6. After a long 2 1/2 month hiatus, my airshow season ramped up with my arrival to Sheboygan for the T-28 training and jet training. Sadly, this awesome event took a horrific turn with loss of our friend Marty. Marty passed away when he crashed his Sea Venom just after takeoff. Marty was instrumental with bringing so many jet warbirds to the US for all of us to see. he will be missed greatly by a lot of us. The event itself unfortunately suffered from terrible weather as well as any chance of flights was pretty much ruined. I did get to fly with my good friends the larry's in their l-39s. Sadly my camera was smashed by the automatic seat and my phone was in my bag so I got no photos at all. Next time I head to Oshkosh, I will definitely hit this event up again. Here's a photo of marty from the day before the accident starting up the Venom.
7. EAA airventure is the super bowl of airshows. This week long event features so many airplanes of all types that its damn hard to pick one. But i feel, for me, of all the airplanes i love that seeing two F7F tigercats fly in formation down the runway was the biggest highlight for me in a week full of them. Other specific highlights for me include: seeing doc fly, seeing a skyraider in a heritage flight, a recliner in the bathroom, the yak-110, a gorgeous late afternoon spitfire display, the dday painted A-10, the nuthouse fisk arrivals by turning left, Draco, AU-1, the f-35s demanding low approaches, possibly the last time seeing an s-3 viking fly, a B-1 rocket launch into the night sky during a thunderstorm, driving through said thunderstorm and seeing a train passing us during lightning flashes, and two raptors who know how to party. I will more than likely miss oshkosh this year, but one cant deny the incredible commraderie my friends and I had this year. #REALOSHKOSHEXPERIENCE.
8. The Terre Haute airshow had its first show in nearly or 10 years, i forgot which it was. This was probably the most fun i had at a show all year. I arrived thursday and watched the blues practice. I was set to work with my Tora buddies on the CAF tora pyro team since we had a full Tora Tora Tora show to do. Rain and low ceiling all but killed the friday practice show so we got to have a party and hang out with all the pilots, volunteers and crews. Saturday and sunday were darn near perfect weather. The highlight for me was seeing one of the only two flying f-100s roar directly over my head and blasting that burner pop. it was incredible. I cant ever give enough thanks to my friends on the tora team. I love being part of the team and love helping those great group of guys and gals who really know how to make airshows fun.
9. I had about a month break until my next show which was at the NAS Oceana Airshow. There was a lot of discussion on all the bad things this show did and you can read about it in the thread on the Oceana airshow thread here in this part of the forums. I had an amazing time at this show and the great sailors at this base really put on a great show. they were all really nice and helpful. The show itself was very impressive with them snagging the blue angels and the snowbirds. Also they had the F-22, the now rare Super Hornet demo with legacy flight, shelton and his wildcat demo and of course the field attack demo and the fleet flyby. This is officially Bill Leff's final airshow of his illustrious career. My highlight was snagging this shot of the parachuters american flag coming down nicely behind our friends to the north, the snowbirds.
10. My final show of the year was the Warbids Over Monroe show. I once again worked with my friends at the CAF tora pyro team by giving some explosions to the performers. I love having this awesome airshow just down the road of me to end the show year. They always try to bring in some unique warbirds that you may not always see. This year they had 3-p51s, a spitfire, a corsair, a p-40, b-17, c-47, and c-46 to name a few. Working with tora, you get to see the inside of the show, meaning the airplanes are over your head instead of infront of you. Love having the sound of a merlin powering over my head in my favorite highlight of this show. Side note: this show put on a pretty epic formation of the b-17 with a spitfire, p-40, corsair, and 3 p-51s all in formation. head over to the Monroe airshow thread in the 2018 reviews to see photos of the formation.
hopefully see some of you in 2019!!
- Godspeed Marty
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- Terre Haute
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