Wednesday, May 21, 2014

South Shore Air Show to Offer Private Chalets

Companies looking to host employee parties or to entertain business clients can purchase chalets at the South Shore Air Show, putting their guests in premium seating for a VIP experience at the center of the show’s action.

A 20x20 chalet will include an exclusive covered space with prime seating on the South Shore Air Show flight line, 50 chairs, a banner displaying the company’s name, 150 beverages (soda and water), 10 parking passes, 25 air show program guides and a personal chalet attendant.

A 20x40 chalet will include an exclusive covered space with prime seating on the South Shore Air Show flight line, 100 chairs, a banner displaying the company’s name, 300 beverages (soda and water), 20 parking passes, 20 air show program guides and a personal chalet attendant.

Cost for a 20x20 chalet is $2,000 per day, and a 20x40 chalet is $3,000 per day. Food and additional beverage packages are also available.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the 2014 South Shore Air Show, showcasing the capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet, as they perform a variety of stunning aerial formations. Additional acts include the US Army Golden Knights, Aerostars, Lima Lima, Dacy Dacy with Wingwalker Tony Kazian, OTTO the Helicopter and more.

The South Shore Air Show will be presented at Fair Oaks Farms, a 33,000-acre attraction in Newton County, July 11 through July 13. In addition to breathtaking aerial acrobatics, attendees can enjoy Fair Oaks Farms attractions, military displays, a beer garden, and food and novelty vendors, as well as new additions.

For more information or to purchase a chalet, contact Bethany Randolph, special events and services manager for the South Shore CVA, via email at or at 219-989-7770. For more information on the South Shore Air Show, visit


Preceptor Ultra Pup, N1171Q: Accident occurred May 17, 2014 in Mabel, Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA244  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Mabel, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2014
Aircraft: CRAWFORD PRECEPTOR ULTRA PUP, registration: N1171Q
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had recently purchased an airplane and was ferrying it to his home airport. During the first leg of the trip, he reported that the engine’s rpm decreased two or three times from 3,200 to 2,800 rpm. The engine regained power shortly after the pilot applied carburetor heat. Shortly after departure on the second leg of the trip, the pilot felt a vibration in the engine, so he applied carburetor heat; however, the engine lost power and the airplane collided with trees in a wooded area. An examination of the engine did not reveal a reason for the power loss. A review of the carburetor icing probability chart indicated that the airplane was operating in an area that was associated with a risk of carburetor icing at glide power settings and light carburetor icing at cruise power. Because the airplane was being operated in an area of potential carburetor icing, and no anomalies could be found during postaccident testing, the engine likely lost power due to carburetor icing. However, the investigation was not able to determine that earlier application of carburetor heat would have prevented the loss of power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of engine power as a result of carburetor icing. 

On May 17, 2014, about 1345 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Crawford Preceptor Ultra Pup airplane, N1171Q, impacted trees and terrain after experiencing a loss of engine power near Mabel, Minnesota. The pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the ferry flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Houston County Airport (KCHU), Caledonia, Minnesota.

The pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, reported that the cross-country flight started from Alexander Field South Wood County Airport (KISW), Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, with full fuel tanks. The pilot added that during the first leg of the flight he experienced what he thought was carburetor icing 2-3 times. During those occasions, the engine ran rough and the rpm would decrease from 3,200 to 2,800. After 20-30 seconds of applying carburetor heat the engine appeared to recover. 

The pilot stopped at CHU to refuel and added 9.9 gallons of 100 low lead aviation gasoline before continuing his flight home. About 12 miles from CHU, the pilot felt a vibration or flutter from the engine and elected to return to CHU. He applied carburetor heat; however, the engine lost power and the airplane collided with trees in a wooded area. 

An examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the fuselage and both left and right wings. A visual inspection of the engine did not reveal a reason for the loss of power. Additionally, fuel was available in the airplane and free of contaminants. 

At 0854, the automated weather station at KISW recorded wind from 280 degrees at 9 knots, temperature 51 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 31 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of Mercury. At 1054, the station recorded a temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit and a dew point of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

At 1053, the automated weather station at La Crosse, Wisconsin (KLSE), located about 20 miles northeast of KCHU recorded wind from 250 degrees at 7 knots, temperature 59 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 30 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 8,500 feet and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of Mercury. At 1354, the station recorded a temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit and a dew point of 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

The carburetor icing probability chart included in Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin No. CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention, indicated that the airplane was operating in an area that was associated with a serious risk of carburetor ice accumulation at glide power settings and a risk for light carburetor icing at cruise power. 

