Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival 2017

Discussion relating to 2017 airshows/fly-ins/exercises/other events. Post news before the event and post your photos afterwards! Please create only one thread per event.
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Bretten Bailey
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Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival 2017

Post by Bretten Bailey » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:35 pm

Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival 2017
June 29th - July 4th, 2017
W.K. Kellogg Airport
Battle Creek, Michigan USA
www.bcballoons.com
Nation's Largest Combined Air Show & Balloon Festival. Largest 4th of July Air Show.

Air Show Performers (Air Show will be held July 1st-4th):
-Tora Tora Tora (Pyro used only July 2nd-4th)
-US Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team
-US Air Force Heritage Flight F-22/P-51D "Baby Duck" flown by Vlado Lenoch
-"Ace Maker" Airshows featuring Greg Colyer in the T-33 "Ace Maker II"
-Bob Carlton "Vertigo Airshows" in the Jet Super Salto Sailplane
-Matt Younkin in the Twin Beech 18
-"Sibling Rivalry" Motorcycle vs. Biplane Race
-Billy Werth Airshows Pitts S2C
-Rob Holland "Ultimate Airshows" in the MXS
-Bill Stein Zivko Edge 540 (July 3rd-4th ONLY)
-Jack Knutson "Firebird" Extra 300S
-Kent Pietsch "Jelly Belly" Interstate Deadstick Act
-Kent Pietsch Comedy Act
-Kent Pietsch RV Top Landing
-Phil Dacy: Announcer

Tons of Food Vendors (Best Air Show Food)
Hot-Air Balloons (June 29 - July 4)
Fireworks (July 1 & 4)
Balloon Illumes (June 30 & July 2)
Displays (Cars, Air Force, Army, Static Ground Control Station etc...)
Skerbeck Entertainment Group Carnival (June 29 - July 4)
Arts & Crafts Booths, Souvenir Booths, Commercial Booths
Battle Creek SpeedFest 1/2 Mile Race & Car Show (June 30-July 3)
Kids Day (June 30)
Community Kick-Off Day (June 29)
Tim Dyson FMX Motorcycle Stunt Show (June 29 - July 4)
Great Lakes Timber Show (June 29 - July 4)
"Field of Rock" Concerts presented by FireKeepers Casino (June 29 - July 4)
Battle Creek Half-Marathon & 5K (July 1)

Share your photos and discussion below.
Last edited by Bretten Bailey on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:18 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Bretten Bailey - Aerial Actions Airshows & Ballooning

Bretten Bailey
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Post by Bretten Bailey » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:06 pm

Can officially announce the F-22 Raptor Demo Team. The Heritage Flight will be flown with Vlado Lenoch in the Warbird Heritage Foundation's P-51D Mustang "Baby Duck".
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RyanS
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Post by RyanS » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:15 pm

I stopped by for the day show on Sunday, and it seemed like they had a great turnout. Just about perfect weather over the weekend. The flying was pretty short, only 4 hours with two 20 minute intermissions in the middle. I guess Bill Stein came down from Traverse City and they filled those with his solo and the 4ce on Monday and Tuesday. Bummer that the Thunderbirds flyover couldn't be arranged after all - hopefully they can just come for a full show next year instead.

It was weird circumstances for me this year with a lot less friends than usual attending for various reasons, and I am looking forward to getting back to normal next year. Battle Creek is always the most relaxed, comfortable atmosphere of my airshow season and I appreciate them having me!

Unfortunately I couldn't escape the music, so I only shot photos. I'll be working to edit them over the next couple weeks before Oshkosh!
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Post by RyanS » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:41 pm

I can't believe I never posted photos from this one!

My full album is finished and available at this link: https://airshowstuff.smugmug.com/2017Ai ... Creek2017/
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Ryan Sundheimer
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Post by RyanS » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:41 pm

More photos
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Ryan Sundheimer
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Post by RyanS » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:42 pm

My last chance to see Vlado and Baby Duck. This was really sad to edit :(
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Ryan Sundheimer
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Post by bigt512 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Great pictures as always. I was editing my pictures and watching my videos from this show when I found out about Vlado.
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RyanS
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Post by RyanS » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:38 am

bigt512 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am
Great pictures as always. I was editing my pictures and watching my videos from this show when I found out about Vlado.
Thanks! It was a real gut punch. We were just about to work on some cockpit footage from his flight at Goshen when we lost him. We still haven't decided what to do with the footage...
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Bretten Bailey
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Post by Bretten Bailey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:58 pm

RyanS wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:15 pm
I stopped by for the day show on Sunday, and it seemed like they had a great turnout. Just about perfect weather over the weekend. The flying was pretty short, only 4 hours with two 20 minute intermissions in the middle. I guess Bill Stein came down from Traverse City and they filled those with his solo and the 4ce on Monday and Tuesday. Bummer that the Thunderbirds flyover couldn't be arranged after all - hopefully they can just come for a full show next year instead.

