Air Show daz­zles

Serve Daily - - INSIDE - Ed Helmick for Serve Daily

For ecades our mil­i­tary bases have held open house events as com­mu­nity re- la­tions tools ev­ery cou­ple of years. There has been an evo­lu­tion in the past few years as mil­i­tary only events have in­creas­ingly in­vited mem­bers of the na­tion’s air show com­mu­nity. The Hill Air Force Base Open House held June 23 and 24 had a to- tal of 13 civil­ian air show acts in ad­di­tion to an F-35A Light­ning II demon­stra­tion, the U.S. Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Para­chute Com­man­dos, and the con­clud­ing event, the USAF Thun­der­birds. There was spec- tac­u­lar aerial ac­tion from 9 a.m. un­til the Thun­der­birds landed about 4 p.m. Ev­ery- thing went off like clock­work and fur­ther demon­strated the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of th­ese avi­a­tors and their sup­port staff.

The air show an­nouncer was ex­cel- lent in de­scrib­ing the fly­ers, their fly­ing ma­chines and aer­o­batic ma­neu­vers they per­formed. One thing the an­nouncer em- pha­sized was that each of the pi­lots was liv­ing their dream. As kids, they looked to the sky and watched air show per­form­ers. Some­day they may want to be fly­ing pre- ces­sion aer­o­batic ma­neu­vers them­selves. It takes many years of prac­tice to be­come an air­show per­former. Bill Stein says he flies al­most ev­ery day and some­times two or three times a day. Brad Wursten is a rais­ing air show star and the an­nouncer com­mented that it has taken him 10 years to be­come an overnight suc­cess.

For the many young peo­ple look­ing to the sky with fas­ci­na­tion and a de­sire to some­day be­come a pi­lot, the air shows are a great in­spi­ra­tion. The air show is an ul­ti­mate event defin­ing pi­lot con­trol of flight be­yond straight and level. What a great way to ex­cite and mo­ti­vate fu­ture pi­lots. There were a lot of young faces and a few older faces al­most hyp­no­tized by the amaz­ing fly­ing.

The dream of fly­ing air­planes is very much alive in our Nebo High School stu- dents at the Ad­vanced Learn­ing Cen­ter in Salem. The school dis­trict pro­gram will of­fer five avi­a­tion classes this fall and al- ready has 140 pre-en­roll­ments for those classes. Fas­ci­na­tion with fly­ing ma­chines and avi­a­tion ca­reers is alive and well in our lo­cal kids. The cour­ses of­fered are (1) Avi­a­tion His­tory, (2) Pri­vate Pi­lot Ground Course, (3) Flight Sim­u­la­tor Course, (4) Air Trans­porta­tion Man­age­ment, and (5) Un­manned Arial Ve­hi­cles. Avi­a­tion is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing short­ages in all ca­reer cat- egories with op­por­tu­ni­ties through­out the world­wide in­dus­try. Who knows, one of th­ese lo­cal stu­dents may even be­come a fu­ture air show pi­lot. It is all about dream- ing and tak­ing ac­tion to achieve your goals. That is the con­nec­tion be­tween air shows and the high school avi­a­tion pro- grams.

Photo: Ed Helmick­His­toric

Gary Rower fly­ing his 450 HP Stear­man.

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