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA244 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Mabel, MN
Aircraft: CRAWFORD KIRBY L PRECEPTOR ULTRA PUP, registration: N1171Q
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 17, 2014, about 1500 central daylight time, a homebuilt Preceptor Ultra Pup airplane, N1171Q, impacted trees after experiencing a loss of engine power near Mabel, Minnesota. The pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Houston County Airport (KCHU), Caledonia, Minnesota.

The pilot reported to the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector, that he had stopped at CHU to refuel and was continuing his flight home, with the recently purchased airplane. The pilot added that he thought the engine was getting carburetor ice; the application of carburetor heat did not restore engine power. The pilot selected an area for the forced landing; however, the airplane collided with trees in a wooded area. An examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the fuselage and both left and right wings. A visual inspection of the engine did not reveal a reason for the loss of power. Additionally, fuel was available and free of contaminants.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

August 06, 2012:  Mitchell, South Dakota -  Mayor Ken Tracy, far right, administers the oath of office to Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson, second from right, and new City Attorney Carl Koch, left, as Councilman Dan Allen, seated, looks on at the start of a City Council meeting.

Mitchell's city attorney was returning from Wisconsin with his new airplane when he encountered every pilot's nightmare, a loss of power and an emergency landing. 

Carl Koch survived the ordeal.

KSFY News talked with him about the experience and to find out how he's doing after the accident.

Koch said he's an experienced pilot and that he's doing great.  He said he looks worse than he feels and calls the injuries only skin deep, but Koch has a story to tell.

The first flight he made with his new plane to bring it home to Mitchell from Wisconsin, it crashed during an emergency landing.

"I knew exactly what was going on, and what was going to happen and what I wanted at that point to happen.  It doesn't take any time to think about if you've had experience as a flier.  You know. You know immediately what's going on and what you need to do," Koch said.

Which is bring it down safely and responsibly.

"There's two things I've got to do. I need to contact the sheriff and the sheriff needs to contact the FAA," Koch said.

So will he fly again?

"I don't believe that I would have a fear of flying again. The truth of the matter is, that when I was flying in the military, I experienced things, and when things didn't go wrong it scared me more than this and obviously I continued to fly," Koch said.

But what's he going to do with his plane now?

"We're going to bring it back and get to the bottom of what happened," Koch said.

And his plans for returning to the skies?

"I'm not going to put my wife, whom I expect to be married to until I die, and family, through concern and worry. I'm not going to put them through that kind of concern and worry again," Koch said.

Koch said he was a member of the National Guard and has been flying for years.  He added there's no substitute for experience, which he credits for knowing how to handle the plane.

Story and video:

Downtown Lakeland Partnership leader leaves for job with Sun ‘n Fun

Tiffany Taylor
Tiffany Taylor is leaving her leadership position at the Downtown Lakeland Partnership to take a job at the Sun 'n Fun.

Taylor's last day as executive director with the organization will be June 15. She will become an event and facility sales manager for the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, according to a statement.

During her tenure at the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, the organization introduced food truck rallies and Zombiefest.

The board of directors for the Partnership is expected to begin meetings soon to discuss her replacement, the statement said.

Stacie Rine, former director of business development for Sun 'n Fun, joined Pilot Bank and its sister company National Aircraft Finance Co. in November, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported.


U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, Maryland: Blue Angels perform missing man formation

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, performed a Missing Man formation at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, Md., as an aerial salute to honor the memory of 1st Lt. Travis Manion, May 20 and in honor of Lt. Brendan Looney, May 21.

Manion was killed in action in Iraq on April 29, 2007.  Looney was killed in action in Afghanistan on Sept. 21, 2010.   Both are U.S. Naval Academy graduates and were friends with the current Blue Angel Opposing Solo pilot Lt. Mark Tedrow.

The Blue Angels are in Annapolis to perform these recognition demonstrations during the annual USNA graduation ceremonies.

The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly in 68 performances at 35 locations in 2014 and 64 performances at 34 locations in 2015 throughout North America.

For more information about the Blue Angels, please visit:



Bethpage Air Show is a Memorial Day weekend favorite

The renowned Blue Angels will be in action over Jones Beach this weekend.

