Pilot Killed, Two Others Injured When Rare de Havilland Venom Crashes On Takeoff In Wisconsin

posted in: Warbirds | 11

Marty Tibbitts Killed In DH-112 Venom Crash - Sheboygan WI

Pilot Marty Tibbitts was killed on Friday when his de Havilland DH-112 Venom aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. Marty was on a formation training flight when the accident occurred. The aircraft crashed into a barn near the airport, killing dozens of livestock and injuring two people on the ground.

The Venom, along with a de Havilland Vampire and rare Gloster Meteor, was to be a featured performer at EAA AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh, WI. All three are owned by the World Heritage Air Museum, based out of Detroit, Michigan. The formation training flight was in preparation for the show.

The Venom is a Cold War-era British jet which served with the Royal Air Force as a single-seat bomber and a two-seat night fighter. According to the World Heritage Air Museum, there are only 4-6 flying Venoms in the world, including the one they had. The aircraft was the only one of its type flying in the US.

Sadly, we filmed Marty flying the Venom just one week before the crash. We present this video in his memory. May he rest in peace.

GEICO Skytypers Pilot Ken Johansen Killed In Long Island Crash

posted in: Airshows | 5

Geico Skytypers Crash - Ken Johansen

Ken Johansen, a member of the the GEICO Skytypers airshow team, was killed earlier today when his SNJ-2 aircraft crashed in Melville, NY on Long Island.

Witnesses say the aircraft encountered an issue in flight, leading to the crash. The crash site was in a residential area not far from the team’s home airport, the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY. Video taken immediately before the crash shows the aircraft in a spin as it approaches the ground.

Nobody on the ground was injured. The fire was quickly extinguished by local and airport fire crews.

GEICO Skytypers

Ken is a second generation Skytyper. His father, Bob is also on the team. Ken first flew with the Skytypers at the age of eight. The team’s website says he caught the aviation bug early in life from his father. Ken graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1989 and earned his Navy wings in 1991.

He went on to fly P-3 Orions on both coasts with VP-23 and VP-46. His career also took him to the Netherlands, where he flew P-3s with the Royal Netherlands Navy from 1996 to 1998. Ken opted to transition from active duty with the Navy and was quickly hired by TWA, where he flew MD-80s, 757s, and 767s. After giving up his active duty status, Ken was also hired by VR-52 in Willow Grove, PA, as a Navy Reserve Instruction Pilot flying DC-9s around the world. Recently, he was the Commanding Officer of VR-58 in Jacksonville, FL, flying C-40s (737-700s) throughout the world. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

An investigation is underway involving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The GEICO Skytypers are well known for their skytyping and airshow demonstrations. Using their WWII-era SNJ trainers, they create words in the sky the size of the Empire State Building.

The team performed last weekend at the Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach, very close to the crash site, and was scheduled to perform this weekend at the NAS Patuxent River airshow in Maryland.

AirshowStuff extends our condolences to the family, friends, and teammates of Ken.

GEICO Skytypers Ribbon

Rob Holland Back In The Air After Crash Landing; Will Resume 2018 Airshow Schedule

posted in: Aerobatics | 1

Rob Holland

Airshow pilot and four time consecutive world freestyle champion Rob Holland is ready to take to the skies at airshows across the states again after being reacquainted with an old friend.

Holland has leased his previous MX2 from the current owner, Marty Flournoy. Holland sold the aircraft to Flourney, himself an aerobatic pilot, after acquiring the custom-built MXS-RH that was heavily damaged in a forced landing a few weeks ago.

Rob says this is his way of “moving forward” with the 2018 show season following the incident. The aircraft has already been painted and wrapped in sponsor logos.

You can view Rob Holland’s 2018 show schedule on our forums.

Here’s a video of Rob flying his old MX2 at the 2010 Rockford Airfest.

CONFIRMED: A-10 Warthog Aerobatic Demonstrations Returning In 2018!

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Get ready Warthog fans! The wait is over. A-10 Warthog single-ship demonstrations will return to the skies at airshows across the nation in 2018.

In a statement released by Air Combat Command this week, we learned an A-10 demonstration team will be based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. They will perform at approximately 14 airshows during the 2018 show season. This follows a Twitter post by the current A-10 Heritage Flight team, which we reported on last week, that hinted at a coming announcement. There is no word on what will happen to the current East Coast A-10 Heritage Flight Team, based at Moody AFB in GA.

You may remember due to budget restrictions and sequestration, single ship demos were restricted after the 2011 season. Heritage Flights were performed in 2012 and 2017, but no aerobatic demonstrations were allowed.

