Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule Announced – Two US Stops Included

posted in: Aerobatics, Schedules | 0

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

Red Bull has announced the 2017 schedule for their popular Air Racing series, with stops in at least six countries and three continents currently planned for the circuit.

The season will begin in early February in Abu Dhabi and wrap up at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. A west coast United States stop returns to the schedule in 2017, with the addition of San Diego to the schedule in April.

Missing from the 2017 schedule is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which has hosted a Red Bull Air Race since 2014 and served as the final race since 2015. This year, Indianapolis will assume the role of the final race with the series championship potentially on the line.

You may remember in previous years, the Las Vegas event has run into issues with winds and weather conditions. Hopefully, by moving the final race of the year to Indianapolis, Red Bull will have better weather.

2017 Red Bull Air Race Schedule:

Stop 1: Abu Dhabi, UAE – Feb 10-11th
Stop 2: San Diego, CA, USA – April 15-16th
Stop 3: Chiba, Japan – June 3-4th
Stop 4: Budapest, Hungary – July 1-2nd
Stop 5: Kazan, Russia – July 22-23rd
Stop 6: TBA – Europe – August 12-13th
Stop 7: TBA – Europe – September 2-3rd
Stop 8: Indianapolis, IN, USA – Oct 14-15th

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

Red Bull Pilot Hannes Arch Dies In Helicopter Accident

posted in: Aerobatics | 1
Hannes Arch - Red Bull Air Race
Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch died last night in a helicopter crash in the mountains of his native Austria. Few details are available at this time, but the Red Bull Air Race Facebook page posted this tribute:

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our long-time, close friend Hannes Arch in a private helicopter flight at Carinthia, Austria.

Hannes has been a Red Bull Athlete for over 25 years. The world mainly knew Hannes as an amazingly successful Red Bull Air Race pilot. This was only one of the ways in which his spirit found expression. In younger days he was ranked as one of the world’s leading mountaineers and climbers and was one of the first aerobatic paragliders.

We will miss his warmth, sense of fun and boundless energy. To his family and many other friends, we extend our deepest sympathy.

Hannes was actively competing in the Red Bull Air Race series this year, and holds third place in the 2016 rankings. There are two more races on the 2016 schedule, both in the United States. Both events are expected to go on as planned despite this tremendous loss.

Pilot Killed In Crash At Airshow Of The Cascades

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 5
Marcus Paine
Photo Credit: Marcus Paine’s Facebook Page

Pilot Marcus Paine was killed today when his Stearman biplane crashed during a performance at the Airshow of the Cascades in Madras, Oregon. He was the only person on board and no one on the ground was injured. Paine was reportedly performing aerobatics when he hit the ground. The remainder of the airshow was canceled following the crash, and the show was not scheduled to be held on Sunday.

A brief bio, from the Airshow of the Cascades website:

Marcus Paine brings the thrill of aerobatic flight from his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years. Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is a skilled instructor – teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principals of flight. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Jumpmaster. He commanded a combat dive A Team and worked projects throughout the Middle East and South America. He’ll be thrilling our audience with his 450 Stearman!

Bearfeat Aerobatics Pilot Randy Harris And Passenger Killed In Crash Near Vance AFB

posted in: Aerobatics | 1

Randy Harris - Bearfeat Aerobatics

Aerobatic pilot Randy Harris, who performed under the label of “Bearfeat Aerobatics”, was killed yesterday when his Skybolt biplane went down near Vance AFB in Oklahoma. His passenger, identified as USAF T-38 instructor pilot 1st Lt. Dale Bryan Shillington, was also killed in the crash. The aircraft was reportedly flying aerobatics when it went out of control and crashed in a field.

Harris was set to perform at the Vance AFB 75th anniversary open house and airshow this weekend, and was giving media rides in advance of the show. Following the crash, the base announced that the show will go on with added tributes to the pilots.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of both men.