The eagerly awaited arrival of Memorial Day on Monday is sure to be enthusiastically welcomed by everyone, after this year’s harsh winter. And, as always, the unofficial kickoff to summer fun for Long Islanders begins – and remains — with a trip to Jones Beach to watch those thrilling aerial maneuvers in the skies unfold during the Bethpage Air Show. This year’s spectacular two-day display of flying stunts over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25, marks the return of an air show favorite: the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

The Blue Angels are joined by other elite military pilots, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs (making their second appearance since 2007) and the MV-22 Osprey — performing at the Bethpage Air Show for the first time.

As always, in addition to the military headliners, the roster features the nation’s premiere civilian pilots who continue to enthrall audiences on the air show circuit. These expert aerobatic performers include American Airpower Museum Warbirds, the GEICO Skytypers and the Miss GEICO Speedboat, Sean D. Tucker of Team Oracle, Lt. Col. John Klatt with his Air National Guard MXS, aerobatic pilot Matt Chapman, aerobatic daredevil David Windmiller, and the Red Bull Air Force team of skydivers, BASE jumpers, wingsuit fliers, and paraglider pilots, along with John Klatt Airshows’ Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco Aerobatic Team, which is making its debut to the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach.

These renowned fliers will perform precision demonstrations over the shoreline at Jones Beach that continue to amaze and delight the hundreds of thousands of visitors who attend each year, gazing at those acrobatic turns and commanding displays of flying expertise.

“The Long Island community is buzzing with excitement about this year’s show, and the return of an elite military jet team,” said Linda Armyn, Bethpage senior vice resident, corporate strategy. “Each year the Blue Angels perform, we see record numbers of fans convene on Jones Beach, and that makes for an exciting holiday weekend.”

The renowned Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron continues to astonish air show visitors with their unparalled flight precision, in keeping with the squadron’s time-honored traditions. A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members.

The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the “Boss,” the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. Boss must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 jet.

Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.

The Blue Angels base their selection of officers on professional ability, military bearing and communication skills. Blue Angels officers are well-rounded representatives of their fleet counterparts.

Demonstration pilots, the Events Coordinator, Maintenance Officer and Flight Surgeon serve two years with the squadron. The other officers typically serve three years with the team. Blue Angels officers return to the fleet after their tours of duty.

New to this year’s air show is the MV-22 Osprey, a multi-mission, military tilt rotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force operate the Osprey.

Another popular aviator, Lt. Colonel John Klatt, an active member of the Air National Guard, who fought in Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom, will take fans through an amazing sequence of jaw-dropping aerial maneuvers. Klatt has flown a wide variety of aircraft. His commission in the ANG gave him the opportunity to fly C-130 military transports delivering crucial supplies during Operation Desert Storm. He later transitioned from the C-130 into the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” and completed three combat tours flying F-16s in Iraq.

Klatt is also represented by his John Klatt Airshows’ Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco Aerobatic Team, which is making its Bethpage Air Show debut. The airplane, a Taperwing Waco made famous by barnstormers of the 1920s and ‘30s, adds the modern twist of a jet engine that will thrill spectators with amazing sights and sounds. Klatt
and Jeff Boerboon, a U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Champion, will pilot the Screamin’ Sasquatch.

Another air show favorite, the GEICO Skytypers, combine the best of the old and new. The team flies vintage World War II aircraft while utilizing the latest technology to skytype their messages. The pilots fill the sky from all directions to provide spectators a unique viewing experience while showcasing the tactics and maneuvers utilized during training during World War II.

The GEICO Skytypers use six of the remaining 11 North American SNJ-2 planes left in the world to write messages at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Each plane has been restored and equipped with a computer that coordinates the smoke puffs from the aircraft. The team “types” messages at 10,000 feet with puffs of smoke in dot matrix-style letters.

“The contrast between the advanced technology to produce the messages paired with a 1940s vintage aircraft is truly unique,” said Steve Kapur, GEICO Skytypers’ marketing officer and reserve pilot. “The Bethpage Air Show has always been one of our favorite shows. Many people know and recognize our skytyped messages along the beaches in the northeast. The air show at Jones Beach gives us a chance to show people a different side of the team. We will perform an 18-minute low-level flying demonstration during the air show weekend which highlights the maneuvers and formations used during World War II.”

