If you had the pleasure of attending the 2007 Lakeland Airshow Sun-n-Fun airshow, then you already know how absolutely perfect the week was for flying. If you were unable to make it out there this year, then it is my pleasure to hand you some pictures from day two of the event. The show that day Thursday) was primarily limited to warbirds, although there were some stellar performances by Patty Wagstaff in her Extra 300 and Steve Oliver in the Sundancer.
Also performing were Michael Goulian, Randy Harris, the Iron Eagle team, Greg Koontz, and John Mohr.
Kent Pietsch did an unbelievable show; if you look closely at his little Jelly Belly airplane, you'll see at some points he was going straight into the trees, without an aileron. Besides the aileron, he also dropped papers out of the airplane, as well as a wheel. Unfortunately, I think he was arrested at the end of his performance.
In attendance that day also were the Red Eagles, Tim Weber, the E-team Jumpers, Matt Younkin, and Bud Walker, still an absoluting stunning performer with years of experience under his belt.
There were so many terrific performers that I'm just not able to list them all. Besides Captain T.A. Lewis, flying the blue and yellow CJ6a in a warbird formation, there were so many warbird formation flights that I just couldn't possibly mention everyone's name here.
The amazing thing about the warbird formation flights was the fact that LAL tower was able to coax so DARN many of thhem into one single, humongous flight. In come instances, there were as many as six or seven individual formation teams of T-6, CJ6, CJ6a, Yaks, and P-51 Mustangs in one single group of formation flights. That feat, in terms of pilot experience and controller know-how, is truely amazing if you know anything at all about aviation. I've been to 30 years worth of airshows, and I'm an air traffic controller myself, and I've never seen anything like it before. Conversations with the controllers afterwards indicated that they probably will never do that again, so take a good close look at the warbird formation album, as you may never see that type of flight again.
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04/27/2007 Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis died doing what he loved and what he did best _ flying high with his fellow U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a Catholic priest told mourners at a memorial Mass Thursday.
Although many in attendance did not know the 32-year-old Pittsfield, Mass., native, all were touched by the Blue Angels, said Monsignor James Flaherty of the Pensacola's Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
"The Blue Angels are intimately connected with the fabric of our community and the fabric of this church," said Flaherty, who noted that the team's practices often coincide with the church's funeral masses and provided comfort for mourners.
"They give us solace during those moments and we are here to give them solace tonight," he said.
Davis was killed Saturday when his No. 6 F/A-18A Hornet went down during the final minutes of a performance at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in Beaufort, S.C. Officials in South Carolina said Thursday the average crash investigation takes about three months.
The Blue Angels, known for their high-speed aerial maneuvers, had not had a fatal crash since 1999.
The Mass was held at a church that sits just outside the gates of Pensacola Naval Air Station, where the Blue Angels are based. The service was not attended by many Navy personnel in uniform. A private military service is planned for the weekend and Davis will be buried at Barrancas National Cemetery on the base.
A group of veterans parked their motorcycles across from the church and flew American flags in support of Davis.
"Lt. Cmdr. Davis, the Blue Angels, they represent our country in the highest way," said J.L. Faircloth, a retired Marine and a Vietnam Veteran.
Last update: 04/27/2007