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

posted in: Warbirds | 9

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.

Rare British Jet Warbirds Expected At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018

posted in: Airshows, Warbirds | 0

de Havilland Vampire

Some rare British jet aircraft will be on the flightline in Oshkosh this July! EAA recently announced that the World Heritage Air Museum in Detroit, MI is planning to bring both a de Havilland Venom and Vampire, as well as a Gloster Meteor that is currently the oldest flying jet in the world. The aircraft mark just part of the growing collection at WHAM, which has displayed other aircraft at EAA AirVenture in the past.

These new attendees will join other vintage jets like the L-39 Albatros, T-33 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre, and MiG-17 Fresco. The jet warbirds are typically featured during “Jet Day”, but often fly other days of the week too. Organizers are encouraging other jet owners to come to the attend in the hopes of sparking a larger gathering. Even as it stands, AirVenture 2018 will surely be a rare treat for jet lovers!

RCAF Announces 2018 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Pilot And Theme

posted in: Military | 0
RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demo Pilot Captain Stefan "Porcelain" Porteous
Photo courtesy of the RCAF

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has announced the CF-18 Hornet demonstration pilot for the 2018 airshow season, as well as the theme for the 2018 team.

Captain Stefan “Porcelain” Porteous will be the demonstration pilot for the 2018 season. He is from Comox, British Columbia and earned his private pilot license in 2005 after first learning to fly gliders with the Royal Air Cadets. He joined the RCAF in 2008 and qualified to fly the CF-18 Hornet in 2014. Capt. Porteous is currently part of 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing in Bagotville, Quebec.

The theme he will be flying for in 2018 is the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is the military command charged with defending North American airspace. It was jointly established in 1958 by Canada and the United States and continues to maintain a 24/7 watch to protect both countries.

Assuming tradition holds, the aircraft assigned to the demonstration team will be given a special paint scheme (designed by Jim Belliveau) celebrating this theme. The 2017 demo jet, flown by Capt. Matthew “Glib” Kutryk, featured a stunning red and white paint scheme celebrating Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the country’s confederation.

Previous demo paint schemes have ranged from special tails to designs covering the entire aircraft. During a live video interview, Capt. Porteous reported that the 2018 scheme will be a full aircraft design with midnight blue as the primary color. More details on the 2018 paint scheme will be released at a later date!

Take a look at the 2018 CF-18 Hornet demonstration schedule to see if the team will be performing near you!

Quotes from the press release:

“I am extremely honoured to have been selected as Canada’s 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration Team pilot. I am very much looking forward to commemorating 60 years of NORAD at air shows throughout the summer while having the opportunity to be part of a highly dedicated team that will work together to put on thrilling performances aimed at demonstrating the professionalism and skill of the men and women of the RCAF. I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the course of the coming demonstration season.”

– Capt. Porteous, 2018 CF-18 demonstration pilot

“As the Commander of the Canadian NORAD Region, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the important NORAD mission and our important bi-national partnership through the 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration program. The men and women of NORAD work diligently to keep watch over our countries and to protect the air sovereignty of North America. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, no matter what – we have the watch.”

– Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region

First F-35A Lightning II Aerobatic Performance Planned For 2017 Paris Airshow; USAF Demos To Follow In 2018

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

USAF and Lockheed Martin plan F-35 Demos for 2018

The United States Air Force and Lockheed Martin are reportedly starting to develop an aerobatic demonstration routine with their newest fighter jet, the F-35A Lightning II, for the 2018 airshow season. They have been developing the routine and practicing it in the simulator this year, and they are ready to begin practice flights at their F-35 production facility in Fort Worth.

Most of us will have to wait until 2018 to see the demo, but those attending the 2017 Paris Airshow will actually see the first performance. The Air Force says they will “build our demonstration profile based on the experiences and lessons learned from F-35 participation in other airshows and the Lockheed Martin demonstration at the 2017 Paris Air Show.”

The F-35 Heritage Flight Team stood up at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in 2016. The team performed at 15 airshows in 2016 and is scheduled to perform at 14 airshows in 2017. It has not been announced where the demonstration team would be based out of, but the Heritage Team operates out of Luke AFB in Arizona. We’ll provide more information as we learn it.

Nellis Air Force Base Concludes 17-2 Red Flag Aerial Combat Training Exercise

posted in: Military | 2

This past week, the year’s second Red Flag Exercise, known as Red Flag 17-2, came to a close after two intense weeks of training consisting of air to air, air to ground, aerial refueling, and overwatch missions. Missions were flown during the afternoons and evenings, resulting in two mass launches and two mass recoveries of aircraft each day, five days a week.

Red Flag happens four times a year, hosting the world’s elite fighter squadrons from the US Air Force, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, NATO, and other allied nations. These groups gather to take part in ultra-realistic simulated aerial war games, which all take place at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

One participating aircraft type that really stood out from the crowd was the EA-6B Prowler operated by the US Marine Corps. This will be marked as the last Red Flag participation from any EA-6B squadron, as VMAQ-4 is set to deactivate. The squadron will be retiring its aging Prowler fleet this June, marking the end of an era for a distinguished airframe.