In a new element to their performance, which debuted last year, a catamaran challenges a team member from the GEICO Skytypers in a high-speed, sea-air duel between the pilots and their water-borne counterpart, the Miss GEICO powerboat team. Four GEICO Skytypers will fly along the waterfront in a tight formation and race Miss GEICO on the water below. While the catamaran is capable of higher top speeds than the planes flown by the Skytypers, weather conditions handicap the watercraft and even the odds. Skill and expertise will prove the ultimate victor in this battle.

The crowd-pleasing event is always a big draw, with more than 100,000 people typically showing up each day.

Bethpage Air Show
Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Free to the public but the standard $10 vehicle use fee will be collected each day upon entry. Visitors are advised to arrive before 1 p.m. for the best parking spots. There is no vehicle use fee charge for 2014 NYS Empire Passport holders.

For up-to-date information, visit


Ashley Hazelwood: Tributes paid to a "one-of-a-kind" father and pilot who died in crash

Tributes have been paid to a “one-of-a-kind” Rhyl father of two.

Ashley Hazelwood, aged 61, died after a light aircraft crash at Dinas Dinlle Airport, Caernarfon, on Thursday evening. Mr Hazelwood has been described as a man of many talents, a plasterer by trade, but also having successfully tried his hand at being a plumber, electrician, welder, artist, tattooist and inventor.

He was married to Janet Hazlewood, for 43 years, and was father to Matthew Hazelwood, 41, and Alex Hazelwood, 40 and a grandfather of three.

Alex said his father lived his life to its fullest, he said: “Every time I called home, he would tell me of his new idea, some were incredible.

“My father was all about his hobbies, which were attacked with the same energy and drive that he applied to his work. Customizing cars was one of his hobbies, building and sailing canal barges was another.

“His final passion and joy was becoming a microlight pilot and flying.

“His love for flying left a twinkle in his eye. It gives me some small comfort that in his last hours he was doing something that made his feel so alive.”

Alex added: “He was fun loving, caring, supportive, and an ear to tell your problems to, a fountain of wisdom and young at heart. He was married for 43 years and when I think of my parents I see in my mind’s eye a young couple in love.

“He loved animals and always had a dog. He was driving down the road about six years ago and he noticed the cars were swerving around something in the middle of the road.

“When he got close he saw it was a young puppy. He stopped his car got out, picked up the puppy and took it home. He made the mistake of naming it, Rosie, on the way home and it became a part of the family from that moment on. Ashley was in all meaning of the words a true gentleman. He was one of a kind, always helpful and willing to lend a hand. He was also supportive, caring, and tireless in his love.”

North Wales Police spokesman said: “An investigation is underway by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau from Hampshire supported by North Wales Police.”

The funeral will take place on Wednesday, May 28, at 1pm at St Asaph cemetery.


Truckee Tahoe AirShow Returns in Full Force

Truckee/North Tahoe, Calif. (PRWEB) May 21, 2014 

The free Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival (TTAS&FF) 2014 "Women in Aviation" themed event will blaze across the Truckee sky on July 12 at the Truckee Tahoe Airport. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Now in its third year after a 16 year hiatus, TTAS&FF has confirmed some of the most top-tier world-renowned aerobatic talent.

The featured women in aviation line-up includes Patty Wagstaff a three-time national Aerobatic Champion and National Aviation Hall of Fame member; the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team "Wings of Blue" with several female pilots and jumpers; the AirShow's Grand Marshal Sandy Wiederkehr a Retired Flying Tiger/Fed Ex captain and Truckee local; Jeanne Slone, author of "She Flew Bombers" and Julia Hamlin, 22 year-old pilot intern with Cessna's 2014 Discover Flying Challenge. 

The AirShow plans to make event goers' hair rise from the sights of planes swirling and thundering in the sky with the Opening Ceremony starting at 11:15 a.m. (weather permitting). In addition to Patty Wagstaff and the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team "Wings of Blue", highlighted aerobatic performers include:
  • Dan Buchanan who six months after an accident that left him unable to walk ever again began flying his NorthWing designed hang glider.
  • Jon Melby's attention grabbing performance style in his awesome looking black and yellow factory Pitts "Muscle" Bi-Plane reminds those of a time long ago
  • Kent Pietsch, "Jelly Belly" sponsored pilot, flies an Interstate Cadet Airplane, and executes three different acts leaving spectators mesmerized
  • RedStar Formation Team, a show pleaser for the past two years, is a Precision Warbird Mass Formation Display Team highlighting precision flying capabilities.
  • The OV-10 Bronco flying performance captivates spectators with its white shark teeth painted across its front.
  • A one of a kind Sailplane powered by a jet engine.
This event might just be the most family-friendly event in the Truckee North Tahoe region. Event offerings include free admission, free parking, world-class aerobatics, parachute demonstrations, static aircraft displays, Vendor Village, Kids' Zone, food court, free speaker forums, pre-event dinner on Friday, July 11 and free flights for kids ages 8-17 on Sunday, July 13. Sign-ups take place Saturday at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Building at the Airport.

