Air Show Set for May 22-23

The Key Brothers Diamond Anniversary Air Show is May 22-23 at Meridian's Key Field.

The air show commemorates the historic endurance flight of Al and Fred Key of Meridian, and the beginning of successful air-to-air refueling, which is used today by our military.

A volunteer committee began preparing for this big show last December.

Our own Jessica Dealy and producer Rebecca Ward flew on planes that will be part of the show.

Air boss, Bo Pittman, says there will be something for everyone.

"At around noon we'll start the show with a parachute jump. Then we'll have a series of fly-bys of different aircraft, military and civilian airplanes," said Pittman. "We have everything from the jet truck demonstration to military F18, F16 demonstration flights. So they'll be going on throughout the afternoon up until a little after 4:00."

WTOK is a diamond sponsor of the key Brother Diamond Anniversary Air Show. The show is presented by the Meridian Airport Authority.

* Admission per day: $10 per adult, $5 per student, free for children
under 10
* Gates open at 8:30 a.m. - close at 5 p.m.
* No outside food or drink allowed at air show
* No pets, bags may be subject to search

Flying Acts listed below:

Team Chaos

An unbelievable performance involving two of the top aerobatic planes in the nation and the World’s Fastest Jet-Powered Truck.

In what appears to be a reckless, deadly game of chicken, the two dogfighting planes fly at each other from all directions and dive through the smoke generated by the fire-breathing Jet Truck on the runway. The Chaos continues as the show finale develops into a race between the Jet Truck and one of the planes. In an obvious effort to spoil the race, the other pilot, apparently in a jealous rage, roars in head-on from the opposite direction at a closure rate of more than 400 miles per hour.

They all meet at show center in what appears to be a catastrophic, explosive ending like you’ve never witnessed before. This finale will blow you away!

Team Chaos members are Randy Harris in the red, white and blue biplane, Gary Ward in the purple and green MX2 plane and Neal Darnell in the 12,000-horsepower, 375-mph Flash Fire Jet Truck.

All three will also perform their INDIVIDUAL ACTS earlier in the show.

Gary Rower

Gary Rower is a veteran air-show performer. He has entertained audiences all over
the United States at air shows both large and small. He performs with a Level 1 Unrestricted/Surface Level Waiver, meaning that the Federal Aviation Administration has verified that his flying skills are at the very top level.

Gary began flying at age 16 from an apple orchard in upstate New York. Since that time he has accumulated more than 15,000 hours of flying all over the world. While a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, he became a soaring instructor and was captain of the USAF Academy Soaring Team that competed in the SGS
1-26 National Championships. Following graduation from the academy, Gary attended USAF pilot training at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, from which he was a Distinguished Graduate.

His assignment out of pilot training was to what was then the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, first at Hill AFB in Utah, then at Nellis AFB in North Las Vegas and finally at Torrejón Air Base in Spain. These were the early days of the F-16, and Gary was the 136th USAF pilot worldwide to achieve 1,000 hours in the aircraft. During that time he became an instructor and flight evaluator, participated in several Red Flag combat training exercises and was awarded the title of Top Gun. While in Spain, Gary trained with NASA as part of the space shuttle contingency team for diversion on liftoff.

In 1986, Gary left active duty and joined a major airline, for which he has been flying ever since. During the late 1980s, he continued flying the F-16 with the Air Force Reserve in Utah. He currently holds an Air Transport Pilot rating in the Boeing 767, 757 and 737 and the DC-9, and flies to Europe, Africa and South America.

Gary is the founder and senior partner of Century CRM, LLC, an aviation-safety training and consulting company focusing on safety training of corporate and charter flight departments. He is a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Safety Management System Development Committee for ICAS (the International Council of Air Shows).

Bert Zeller

Bert Zeller is a retired Navy captain who has accumulated more than 13,600 hours of flying in more than 75 different aircraft. Of those hours, 3,000 have come in the
T-2 over a 26-year span. Bert served in the United States Marine Corps from 1972 to 1989, flying the T-28, T-2, TA-4 and A-6E. While in the Navy Reserve from 1989 to 2006, he flew the T-2, TA-4, T-45, T-37 and F-18, specializing in out-of-control-flight instruction and evaluation. Bert was also a Pan American World Airways pilot from 1987 to 1991. Now he is a contract flight-simulator instructor for the United States Navy flying the T-45, a corporate pilot flying the Cessna 421C and a civilian test pilot. He is the air show demo pilot for the Collings Foundation’s TA-4J. He is type rated and air show qualified in the A-4, T-2, BAC 167 Strikemaster, Jet Provost and T-6. Bert has been doing warbird air shows since 1984.

Stan Musick

At the stick of his T-6, Catch 22, Stan Musick has performed in Oshkosh (Wisconsin), Las Vegas, Hobbs (New Mexico), and many places in Texas, and in Arkansas, Oklahoma and other states.

Catch 22 is one of the finest examples of a North American T-6 (Navy SNJ-4) that you will ever see. It should be in a museum; instead Musick prefers to put the museum showpiece in front of crowds of aviation lovers.

An advanced trainer from World War II, built in 1942, Musick’s T-6 has been flown in the Reno Air Races. It was assigned the number 22 for the Reno race, and the owner added the “Catch”; thus, Catch 22.

Stealth for Kids USA
1/3 Scale F-117 Stealth Fighter
Kids can get their photos taken in it

Kids Zone
Inflatables and rock climbing for kids.

Classic Mahogany Models
Fine hand-crafted collectible models at VERY reasonable prices.

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