Friday, September 23, 2016

National Aerobatic Championships' final take off in Texoma



DENISON, Texas (KXII) -- If you hear some buzzing in the sky, it's because the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships are back at North Texas Regional Airport in Denison.

Pilots from all the nation have been coming to the North Texas Regional Airport to compete for the last 43 years, but this week, the tradition is taking off for the every last time.

"Expect to see some fast hard core aerobatics," Elias Corey, who is flying in the championship, said.

Precision and symmetry are what these pilots are aiming for. Corey is one of more than 50 competing in the aerobatic championships this week.

"I mean you're gonna see planes coming down to 300 feet, then shooting straight up into the sky," Corey said.

After 43 years, this is the last time these pilots will compete in Denison. So instead of just watching from the ground, Corey took News 12 up in his plane to get a closer look.

Lake Texoma Jet Center Operations Director Terry Vogel provides the fuel for the planes.

She said over the last few years, NTRA started getting more and more flights, that don't stop when they're competing. So they decided to move to a less busy airport in Wisconsin.

"Logistically, it just seemed to work out better for them to relocate to an airport that didn't have as much traffic," Vogel said.

Vogel said it's a bittersweet ending to an era.

"Naturally we are sad, but we feel honored to have had them that long," Vogel said. "They bring a lot to the community, hotels, restaurants, aviation."

"From a community perspective, yes we will be gone, and we are all sad about that, but I think there's a lot of growth happening locally, which is the reason for the move, so that's a positive," Corey said.

The championships start Saturday at 11 a.m. and end next Friday. It is free and open to the public.

Story and video:  http://www.kxii.com

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