"We're going to blow people away this year with some of the best aerobatic pilots in the world," says AirShow Chairman Tim LoDolce. "And at a time when military acts at air shows are scarce, we're thrilled to have confirmed 'Wings of Blue'. They are without a doubt going to be a huge crowd pleaser."

The selection process to confirm "Wings of Blue" is highly competitive. In 2013, no military aircraft participated in any U.S. air shows, and performance engagements for 2014 are limited.

The Truckee Tahoe Airport is the "Golden Wings" sponsor of the 2014 TTAS&FF giving the Air Show as a gift to its community. All proceeds from sponsorships, vendor fees, pre-event dinner ticket sales, food and beverage sales and miscellaneous items go directly to local youth through the three main non-profit organizations that produce the event. They include the EAA local Chapter 1073, KidZone Museum and Truckee Optimist Club.

Other major sponsors to date include Clear Capital, Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, KRNV My News 4 Reno, Suddenlink and the Sierra Sun.

For more AirShow information, a schedule of events and for tickets to the pre-event dinner on July 11, click here, and visit our AirShow's Facebook page. 


About the Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival

Re-established in 2011 after a 16-year hiatus, the free Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival is generously funded and presented by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District. Some of the world's finest aerobatic performers will soar through Truckee's pristine skies on July 12, 2014. TTAS&FF offers an exhilarating and enriching family experience that showcases Truckee Tahoe Airport's commitment to giving back to its community through inspiring youth to learn more about career and educational opportunities in aviation, aerospace, aeronautics, science and technology.

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World War II-era warbirds visit Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), California

LIVERMORE -- A trio of World War II-era warbirds will roar into Livermore Airport for the Collings Foundation's annual Wings of Freedom Tour on Memorial Day weekend.

The planes will be in town Sunday through Tuesday.

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Nine O Nine"-- one of about 10 in flying condition in the U.S. -- and the one-of-a-kind Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Witchcraft" and a P-51C Fighter "Betty Jane" will land Sunday, allowing attendees to visit, explore and ride the historic planes during the three-day event. Local World War II veterans will also be on hand to discuss their wartime experiences. Visitors may tour the aircraft for a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children under 12. World War II veterans are free. Half-hour flights are available for a tax-deductible donation; flights on the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half-hour and $3,200 for a full hour.

Ground tours and displays will be open Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, local historic aircraft, military vehicles and memorabilia will be displayed on Monday, Memorial Day. The Swingin' Blue Stars of the USS Hornet will perform songs from the 1940s and '50s in the afternoon.

For flight reservations and information, call 800-568-8924. 


Utica, New York: Warbirds will return for Boilermaker flyover

Boilermaker officials on Tuesday announced that the Genesee Warbirds will return this year for the traditional flyover.

The Warbirds, based out of Batavia, will fly over the back lot of F.X. Matt Brewing Co. during the Post-Race Party.

Officials also announced that Letizia and the Z Band will headline the post-race entertainment.


Gatineau-Ottawa air show canceled for 2014

The annual Wings Over Gatineau-Ottawa air show has been canceled for 2014, as Vintage Wings of Canada instead turns its focus to an event next month for youth and members-only adults.

The air show was to have been held in mid-September, as it has been since 2011, said Vintage Wings of Canada spokesman Carl Martin. The air show grew out of a doors-open style event, Martin said, but holding it this year wasn’t possible with the Hadfield Youth Summit event next month.

“You can imagine, an air show is very complicated and requires hundreds of volunteers...    It just proved to be logistically too challenging to do both events this year,” Martin said. 

The June youth summit at the Gatineau Executive Airport will feature Chris Hadfield, a Vintage Wings board member who was a pilot before becoming an astronaut.

A “couple of hundred” local attendees, between the ages of 12 and 18, will be chosen by the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. As well, Vintage Wings has close to 400 paying members who are invited and can bring one youth in the same age range.