Greg Connell Killed in Plane Crash at 2016 Good Neighbor Day Open House Airshow

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows | 1
Greg Connell
FILE: Greg Connell performing at the 2014 Ocean City Airshow in Maryland

A plane crash occurred at Saturday’s Good Neighbor Day Open House Airshow at the DeKalb Peachtree Airport, GA, killing aerobatic pilot Greg Connell. The crash happened just before 5pm, towards the end of the airshow. The airport, located northeast of Atlanta, was holding a one day airshow with Greg, Wildhorse Aviation, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Larry King, and several other aerobatic performers.

Although the winds were gusty, the weather was clear at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are on site assisting with the investigation.

A post on Greg’s Facebook page late Saturday night said, “Please keep Greg’s Family and Friends in your prayers. There are no words to describe what we all are feeling right now. God Bless & Godspeed Greg.”

AirshowStuff extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Greg Connell.

The airshow was only a one day event. Flags at the airport flew at half-staff Saturday evening to honor Greg.

SUN ‘n FUN To Feature Red Bull Air Race Demo

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows | 2

Red Bull Air Race - Sun n Fun

Attendees of SUN ‘n FUN on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 8-10th) will be in for quite a treat. For the first time at a North American airshow, 80 ft pylons will be raised on the airfield and two pilots will compete on the resulting race course to demonstrate how scoring and timing of the Red Bull Air Race series is conducted.

Red Bull Air Race pilots Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss will be performing the demonstration.

If you’re at the airshow, you can purchase tickets for upcoming races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You’ll also have the opportunity to look at a pylon up close, fly a simulator, and purchase RBAR merchandise.

Airshow Pilots Prepare For 2016 Season

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows | 1

The long winter stretch with little or no airshow activity is almost over! Soon the roar of jet engines and the sound of spinning props will ripple through the air, letting airshow fans know that the flying season is upon us!

A few airshows have already occurred this year – AIR FIESTA 2016 occurred in Brownsville, TX on Feb 13th and 14th and a few airshows were held in California in January. The Singapore Airshow was also held in February!

Kyle Franklin

But while the off season may be slightly depressing for airshow fans, it gives performers time to regroup and inspect their aircraft. During the winter, airshow pilots typically take them apart and look over every inch. Kyle Franklin did just that this year and posted this picture on his Facebook page. During the inspections, Kyle found a cracked exhaust flange on his high performance biplane known as “Dracula”. Kyle says the problem is fairly common with his exhaust and they have made adjustments so that it doesn’t crack as much.

Kyle Franklin recently posted a video on his Facebook page showing him starting up Dracula for the first time in 2016.

Many other pilots spend the winter season training for the upcoming season. Michael Goulian and Kevin Coleman will be participating in the Red Bull Air Race this year. Kevin will be competing in the Challenger Cup.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds have also been preparing for the season. The Blues “crested” many members of the 2016 team today at El Centro. The team has been flying practice flights at El Centro to get ready for the season. The Thunderbirds will fly their Creech AFB Appreciation Show on Tuesday, March 8th to thank the airmen of Creech for their support during the season. The Thunderbirds use Creech as a training airport.

The off season also gives us and many other aviation photographers a chance to catch up on photo editing, clean the camera, and just maybe get some new equipment! We’re ready for the season to start and excited to bring you coverage of this year’s airshow season. Stay here through the season for the latest in airshow news, photos, and videos!

In 2014, we did a RideAlong! onboard cockpit video with Kyle at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Check out the video below!

2016 Dates And Locations Announced For Red Bull Air Racing

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows, Miscellaneous | 1

Red Bull Air Race 2009 - Windsor, ON

The 2016 dates for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship were announced today, and the 8-stop world tour will conclude with two stops in the US. The 7th stop will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN before the series wraps up by returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. The stop in Indianapolis already has Midwest airshow fans abuzz as it is the first stop in the region since 2010. The full 2016 schedule is below.

