Thousands of aviation enthusiasts look forward to next air show | Arts & Culture
The Memphis Air Show took flight on Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29 and was a Mid-South success.
Over two dozen planes were on hand as static displays representing all branches of the military and civilian aircraft. Several of the crowd favorites included the precision flight team of the Canadian Snowbirds and the Lucas Oil Parachute Team. (See below for a more detailed list of other performers.)
About 30 newly painted and maintenance aircraft sat in straight rows on the shimmering tarmac at the 2013 Memphis Air Show.
Thousands of aviation enthusiasts were eagerly circling the static airplanes, some wide-eyed ground pounders for the first time, other patrons reminiscing about past wars and their role in serving our country.
Some of the major highlights of the show were the Canadian Snow Birds flying in close formation at speeds ranging from 100-320 knots (1 knot = 1.15 mph), and the death-defying skills of the Lucas Oil Team who thrilled the neck-craned crowd with precision routines and a landing right in front of them.
Lucas Oil Veterans, performance pilot Mike Wiskus, skydiving plane and mechanic Brian, and skydivers Nick Halseth, Andy Junghans and Ryan Albrecht have been entertaining masses at air shows for eight years. Lead jumping veteran Halseth has over 6k jumps to his credit with Junghans also 6k and Albrecht following with 800 jumps.
The crowd was awed as the Lucas Oil Pitts show plane rose to 4,000 feet, and the experienced skydivers leaped out into the atmosphere as easily as stepping off a curb while crossing a street. They plummeted to the ground reaching terminal velocity within seconds and then their chutes popped open in choreographed order and then began their controlled decent to the waiting viewers.
As they floated downward, performance pilot Wiskus flew in a spiral around them circling downward with a smoke trail coil for the audiences benefit.
As the skydivers touched down the crowd erupted in much-deserved applause and they were rushed by the crowd seeking autographs and handshakes. For the team this is business as usual; for the aviation newbie it was inspiring. Wiskus continued his routine inspiring the crowd with new aviation techniques.
In fact, one of the inspired was local student, Steve Ramirez who won second place in the ‘Elevate Your Life’ essay contest answering the question “Why I want to be a pilot.” First place winner was Hamhari Brown.
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying or had the experience in your life time, The Memphis Air Show is the high-flying adventure with something for the entire family. Weather was perfect for the event and the crowd seemed to enjoy every performance. Make sure you mark it on your calendar next year. See you next year and may you have blue skys!
Other performers include:
- John Klatt –Air Nation Guard - MDS
- Bob Ford – North American AT-6
- Keith Davis – Pitts Special
- Greg Koontz – Extreme Decathlon/The Alabama Boys
- Kyle Franklin – Dracula
- Shockwave – 300MPH Jet Truck
- Manfred Radius Glider Aerobatics
- Raiders – Yak 52 Team Aerobatics
- Skip Stewart – Prometheus – E-TREME Aerobatics
- FedEx 767 Flyby
- Gene Soucy – Teresa Stokes Wingwalking
- Matt Younkin – Twin Beech 18
- Michael Goulian – Goodyear Extra 330SC
- Julie Clark – Juice Plus+ T-38 Mentor
- For a more detailed description of the performers please visit: http://memphisairshow.org/performers/
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