Colorado Air National Guard F-16 passing the moon during Red Flag 17-2EA-6B Prowler returns during Red Flag 17-2

The amount of time and effort that goes into creating these highly realistic combat environments is unprecedented. Even when the jets are not flying, the maintainers are hard at work on the line keeping the jets ready for the next sortie. While the maintainers and pilots do their tasks, the unsung warriors are the dozens of Red Flag mission organizers that help thoroughly brief and debrief hundreds of pilots from the 15 visiting fighter and support squadrons:

Royal Netherlands Air Force

  • F-16 Fighting Falcon

Spanje (Spanish Air Force)

  • ALA 111 – Eurofighter EF-2000
  • ALA 312 – KC-130H Hercules

Air National Guard

  • 100th FS – F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • 120th FS – F-16C Fighting Falcon

US Army

  • 149th AVN – UH-60 Blackhawk

US Air Force – Europe

  • 493d FS – F-15C/D Eagle

US Air Force

  • 16th ACCS – E-8C Joint STARS
  • 55th FS – F-16CJ Fighting Falcon
  • 79th RQS – HC-130 Hercules/HH-60 Blackhawk
  • 960th AACS – E-3 Sentry
  • 91st ARS – KC-135 Stratotanker

US Navy

  • HSC-21 – MH-60S Seahawk
  • VAW-117 – E-2C Hawkeye

US Marine Corps

  • VMAQ-4 – EA-6B Prowler

HC-130 Red Flag 17-2

Beyond the squadrons’ jet fuel-driven training, exercises also draw crowds of a different breed. Hundreds of aviation photographers travel to Nellis each Red Flag for the opportunity to photograph aircraft from squadrons they may never have the chance to see again. Squadrons such as the Spanish, Dutch, and the Lakenheath-based USAFE F-15C/Ds were on every photographer’s must-shoot list. Nothing provides a better opportunity for good photos than the almost always clear Vegas skies mixed with perfect late afternoon light.

Though 17-2 has come to a close, photographers should mark their calendars as Nellis AFB will be hosting two more Red Flag exercises during the 2017 calendar year; the first taking place mid-July (17-3), and the second in mid-August (17-4).

– Anthony Cornelius

Spanish Eurofighter at Red Flag 17-2

F-16C From the 140th wing returning to Nellis AFBColorado Air National Guard F-16s leading a pair of Shaw AFB F-16s

Red Flag 17-2 Night Launch Operations

Pilot Killed When Thai Gripen Crashes At Airshow For Children

posted in: Airshows, Military | 1
Royal Thai Air Force Gripen
Photo source: Saab.com

Royal Thai Air Force Squadron Leader Dilokrit Pattavee was killed today when his Saab JAS 35 Gripen impacted the ground following a flyby at Hat Yai in Songkhla Province, Thailand during a Children’s Day celebration. The aircraft appeared to lose control during a maneuver and flew into the ground away from spectators.

The Ministry of Defense is investigating the incident. Both Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-ocha and the RTAF Air Chief Marshal Jom Roongsawang have expressed condolences to the pilot’s family.

The airport was closed following the incident, diverting flights to Krabi airport with outbound flights delayed.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sqn. Ldr. Dilokrit Pattavee.

CAF Announces New “Prowlers Of The Pacific” Airshow Act For 2017 Season

posted in: Warbirds | 0
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver - Prowlers of the Pacific
Photos courtesy of the Commemorative Air Force

The Commemorative Air Force announced a new airshow act today that will debut during the 2017 show season. The act is titled “Prowlers of the Pacific” and will feature an ensemble cast of CAF aircraft in a performance designed to tell the story of WWII in the Pacific theater. The featured aircraft are a Goodyear FG-1D (F4U) Corsair, a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, a replica Nakajima B5N “Kate”, and the world’s only flying Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. Pyrotechnic effects and other CAF aircraft can be added to the act for an even larger performance. Look for more on the act at the 2016 ICAS convention and at www.ProwlersOfThePacific.com!

FG-1D (F4U) CorsairB5N Kate Replica

Here is the synopsis of the act from the press release:

The massive roar of the radial engines, the smoke trailing from an aerial dog fight and rare warbirds fighting will re-create the scene over the waters of the Pacific!

The story of the Prowlers of the Pacific begins on that fateful day in December, 1941. The war in the Pacific doesn’t take place over land and airfields are rare. The war takes place over millions of miles of ocean and the aircraft carriers become the chess pieces each side maneuvers. Each carrier was equipped with fighters, bombers and torpedo planes to do battle and we put you at the head of the task force with the Prowlers of the Pacific!

Prowlers includes the only flying SB2C Curtiss Helldiver and rare SBD Dauntless dive-bomber, the famous gull-winged Corsair fighter and a Japanese Kate (replica) torpedo bomber that represent the best of the Pacific War. Additional fighters, bombers and pyro-technics are available on request. The Prowlers of the Pacific exhibits the aerial warfare witnessed at The Battle of the Coral Sea and The Battle of Midway, two events that changed the course of the war in the Pacific.