    March 11-12 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
    April 23-24 – Spielberg, Austria
    TBD – Japan
    July 16-17 – Budapest, Hungary
    August 13-14 – Ascot, Great Britain
    September 3-4 – Lausitzring, Germany
    October 1-2 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    October 15/16 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Each race will be broadcast in the US on Fox Sports 1 on a schedule to be announced later.

Each air race is arranged as a time trial event. Carefully selected pilots from around the world fly small aerobatic planes such as Edge 540s and Extra 300s through gates made of inflatable pylons. These pylons are specially designed to not damage the aircraft in the frequent event of contact. There are multiple rounds per event and the pilot with the fastest time through the course is the winner.

The flexible setup allows the course to take on a new layout at each race location, often in a small footprint. While many of the earlier events took place over open water, race tracks have seemingly become a favored location since they do not have many tall obstacles, the track can be used as a temporary airport, and the crowd can sit in pre-existing grand stands.

The series was created in 2003 and soon branched out from Europe to the US and around the world. Previous US events have been held in Monument Valley, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit (along with adjacent Windsor, Ontario), and New York City. The races were not held in 2011, 2012, or 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the series concluded with stops in Texas and Las Vegas. Stops outside the US have included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UAE, and more.

Rob Holland Wins Gold at 2015 World Aerobatic Championships

posted in: Aerobatics | 0

Rob Holland Taxi-L

Rob Holland, US airshow pilot, has won an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in the 28th edition of the World Aerobatic Championships in France. The Freestyle competition, held Saturday was the class that Rob won his gold medal in. Flying an MXS, he achieved a final freestyle score of 3360.2479 and a cumulative score of 84.01%.

Martin Sonka from the Czeck Republic placed second with 77% while Castor Fantoba from Spain placed third with 76%.

The competition, held in France at the Châteauroux-Deols airport brings together the top program and freestyle aerobatic pilots from around the world to compete. The 10 day event began on August 20th and wrapped up Saturday morning, the 29th. Over 60 pilots competed in the event this year from 18 different countries including the United States, Russia, South-Africa, Spain, Poland, France and Germany.

For more information on the event, visit their website.

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Airshow Performers Ask for Fans’ Help

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows, Warbirds | 0

Patty Wagstaff

It’s a well known fact that participating in airshows is expensive – planes, fuel, smoke oil, travel, and hotel costs all take a toll on the airshow performer. It’s harder and harder to get and keep sponsorship now than it used to be. As a result, a few airshow performers have taken to unconventional ways of trying to raise funds.

Patty Wagstaff, a Bill Barber Award for Showmanship recipient and inductee into many airshow and aviation hall of fames is asking for help to raise money for a new airplane. She started a GoFundMe campaign, a popular way to raise money through crowd sourcing.

Since starting on July 3rd, the campaign has raised $3,275 (as of July 10th) and is asking for nearly $450,000. Patty, who started the campaign herself posted an explanation on her Facebook fan page for the campaign after receiving some criticism. In it, she says she figured “why not?” when starting the campaign. She needs “a new airplane and needs support,” and says that she “loves supporting other people and think(s) people have been pretty successful on crowdfunding sites.” Fans so far seem to be supportive of her, at least verbally on her fan pages. The page has accumulated over 1,200 total shares.

In addition to Patty’s campaign, another airshow performer, Scott Yoak, who flies a P-51 Mustang affectionately known as “Quicksilver” is also asking for help. Scott’s campaign won’t require you to pull out your credit card though; Quicksilver is in a contest run by Wells Fargo Bank to help out small businesses. Applicants had to write an essay or submit a video saying why they decided to start their business, their mission, the biggest challenge they face, what upcoming business opportunities they seek in the next 2-5 years, and how they would spend $25,000.

Scott talks about keeping history alive and how he and his father, Bill Yoak created Quicksilver P-51 Airshows to “provide a unique opportunity for airshow audiences to see, feel, and hear the power and vibrations of a historic aircraft that helped free a world at war.”

The finalists and grand prize winners will be announced in September. As of July 10th, the entry had over 3,100 views. The number of votes was not given.