It was weird circumstances for me this year with a lot less friends than usual attending for various reasons, and I am looking forward to getting back to normal next year. Battle Creek is always the most relaxed, comfortable atmosphere of my airshow season and I appreciate them having me!

Unfortunately I couldn't escape the music, so I only shot photos. I'll be working to edit them over the next couple weeks before Oshkosh!
Thanks for sharing the photos Ryan.

This year was an extremely successful year for us. Attendance continues to climb and the local economy saw a significant boost from the event. Several area non-profits also saw significant proceeds.

It definitely was a different year for us. No jet team lead to us getting creative and we produced one of our best shows yet. This year's event received terrific reviews and we are planning on using this year as a baseline for future years. It was an odd schedule though, with a Saturday Practice and Sunday-Tuesday show days. But it all worked out. We planned our show to add Bill Stein in for Monday & Tuesday, and the 5 PM run time was for our waiver, with our show usually ending around 4 PM otherwise. We scheduled the intermissions to allow people a chance to head to the bathroom and grab some food without missing any action. Something we started doing a few years ago and decided to keep on doing. Some people like it, some don't. Our flight schedule is pretty non-stop otherwise (with very few gaps except for the intermissions).

We opened the event on an extremely windy and rainy evening and the balloons didn't fly. However, tons of people still made their way out for the FREE Day and sampled our vendors, rode the rides and took part in the activities that we did offer. The Great Lakes Timber Show was definitely a hit while the FMX Motorcycle Stunt Team couldn't do much due to the high winds. The next day, however, we saw terrific crowds for our Kids Day Activities. The Motorcycle Stunt Team could perform and the Timber Show also performed amazingly. The Battle Creek SpeedFest was able to keep activities going despite the weather that kept the balloons from flying again. We'd finally get them up Saturday morning. We, unfortunately, had to call the Balloon Illume that night as well. So we were balloonless for a while before we actually were able to fly.

Due to the weather system that caused all of our issues moving south, we had an interesting practice day on Saturday, and we had our gates open for it. A few of our acts were stuck south of weather and didn't make it in until the afternoon. Our practice schedule was extremely odd, with only a few performers practicing and others just arriving. Tora Tora Tora didn't make it in until after the scheduled practice but everyone got to see them in the air again as they departed to do a flyover a county over not long before the Balloons. We capped of Saturday with an amazing fireworks display.

Sunday presented its own challenges, especially the later in the day we got! Air Show went off smoothly and was a critical success. Tora Tora Tora flew a terrific performance to end our show. The wind was on-crowd and the field got really smoky. Shortly after the air show ended, the wind began to pick up and we had to make an announcement that all activities would be suspended until a line of showers with gusty winds moved through. The winds eventually started to die down and the showers dissipated. However, we had already made the decision to pull the gates and offer free admission throughout the evening. We had already decided to scrub our Twilight Air Show too, just in case anything else popped up. Turns out that we made the right decision. Shortly after 7:30 PM, a strong thunderstorm moved into the area, shutting down the event grounds for the night.

This opened us up into a beautiful final two days of the event. Bill Stein arrived early on Monday to join us after flying at the Cherry Festival up in Traverse City. He flew his solo and as part of the Thrice (three-ship 4ce) and helped fill out our lineup. The Thunderbirds were supposed to make an appearance, but sadly had to cancel due to a fuel tanker not being available for their rendezvous. Still had the balloons fly each of our remaining scheduled flights and the air show being a huge hit, with the only issues we faced being Rob Holland needed to cancel his solo on Tuesday due to maintenance issues. This caused our flight times to be moved up a bit as well. We had our Balloon Illume on Monday Night and then had our famous 4th of July Fireworks on Tuesday. All in all, a terrific 2017. I'll be sure to have photos and videos up soon.

Of course, this was the last air show that Vlado Lenoch ever flew a Heritage Flight at. We will certainly miss him. Vlado was a good friend to the organization and we were hoping to have him be a part of our 2018 event in "Baby Duck".

Looking forward, 2017 moved us towards a different realm. We have always been one of the most innovative aerial events in the country, and 2018 will show innovation on a completely different level. We are still in the beginning stages of planning the event, but we are planning an action-packed week of family entertainment filled with a terrific air show lineup! I'll be posting details once the 2018 section is up (not many to publicly announced yet anyway). But we are looking forward to 2018 definitely topping any of our other events in recent years!

In other news, according to USA Today 10Best, were were the 3rd Best Air Show in the United States in 2017 behind only EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh and the Reno Air Races. We're proud to have placed where we were and we hope to climb higher next year. Either way, we are extremely excited for what 2018 will offer.
Last edited by Bretten Bailey on Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bretten Bailey - Aerial Actions Airshows & Ballooning

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Post by alexp2805+ » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 pm

Looking forward to 2018!
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