Here is the text of the announcement shared by ICAS and ACC:

The United States Air Force A-10 demonstration team will once again display the capabilities of the Thunderbolt II at approximately 14 shows throughout the 2018 air show season.

The A-10 demonstration team last flew in 2011. Since then, when it has participated in air shows, the A-10 has been either a static display aircraft or flown exclusively with the Air Force Heritage Flight program (in 2012 and 2017). In 2018, the Warthog will fly a full aerobatic demonstration and also perform in Heritage Flight demonstrations.

Specifically designed for close air support, the A-10’s combination of high and low speed maneuverability has made it a popular air show demonstration aircraft for many years. Beginning next year, the A-10 demo team – based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – will be flown by Captain Cody Wilton.

Are you excited to see the return of Warthog demos? What shows do you think may get an A-10 demonstration in 2018?

Visit our forums to discuss this exciting news!

Kyle Franklin Flies It Like He Stole It, Collects Bill Barber Award At EAA AirVenture 2017

posted in: Aerobatics | 0

Kyle Franklin Awarded Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

Second generation airshow pilot Kyle Franklin was awarded the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship during an annual ceremony on Tuesday evening of EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, WI.

The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and is awarded to air show performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.

Kyle is now in his 20th year of performing in airshows. He got his start in the industry by wingwalking on his late father’s Waco biplane at age 17 – the youngest ever. He’s also known for being the first jet biplane wingwalker, creating his popular pirate-themed act “Pirated Skies,” and performing the motorcycle to airplane transfer act.

Today, Franklin flies his popular “Dracula” biplane performances and Super Cub comedy act at airshows across the nation. He performed his “stolen” Cub act twice during the week at AirVenture, and took one of our cameras along for a harrowing ride on Tuesday. Thanks to Chris Desmond for the help with the footage!

We also filmed Kyle’s act from the ground, where you can really see how much skill he has as he throws the aircraft all over the sky (and sometimes the ground) while remaining in complete control.

While accepting the award, Kyle remembered those who he grew up with in the airshow industry, including his parents and his late wife Amanda Franklin, and thanked them for their help in getting him to where he is today.

Kyle joins his father, Jimmy Franklin who was awarded with the award in 1989. Kyle and Jimmy are the second father and son to receive the Bill Barber Award. Bobby Younkin (2004) and his son Matt (2012) were the first.

Congrats Kyle!

American Kirby Chambliss Wins Budapest Red Bull Air Race

posted in: Air Racing | 0
Kirby Chambliss of the United States (C) celebrates with Pete McLeod of Canada (L) and Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (R) during the Award Ceremony at the fourth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017. // Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

American Kirby Chambliss has taken the victory in the 4th race of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Series.

Chambliss was the first to take on the track among the Final 4, which was made up of Pete McLeod (CAN), Martin Sonka (CZE) and Yoshihide Muroya (JPN). His time was 1:00.632, the second fastest time of the day among competitors. He edged out Pete McLeod by only 0.108s.

After the race Chambliss said: “I love Budapest. I have to thank my team, it’s not a one person effort, I can’t thank them enough. I’m super stoked. Winning is easy when you’re winning, it’s not when you’re not.”

Kirby Chambliss of the United States performs during the finals at the fourth stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017. // Armin Walcher / Red Bull Content Pool

American Michael Goulian finished 12th, after failing to make it out of the Round of 14. He exceeded the G-limit set by RBAR and was given a Did Not Finish (DNF). Goulian is a previous winner at Budapest, having won the race in 2009. In his post race interview, Goulian said he just slightly over G’d the aircraft and was proud of the way he flew.

Kirby’s win moved him up to fourth in the World Championship standings. Yoshihide Muroya continues to lead with 4 races remaining. The series moves onto the Kazan, Russia in three weeks for the 5th race of the season. The final race of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Series will be in Indianapolis, IN at Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 14-15th.

The final results were:

Red Bull Air Race Budapest Results

Red Bull Air Racer Mike Mangold Killed In Plane Crash

posted in: Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 2
Mike Mangold
Photo: mikemangold.us

Mike Mangold is dead after he was involved in an L-39 Albatros crash Sunday afternoon. Witnesses to the crash say that the aircraft was attempting to takeoff from Apple Valley Airport in Apple Valley, CA when it encountered an issue and crashed.

Apple Valley Fire and Police Department spokesman Jason Nailon said that as “the jet was taxiing down the runway, someone spotted flames coming out of the engine.”

A second person onboard at the time of the crash was also killed, but authorities have not released their name.

