The aviation community and airshow fans across the nation mourn the loss of long-time airshow pilot Jim "Fang" Maroney, whose plane reportedly crashed Sunday afternoon in the Cherokee National Forest in Monroe County, Tennessee. Maroney was flying his DeHavilland DHC-1 Super Chipmunk aerobatic aircraft to Franklin County Airport in Canon, Georgia on the way to the New Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest to be held this weekend. Even though the emergency locator transmitter was operating and was detected, it took until Monday morning for Tennessee Highway Patrol to locate the aircraft. Unfortunately, Maroney did not survive the crash.
Jim Maroney had a long and distinguished aviation career. Son of a World War II P-51 Mustang pilot, he soloed as a teenager and became a U.S. Marine fighter pilot in 1981. Maroney was first in his Naval Flight Training class and also first at Naval Fighter Weapons School, or "Top Gun." He flew F/A-18 Hornets and later transferred to the USAF North Dakota Air National Guard in 1985 to fly F-4 Phantom II and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. Maroney flew combat air patrol over Washington, D.C. from September 11, 2001 to November 2001. He was an accomplished airline jumbo jet pilot and flew in airshows for nearly forty years.
The Aero Experience joins the Midwest and national aviation community in expressing our condolences. We present this pictorial salute to Jim Maroney from several Midwest airshows:
2006 Poplar Bluff, MO Airshow - Leo Cachat
2010 Fair St. Louis - Carmelo Turdo
Mexico, MO Airshow - Carmelo Turdo