Martin said the event wasn’t intended to replace the air show, which anyone could pay to attend. “It was too much to do both,” he said, adding the board of directors will make a decision and announcement early next year about the 2015 show’s fate.

Martin said there have been no issues with the air show, related costs or insurance, and the decision this year simply came down to logistics and priorities for the “small team.”

Martin said he didn’t think scrapping the 2014 air show will cost Vintage Wings any cancellation fees. The public charitable organization was founded in 2003 by Ottawa businessman and philanthropist Michael Potter, with the goal of inspiring young Canadians.

In the past, aerial demonstrations have been performed at the show by aircraft, including the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team and a wing-walker. Other aircraft have been displayed on the ground, including a CF-18, Chinook helicopter and Lockheed-Martin CC-130J transport aircraft.

“We’re hoping we’ll be back next year,” Martin said. “That’s the consolation.”


C.R. Gordon: Aviation museum docent recalls time in Air Force, exhibits' past

On top of his Lions Club member hat, C.R. Gordon put on his Historic Aviation Memorial Museum docent hat for the club’s April 24 meeting.

As one of the docents of the museum, Gordon explained the museum’s purpose but also added his own stories from his years as a member of the United States Air Force.

The museum includes examples of supersonic jets, including F-104, the F-111 and the F-4. After McDonald engineers asked the Air Force what they wanted out of the next jet, Gordon said the request was for an oblique shockwave. The oblique shockwave creates a more efficient plane, he said.

Tyler Pounds Regional Airport’s old terminal serves as the museum’s home. When the museum moved to its permanent location in the old airport terminal, Gordon said guests used to walk by the museum gift shop before getting to the main entrance or leaving. The museum’s hangar used to be the Confederate Air Force hangar.

“It’s kind of nice when we get MiG- 15’s in there,” he said.

Pounds Airport dates back to the late 1930s, so the history starts from the outside of the building. Gordon continued that Tyler had an airport before Pounds was established.

The history continues with displays of uniforms from all time periods, including WWI and WWII. Two of the uniforms have unknown origins, Gordon said, except that one is American and the other is German.

WWII-era bombers did not have any heaters and only a few electric-powered parts, he said.

“I was always in the nice air conditioned fighters, so I didn’t have to worry about climactic things,” he said.

Exhibits about the golden era of flying and women in flight are included in the museum, and Gordon said it is not always Amelia Earhart.

Betty Skelton was the woman’s acrobatic champion in flying, and Gordon said she is the one who really made the airplane famous.

“She could do a lot of things with it,” he said. While women learn faster than men, Gordon’s flight instructor told him as a cadet, he said it is not certain how they will react in an emergency situation.

“Now that’s a stereotype, and I’ll be the first one to say to you ladies out there that that’s terrible.”

Skelton took a ride on a P-51 when the propeller came off the engine.

“(She) very calmly changed radio channels to a military base and said, ‘I’m coming in from the north,’” Gordon said. “(She) put the airplane down (and) did not scratch it whatsoever.”

The museum also has recognition models that were used during WWII to teach cadets how to identify planes, he said.

“The youngsters in America did work on those models, the wooden ones,” he said. Gordon was not sure if the one he had made was ever used.

Among other stories he told, Gordon said the Fort Worth-built General Dynamics F-111 went on an 11-hour mission that required seven refuels and a detour. The pilot hit the target and left the same way it had entered.

Although he admitted he always “kind of wanted” to bail out of a plane, Gordon said he never had to eject from a plane.

“You just don’t leave an airplane unless it’s burning or out of control,” he said.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Story and photo:

Al Horvat: Retired Realtor combines his passion for art and aviation into second career

Al Horvat’s passion for both art and aviation developed at an early age. Despite two strokes which resulted in medical issues, the 85-year-old retired Realtor has combined his talent and passion into a post-retirement career as a successful award-winning artist. And doing what he loves has had the added benefit of improving his overall health and dexterity.

“I first found my love of aviation when I was 11 years old,” Horvat says. “My dad and uncle took me to the Gary Airport which was located at 61st and Broadway. TRI-Motor landed there and gave rides to people for five dollars. My dad asked me if I wanted to go up and take a ride. I told him ‘yes’ and ever since then aviation was my love.”

At Gary’s Froebel High School, a teacher encouraged Horvat to pursue art as a career. In 1950 he graduated from the Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, however, the war and life interfered with the pursuit of his dream.

