Returning favorite Carol Pilon, the daredevil wingwalker from Canada, will be one of the performers at the eighth annual Greenwood lake Air Show that begins Friday.
WEST MILFORD -- The eighth annual Greenwood Lake Air Show, in West Milford, kicks off Friday with a new aerial spectacle, the first-ever night air show in the tri-state area, according to owner and event organizer Tim Wagner.
The weekend-long event, the only air show in Northern New Jersey, has attracted crowds of more than 30,000 in past years, and opens at 4 p.m. Friday and continues through Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Greenwood Lake Airport.
Wagner said that there will be more than 30 aircraft involved in the show, which includes daredevil performers with custom planes, military acquisitions, as well as low passes by the Marines in Cobra and Huey helicopters during the National Anthem on Saturday and Sunday.
The special thing about the air show, Wagner said, is that unlike some larger shows, the crowd is not so far removed from the action.
SDLqWhat's great about our show is the close proximity from the show line to the crowd," Wagner said. "It's a more intimate show and the performers very much interact with the crowd after their performance."
Wagner said the crowd often has the opportunity to talk to the pilots and get autographs.
Beginning just after 8 p.m. Friday, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, a highly sought-after four-ship civilian team, will lift off for a twilight display, creating precise formations against the darkening sky, according to Wagner. Following the aerobatic team, with a performance down on the ground, driver Jerry McCart in his "Jet Truck Homewrecker," a jet-powered truck, will light up the runway, racing past spectators with the 36,000 horsepower produced from the 18,000 pounds of thrust in the afterburners.
Also new to the air show is Elgin Wells in his Starjammer aircraft. Wells designed and built the aircraft, which required more than a dozen patents, and it features 250 colorful flashing LED lights on the body, wings and front propeller of the plane and a 4,000 watt amplifier and onboard loudspeakers.
Friday's finale will be a performance by Redline Airshows, which will light up the sky with pyrotechnics flying from their wingtips as they maneuver and do tricks.
Friday is also bike night at the air show, and those who bring their ride can park in the center of the event. Parking for motorcycles is free; drivers and passengers need only pay the price of admission.
On Saturday and Sunday, unique and vintage vehicles are invited to show off and win prizes in a car show at the air show, Wagner said. There is a $25 fee to enter a vehicle, but that price includes the price of the driver's admission to the air show.
Another featured appearance at this year's show is a Grumman Mohawk OV-1, owned and piloted by West Milford native Dr. Joe Masessa, according to a prepared statement from the air show organizers. Masessa's Mohawk aircraft is a flying memorial, with the names of the more than 1,600 soldiers from the Vietnam War who never returned home and remain unaccounted for painted onto the fuselage of the plane, according to the statement. Masessa purchased and restored the twin-engine turboprop nine years ago after he saw a Mohawk at Teterboro Airport and became fascinated with the aircraft.
The Mohawk will perform aerobatic demonstrations during the day on each day of the show, and guests will also have the opportunity to view the aircraft up close.
Wagner said that the military will be supported in a number of ways throughout the air show. Other non-profit groups, such as the Knights of Columbus, who run the Kids Zone at the air
show as a fundraiser, also will benefit from the event.
Single-day tickets for the airshow are $25 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and veterans, $10 for children ages 4 to 12, and children under 4 are admitted for free.
Tickets and information for the three day show is available online at www.greenwoodlakeairshow.com.