Mangold was famous for his airshow flying and for his time as a Red Bull Air Race pilot. During his flying career, which spanned 38 years, Mangold flew for the USAF as well as commercially and as an airshow pilot. He won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2007, and took home gold, silver, and bronze medals at the US National Aerobatic Championships.

He is survived by his wife and two children. AirshowStuff sends our sincere condolences to Mike’s family and friends. Godspeed.

Airplane that Led the D-Day Invasion Appears at Oshkosh

posted in: Warbirds | 0

IMG_6720webish

If you’re heading to Oshkosh, look for a part of history on the airfield! Aircraft number 42-92847, nicknamed “That’s All, Brother,” will be on display all week in Boeing PLaza. The aircraft is the C-47 that led Mission Albany. The aircraft group that it flew with was a formation of 432 aircraft which launched just after midnight on D-Day will be on site for the public to view.

The aircraft was acquired by Basler Turbo Conversions LLC of Oshkosh,WI in 2008. Not knowing the history of the aircraft, Basler had planned to convert it into a modern BT-67 turboprop, changing the appearance of the aircraft by lengthening its fuselage, replacing the original engines with modern engines and gutting the cockpit, replacing it with new equipment.

In it’s current state, “That’s All Brother” looks like an AC-47 Gunship, a role it never served.

“At 2233 hours, our first airplane, with the name “That’s All, Brother” begins its roll down the runway. It is thus America’s lead plane of the spearhead of the greatest military invasion in the history of man.” W.L. George Collins, “Into Fields of Fire”
“At 2233 hours, our first airplane, with the name “That’s All, Brother” begins its roll down the runway. It is thus America’s lead plane of the spearhead of the greatest military invasion in the history of man.” W.L. George Collins, “Into Fields of Fire”

The Commemorative Air Force and Basler Turbo Conversions are searching for funding to help restore the aircraft through a Kickstarter campaign. Reward levels are available for those who donate.

The CAF plans to fly it in the future, even overseas in Europe to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day if they raise enough money. Their full plan states:

-Faithfully restore the aircraft to represent its exact configuration on D-Day. This will include exterior paint and the installation of original seats, avionics, radio and radar equipment.
Maintain the aircraft in airworthy condition as a piece of living history, attending major national commemoration events, airshows, flyovers and the like.
-Develop a touring educational program that emphasizes the values of the Greatest Generation: courage, self-sacrifice, perseverance, initiative, and the price of freedom. The program will be influenced by the success of the CAF’s Red Tail Squadron program RISE ABOVE. Using a P-51C Mustang and traveling movie theater, this takes the inspirational story of the Tuskegee Airmen to 40 cities each year, reaching about 50,000 people annually.
-Fly to Europe in the summer of 2019 to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the last opportunity for living veterans to attend a major commemoration event.

As of July 20th, the Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $328,736 for the cause as of July 20th. CAF and Basler Turbo Conversions have until August 31, 2015 to raise the money necessary to rescue the airplane.

#MustangMonday P-51 Fan Photos – June 15th, 2015

posted in: Community, Warbirds | 0

We asked our Facebook fans to share their best P-51 #MustangMonday picture and they delivered! Scroll through the pictures below to see the best fan submissions today on our Facebook page. Just because #MustangMonday is almost over, doesn’t mean the Mustang love has to stop! Feel free to post pictures of the P-51 or any airshow photo you have on our Facebook fan page anytime!

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Air Race 1 World Cup To End At Reno

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0

Formula 1 Air Race

Air racing fans will want to make sure they’re in Reno in late September as the city plays host to the Air Race 1 World Cup! Reno, NV will play host to the final event of the 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup, a thrilling race of 8 aircraft in a 10 lap battle at 450kph where the first plane to cross the finish line wins! This will be the first international title in Formula 1 Air Racing’s 70 year history.

Mike Major, CEO of RARA, said: “The Reno Air Races has long been a cornerstone of the sport of air racing, but we are not resting on our laurels and many new innovations are planned. So the timing is perfect for us to harness the growth of air racing globally through this partnership with the exciting new international series, the Air Race 1 World Cup, to introduce true air racing to many new audiences.”

Pilots competing in the 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup will be announced in March. Other venues on the schedule include Monastir, Tunisia in early June and Lleida, Spain in late June. The races at Reno are scheduled for Sunday, September 20th.

The Air Race 1 World Cup is sanctioned as the top international title in the sport of formula one air racing by the three official associations based in USA, UK and France. Each event will be covered extensively by global media and the television program will be available in almost 100 countries. The series hopes to expand to more cities in 2016.

Photo from Air Race 1 Website

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