Married to Rosemary Feczko in 1951, Horvat served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in Germany. There, Horvat helped set up division maneuvers and was an observer for the Air Division which flew over the Czech border looking for refugees trying to escape Russian control.

After his military service, Horvat sold insurance, later working as a timekeeper for a transportation company and at art instruction schools before beginning his 20-year career as a Realtor. He was President of the Merrillville Board of Realtors in the 1980’s and was named Realtor of the Year during that decade.

In the early stages of his retirement during the 1990’s, Horvat began painting watercolors under Mark Polomchak.

“He was discouraged from not being able to get the amount of detail needed for his aviation art so he naturally progressed to acrylic painting,” Horvat’s daughter Karen Cox says. “However, he started colored pencil workshops with Fred Holly who eventually led him to acrylic detail work in his paintings.”

Horvat says Holly has been his mentor and inspiration.

“At times he has also had health issues but has never let those issues affect his pursuit of his artistic endeavors,” Horvat says.

After Horvat’s stroke in 2003, he had to learn to regain the use of his hands and refine his hand-eye coordination, Cox says. Doctors advised Horvat to resume and pursue his passion for painting with great results.

“Once he returned to painting and his art, his blood pressure returned to normal,” Cox says.

Horvat says his art work has been exhibited in shows and galleries throughout the United States. His proudest accomplishments he says are receiving the Peoples’ Choice Award at an acrylic show in Ohio in 2004, a First Place Award in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2005, First Place and Second Place Awards in the “All Acrylic National Show” in Cleveland, Ohio in 2007 and being selected to represent aviation in a nationwide travelling art show sponsored by the Lily Foundation in 2010-2011.

“I consider myself a life-long learner,” Horvat says. “I always am looking to learn new techniques and I don’t feel anyone can know everything. Also, the older I get the more I look around and realize all the beautiful things around us that we take for granted.”

Horvat’s commissioned paintings include: “Three Corvettes Rule with a Lockheed SR71 Blackbird;” “Balloon Buster;” “Lieutenant Craig;” a painting of Crown Point native and retired astronaut Jerry Ross; and a painting of a lieutenant’s airplane landing on an aircraft carrier.

Most satisfying for Horvat is the enjoyment others get when they look at his artwork.

“Also, I realize that I could paint for the rest of my life and still be able to learn new things,” Horvat says.

To get ideas for his artwork, Horvat constantly reads magazines and books on aviation.

“I often find a particular plane or aviator that interests me,” Horvat says. “Once that peaks my interest, I do research to find out everything I can about the plane. Oftentimes during my research, a story plot develops and I include that story plot when I paint the plane.”

A second stroke in 2010 affected Horvat’s speech and walking.

“He also suffers from left neglect so his brain does not recognize anything to the left of center of his vision,” Cox says. “Of course, as an artist that has provided many challenges but he has not let any of those challenges stop his efforts.”

Horvat’s passion for art was inherited by his daughter and granddaughters.

Horvat says his daughter, a Crown Point High School art teacher and chairperson of the school’s Art Department, and granddaughter Lindsay Cox, also a Crown Point High School art teacher, inspire him.

“Their love of art and teaching is reflected in their everyday life and profession,” Horvat says. “They not only care about their students trying to guide them to be the best artist they can be both artistically and creatively but they truly care about them as individuals.”

Another granddaughter, Alexis Sopher, will attend Indiana University Northwest in the fall of 2014 minoring in art.

Cox credits her dad with fostering her love of art.

“I remember being a young child and my dad always having supplies and materials available to me so I could draw and paint,” Cox says. “Because of that, I was able to participate in my first art show when I was 15. The main accomplishment that impresses me about my dad is the fact that his strokes have not stopped him from working to become the artist that he wants to become.”

Lindsay Cox says she was lucky to have her grandpa as a mentor.

“His work ethic of painting eight to ten hours a day is inspirational,” Lindsay Cox says. “Also, you can see that he has a true love for art. The main accomplishment that impresses me about my grandpa is that fact that he is still working on his skills as a professional artist. He is always learning and I admire him for that.”

Horvat says painting after retirement has its advantages.

“That freedom from having to make a living with my art has removed restrictions and I am allowed to make the kind of art that I want to without worrying about people buying my art,” Horvat says. “It seems to have worked out well as I found a niche with my aviation art and people seeking me out.”

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