Highlighting Key Brothers Air Show

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

My Father was a Navy pilot so I had heard the phrase "pulling Gs" many times before. But it wasn't until now that had the chance to experience it for myself.

"The acrobatics, some people can't handle it very well. You did," said Burt "Stone Hands" Zeller, air show coordinator. "It's just, in some of those maneuvers, say you weigh 110 pounds? Up there you weighed 440 pounds."

We'll just say he was in the ball park as far as my weight goes. Simply put, the extra pounds are created by the high rate of acceleration of the plane due to the sharp turns performed during certain maneuvers.

"We did a normal wing over, a barrel roll, and we did a loop. I had fun, did you?" asked Zeller.

"I had a great time!" I said.

We flew in a T-6, the basic World War II trainer aircraft, which will be featured in this weekend's air show.

After Zeller put me back on solid ground, he flew producer and photographer Rebecca Ward, repeating the same stunts. This causes me to ask, how do the pilots manage these stunts so well? What does it take to be a stunt pilot?

"I started by doing civilian flying first, and then I went into the military and got extensive training," said Zeller. "That's where I learned my acrobatics was in the military. To be an air show pilot, you have to have a lot of experience."

"I have flown for over 35 years," said stunt pilot Gary Rover. "I was an F-16 instructor pilot. I fly professionally. I have always wanted a P2-17. So, that is really how I got my start in all of this."

Rover and Zeller will both be featured in this weekend's air show. I will say, if the show is anything close to what I was lucky enough to experience, onlookers will not be disappointed.


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  • by Josh Location: Clarkdale MS on May 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM
    I went with my wife and 3 year old on Saturday. This was my first air show. We had an absolute blast! The heat was really tough, and my 3 year old ended up leaving with my wife a bit early because she got so hot. The place was organized, well laid out, and amazing. I had such a good time I went back by myself on Sunday to watch the show again. I felt like the prices were very reasonable, and they did not even charge for parking which I honestly expected. Overall, I had an amazing time. Next year I am bringing more sunblock and a bigger umbrella! Josh
  • by ALISIA Location: MERIDIAN on May 24, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    I TOOK MY DAUGHTER AND HER FRIEND, WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME. THE EVENT WAS VERY ORGANIZED. MANY RESIDENTS ALWAYS TALK ABOUT NOTHING TO DO IN MERIDIAN, BUT FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS THERE HAS BEEN MANY THINGS TO KEEP YOU ON THE GO. SO, MERIDIAN PLEASE LET'S TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE THINGS TO DO IN MERIDIAN.
  • by Jay on May 23, 2010 at 02:48 AM
    I went there every year with my dad and brothers when we were young. The most memorable this is the heat.
  • by chunkyman Location: chunky ms on May 21, 2010 at 01:26 PM
    WOW!!!
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