 2013

Classic plane show returns to Elkhart Municipal Airport (KEKM)

Dozens of vintage planes will swoop into the Elkhart Municipal Airport for their fourth annual Warbird fly-in on Saturday.

Gates open bright and early at 7 a.m. with the first formation contest starting at 10 a.m.

Members of the Steermen Bi-plane and T-6 clubs have been coming to Elkhart to show off their historic planes since 2010.

Breakfast and lunch will be served.

The event also features military vehicles in full array, patrolling the grounds and engaging in mock battle recreations.

“The Warbirds are something that everybody loves,” said Andy Jones, the Elkhart Municipal Airport manager. “These Warbirds are what helped to fight for democracy and made our country great, what it is today. And many of these pilots are veterans and they need to be honored.”

Donations of $10 per person or $30 per car will be collected. Proceeds go to help the pilots offset the expense of flying in.

The event goes all day Saturday until 6 p.m.

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Gov't Shutdown Cancels San Diego's Miramar Air Show: "From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego..." Col. John Farnam, USMC

This year’s Miramar Air Show in San Diego has been canceled, according to the public affairs office at MCAS Miramar.

The popular annual event was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday.

MCAS Miramar's commanding officer Col. John Farnam spoke at a news conference Thursday morning. Farnam said he was forced to cancel the show because of restrictions put into place after the recent government shutdown.

"We worked with the guidance we received to move forward with the event," Farnam said. "In the end, it was just more than I had the authority to overcome."

Air show vendors had already begun setting up on base. Farnam said vendors, sponsors and people who bought grandstand tickets will be refunded.

At this point, it's unclear what kind of financial hit the Marine Corps will take because of the cancellation. Farnam said any lost funds will be factored into next year's show.

Farnam said he is most disappointed about missing the chance to interact with the community.
"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego for having to stand here today and make this statement," he said.

The Marine Corps released this statement via email: 

"Guidance from the Deputy Secretary of Defense mandates that non-excepted activities, including outreach events, are not authorized under the current shutdown guidelines. We want to thank everyone involved in the air show for their hard work, dedication and patience during such a period of fiscal duress and we look forward to this annual event to take place next year."

Back in July, the Department of Defense announced that military flight demonstrations would not be part of this year's show because of sequester cuts. A team consisting of former Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds and Canadian Snowbirds pilots was scheduled to perform instead.

The Miramar Air Show is the largest military air show in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people attend each year. The event typically lasts three days, but was reduced to two days this year because of budget cuts.

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Pilots N Paws program to make a stop at Middle Peninsula Regional Airport (KFYJ) Saturday

According to the U.S. Humane Society, four million cats and dogs, about one every eight seconds are euthanized in shelters each year.

Thanks to Pilots N Paws’ Operation Special Delivery, a non-profit organization program aimed to relocate these animals, 400 cats and dogs will be pardoned from death.

Pilots N Paws is an award-winning charitable flying animal rescue organization that transports approximately 15,000 animals every year, using 3,400 volunteer pilots.

A record breaking 400 abandoned pets will be lifted off of "death row" in Georgia on Saturday morning and flown to no-kill shelters, with the Middle Peninsula Regional Airport (MPRA) in West Point/King & Queen County serving as a changeover point.

The animals are all being taken from surrounding shelters where they were scheduled for euthanasia due to overcrowding.

The Pilots N Paws program will also be emptying the Fort Stewart Military Pet Shelter in GA. Some of the pets from the shelter were turned over by soldiers who had to serve their country, while others are injured “soldier dogs” that can no longer serve. The remaining Fort Stewart dogs are being trained as service and comfort dogs for injured veterans, through the Paws of War program.

Starting at Midcoast Regional Airport in Hinesville, GA, roughly 50 pilots, including Richard Lewis, Jr., of Deltaville, will move the animals to various locations in Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., via their private planes.

Like last year, Lewis, a self-proclaimed animal lover, will pick up animals at MPRA and transport them in his 1978 airplane (model R182) to New Jersey.

The scheduled flights for Saturday are as follows:

•9:30 a.m. – noon: Moore County Airport, Pinehurst, N.C. – 31 animals

•10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Middle-Peninsula Regional Airport, West Point, VA – 38 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, Warrenton, VA – 24 animals

•11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Flying W Airport, Lumberton, NJ – 64 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, FL – 50 animals

•11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Naples Municipal Airport, Naples FL – 25 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Palm Beach County Airport/Lantana, West Palm Beach, FL – 45 animals

For more information on Pilots N Paws 2013, visit:

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Seaplane takes 1st Key West-Coconut Grove flight

Palmair to operate hour-long flights on 10-seat seaplane

MIAMI -  If air travel used to be glamorous, the owners of a new airline called Palmair want you to think of their service as a reprisal.

On Thursday, a rugged Havilland seaplane arrived at the Shake-a-Leg Marina after its inaugural hour-long flight from Key West to Coconut Grove. The history of air travel there wasn't lost on business partner Gailen David.

"A lot of people don't realize this but city hall actually used to be the Pan Am air terminal here in the '30s and '40s and flights would take off from here going to the Caribbean and Latin America," David said.

Owner Marcus Sessoms said bringing business to Coconut Grove was special.

"I picked Coconut Grove as my first destination because of the history," Sessoms said.

Sessoms runs Key West Seaplane Adventures, which operates trips in the same type of aircraft between Key West and the Dry Tortugas. The plane flies low so passengers can see marine life, and music is pumped into headsets.

The ten passengers on each Palmair flight will get a similar experience. They will also be treated with pre-flight sparkling wine and strawberries, according to David.

"We'll play some fun music. It'll be a great flight -- we'll put comfortable commuter seats in the planes," Sessoms said.

"We wanted to being that seaplane, that nostalgia, that style back to the Grove and start with a service that people need," David said.

Palmair has not yet listed ticket prices or a flight schedule. Sessoms said he hopes to have the service up and running within a month. 

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Vero Beach Air Show returns after 16-year hiatus


VERO BEACH, Fla. -  The Vero Beach Air Show returns this weekend after a 16-year hiatus.

Located at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport, planes will be on display and in the air like the A-4 Skyhawk and the P-51 Mustang.

Organizers say all the money raised for the event will help military veterans in Indian River County, but there won’t be any performances from the military because of the sequester.

"Despite the fact that military themselves won't be here. We've got military stuff here and guys are gonna come out here and say 'I was in that, I know that airplane, I know that whatever,' " said Veterans Council of Indian River County President Martin Zickert.

The air show will take place Saturday and Sunday.

Gates open at 9 a.m. and the shows usually start around noon.

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Airshow in Paso Robles this weekend: Paso Robles Municipal Airport (KPRB) , California

People in Paso Robles will get to see an air show at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport Saturday.

The Warbirds Over Paso Airshow is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be World War 2 fighters, bombers, and trainers. There will be American, German, and Japanese aircraft. A stunt man will do tricks on a biplane. This is an important show since three airshows have been cancelled this year due to sequestration.

It's $20 to get in to the airshow, but that includes entrance to the Estrella Warbird Museum, and the Woodland Automobile display. Active Military and kids under 12 get in for free.