Vintage Airliner Crashes After Abbotsford Int’l Airshow

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0

Historic Flight Foundation's DH.89 Dragon Rapide

A vintage aircraft crashed after the Abbotsford International Airshow on Saturday. The vintage biplane, a de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide operated by the Historic Flight Foundation, was reportedly attempting to take off with a load of paying passengers Saturday evening when it experienced trouble and came down hard near the runway. At least five passengers were hurt and transported to hospitals, two via air ambulance. One person had to be freed from the wreckage.

The flight was not part of the airshow itself, and took place after the performances had concluded for the day. Photos from the scene show the aircraft sitting with its nose in the dirt.

The aircraft is a vintage airliner from the 1930s, constructed largely of wood and fabric as was common at the time. It is a very recent addition to the Historic Flight Foundation’s collection. The HFF is based at Paine Field north of Seattle and operates a number of vintage aircraft including a Douglas DC-3, P-51 Mustang, and Supermarine Spitfire.

As usual, we have more information about the airshow and the incident on our forums.

Historic Flight Foundation's DH.89 Dragon Rapide

Update: Here is the full press release from the airshow, which states much of what we already know and adds the the airshow will continue as planned Sunday.

At 5:30 pm, shortly after the Airshow ended, Abbotsford International Airshow officials were notified of a crash on the Abbotsford International Airport runway. A 1930’s era biplane (deHaviland Dragon Rapide) crashed shortly after takeoff.

The occupants of the aircraft include the pilot and four adult passengers. All five on board have been taken to hospital by BC Ambulance Service by both air and road; three with non-life threatening injuries, one serious and one critical.

As the Abbotsford International Airshow has just completed for the day, many emergency resources were already in place and able to respond immediately.

The crash investigation is in the preliminary stages, and will be conducted by the Transportation Safety Board. Further enquiries regarding the crash are to be forwarded to the Transportation Safety Board.

At this time the Airport is closed and will be expected to reopen this evening around 9:00 pm. Further enquiries regarding Abbotsford Airport Operations are to be forwarded to the Airport Manager.

The Airshow will proceed as scheduled on Sunday.

Greg Shelton To Be Awarded 2018 Bill Barber Award For Showmanship

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 0

Greg Shelton Wins Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

The 2018 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship is Greg Shelton, someone known across the airshow industry for his various acts and performances.

Shelton, who began performing in airshows in 1990, had an interest in aviation from an early age. In 1982, Greg began flying lessons in a J-3 Cub, but traded in the Cub for a Starduster Too so he could persue aerobatics. That decision certainly paid off!

Today, Greg is well known for his 450 Super Stearman act and FM-2 Wildcat aerobatic performances. In 2017, Greg and his wife/wing walker Ashley Shelton added a nighttime wing walking act to their plethora of performances, once again bringing creativity to the world of airshows. Greg’s 2018 show season includes 12 airshows in both the Super Stearman and Wildcat.

Presented annually by World Airshow News and friends and family of the late Bill Barber, airshow performer extraordinaire, the award recognizes an airshow entertainer who has demonstrated superb showmanship ability. Past recipients compose the selection committee.

Previous award winners include:
2017 Kyle Franklin
2016 Manfred Radius
2015 Bob Carlton
2014 Greg Koontz
2013 Skip Stewart
2012 Matt Younkin
2011 Rich and Dee Gibson
2010 Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
2009 Mike Goulian
2008 Bud Granley
2007 Dacy Family Airshow Team (Dave, Phil, Julia, and Susan Dacy and Tony Kazian)
2006 Danny Clisham
2005 Kent and Warren Pietsch
2004 Bobby Younkin
2003 Jim LeRoy
2002 AeroShell Aerobatic Team
2001 Northern Lights Aerobatic Team
2000 John Mohr
1999 Dan Buchanan
1998 Patty Wagstaff
1997 Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes
1996 Wayne Handley
1995 Bob Hoover
1994 Bob & Annette Hosking (Otto)
1993 Red Baron Stearman Squadron (Steve Thompson, John Bowman, Sonny Lovelace, Randy Drake, and Jerry & Margaret Van Kempen)
1992 Sean D. Tucker
1991 Julie Clark
1990 Leo Loudenslager
1989 Jim Franklin
1988 No recipient
1987 The French Connection (Daniel Heligoin & Montaine Mallet)

The award will be formally presented in a special evening ceremony on Tuesday, July 24th at Theater in the Woods at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.

Airshow Legend Sean D. Tucker To Retire From Solo Aerobatics In 2018

posted in: Aerobatics, Airshows | 1

Sean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger III

An airshow legend is preparing to move into a new era in his career. Pilot Sean D. Tucker told the Dayton Daily News that he plans to retire from solo aerobatics after the 2018 airshow season. His famous red biplane, the Oracle Challenger III, will go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for permanent display. Sean has flown more than 26,000 hours over four decades of airshow appearances, and practices his hardcore aerobatic routine up to three times a day.

Sean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger IIISean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger III

Sean is far from done, however. He is looking to form a formation aerobatic team for future airshow performances. A team performance would be less physically demanding than his rigorous solo routine, an important factor for a 65-year-old pilot. He has previously flown team performances, most recently as part of “The Collaborators” alongside his son Eric Tucker, Bill Stein, and Ben Freelove.

In addition to his airshow flying, Sean is the chairman of EAA’s Young Eagles program that takes kids for airplane rides. He has been named one of the 25 living legends of aviation and won numerous other awards. We are excited to see what he comes up with!

Pilot Killed In Crash At Airshow Of The Cascades

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 6
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.

Fan Submissions: Theme Week 19 – Biplanes

posted in: Community | 0

Thank you to all of our fans for submitting to our Biplane theme week! It’s great to see over 100 submissions from our fans and some of the most unique sets of aircraft we’ve seen in all our theme weeks! We posted some of our favorite Biplane photos throughout the week, and asked you to share some of your own shots to be featured right here on our blog. Check out just a sampling of the submissions in the slideshow below!

Do you have some photos you’d like to share? This week’s theme is Bombers! Whether it be the big heavies of today (B-52, B-1, B-2) or the classic bombers of World War II, we want to see your best bomber photos! If you would like to contribute to our next theme week, go to our Facebook page, like the page, and upload your photos to our wall!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.