Nearly Intact P-47 Thunderbolt Pulled From Hudson River After Fatal Crash

posted in: Warbirds | 3
P-47 Thunderbolt "Jacky's Revenge" Pulled From Hudson River
Source: New York Post

The P-47 Thunderbolt “Jacky’s Revenge” that crashed into the Hudson River near the George Washington bridge on Friday has been removed from the water by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Photos from the site show that the aircraft appears amazingly intact, which is surprising given the fatal nature of the crash. It appears pilot Bill Gordon did an excellent job of ditching it, but sadly something still went wrong and he did not survive. His body was recovered by divers several hours after the crash. The aircraft has been taken to a nearby heliport so that the NTSB can study it during their investigation. Nothing has been announced on what will happen to it after that is complete.

P-47 Thunderbolt "Jacky's Revenge" Pulled From Hudson River
Source: HeraldNet

The owner, the American Airpower Museum, has canceled its participation in the nearby Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach State Park this weekend but said in a statement that the museum will remain open this Memorial Day weekend to ensure the mission of presenting history is continued. The airshow is also still being held, with a missing man formation flown in Bill’s honor.

Here is video of Jacky’s Revenge flying in happier times, at the Thunder Over Michigan airshow in 2014:

Please continue to keep Bill’s family and friends in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Pilot Bill Gordon Killed When P-47 Thunderbolt Crash Lands In Hudson River

posted in: Warbirds | 3

P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot Bill Gordon

Pilot Bill Gordon, former member of the Iron Eagles Aerobatic Team, has died after the WWII-era P-47 Thunderbolt he was piloting crash landed in the Hudson River near New York City. The aircraft was one of three participating in a photo flight near the city and Statue of Liberty on Friday evening to promote this weekend’s airshow at nearby Jones Beach. It came down just a couple of miles from the George Washington bridge after suspected mechanical trouble. The aircraft, “Jacky’s Revenge”, is owned by the American Airpower Museum on Long Island not far outside the city. The airshow will continue as planned this weekend.

Bill Gordon performs as part of the Iron Eagles Aerobatic Team

Adding to the tragedy were initial reports that the pilot was recovered safely and taken to the hospital. These reports were later corrected to state that the pilot was unaccounted for. His body was found in the wreckage by divers later that night. There is no word yet on what will happen to the aircraft, but the NTSB will be investigating the crash.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family and friends.

UPDATED: 2016 US Navy F-18 Hornet/Super Hornet Demo Team And Legacy Flight Schedules Released

posted in: Airshows, Military, Schedules | 2

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet

US Navy F/A-18C HornetUS Navy Tailhook Legacy Flight

The US Navy has released the 2016 airshow schedule for its F-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet demonstration teams. As we’ve reported previously, the Navy is also bringing back the Tailhook Legacy Flight program that puts these modern fighters in formation with civilian-operated Navy warbirds. Will you see the Hornets in 2016? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2016 Appearance Schedule

Updated 6/7/16

April
22-24 – Langley AFB, VA (VFA-106 Hornet)
23 – Louisville, KY

May
7-8 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
14-15 – JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ
21-22 – Latrobe, PA
21-22 – Shaw AFB, SC

June
11-12 – North Kingstown, RI (VFA-106 Hornet)
11-12 – Syracuse, NY (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
18-19 – Ocean City, MD (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
18-19 – Dayton, OH (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
24-26 – Evansville, IN (VFA-106 (Super Hornet)
25-26 – Davenport, IA (VFA-122 Super Hornet)

July
3 – Dubaque, IA (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
9-10 – Duluth, MN (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
15-16 – Toldeo, OH (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
25-31 – Oshkosh, WI (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
30-31 – Offutt, NE (VFA-122 Super Hornet)

August
5-7 – Hillsboro, OR (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
13-14 – Burlington, VT (VFA-106 Hornet)
13-14 – Abbotsford, BC (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
17 – Atlantic City, NJ (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
19-21 – Chicago, IL (VFA-106 Hornet)
19-21 – Ypsilanti, MI (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
27-28 – McChord,WA (VFA-122 Super Hornet)

September
3-4 – New Windsor, NY (VFA-106 Hornet)
3-4 – Toronto, CA (VFA-106 SuperHornet)
10-11 – NAS Oceana, VA (VFA-106 Super and Hornet Demos)
10-11 – Fort Wayne, In (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
16-18 – Coshocton, OH (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
16-18 – Waco, TX (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
24-25 – Santa Rosa, CA (VFA-122 Super Hornet)

October
1-2 – Owensboro, KY (VFA-106 Hornet)
15-16 – Fort Worth, TX (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
21-23 – Anderson, SC (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
22-23 – Huntington Beach, CA (VFA-122 Super Hornet)
29-30 – Rome, GA (VFA-106 Super Hornet)

November
5-6 – Stuart, FL (VFA-106 Hornet)
5-6 – Homestead ARB, FL (VFA-106 Super Hornet)
12-1 – Nellis AFB,NV (VFA-122 Super Hornet)

1 2