Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival Is Midwest Aviation Airshow Success Story

By Carmelo Turdo
The Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival has emerged as a Midwest Aviation success story this weekend.  Facing some difficulty following the cancellation of military demo teams and aircraft static displays, airshow organizers went to the Midwest Aviation community for assistance.  The result is a family-friendly event that honors our nation's veterans while providing aerial entertainment from leading regional and nationally recognized airshow performers. 

The Friday evening and Saturday  afternoon airshows featured incredible aerobatics from Kent Pietsch in his Interstate Cadet, Wayne Roberts in his Extra, Patrick McAlee in his Pitts Special, the Aerostars, Randy Ball in the afterburning MiG-17, Bill Leff in his AT-6G Texan, and fiery blasts from Paul Stender's jet School Bus as he drove it like a dragster down the runway.  Aircraft static displays included AZ CAF B-25 "Maid in the Shade," Eric Downing's EA-1E Skyraider and T-6 Texan in South African colors, and the Radial Rocket.  Activities on the ramp included the USTA SmashZone Mobile Tour, U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator and the Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit, among others.  In this first of a series of features, we present an overview of this weekend's event.  Future posts will present individual performers and insights from Airport Manager, Bruce Loy.

The Aero Experience thanks Airport Manager Bruce Loy, the airport Public Information team and all those who produced this event for their hospitality, professionalism and helpfulness during our visit.   

Here are some views from Friday's practice and evening show:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and Ramp Displays:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Terminal

Lobby and Restaurant space inside the terminal

Airport Manager Bruce Loy with Carmelo Turdo

U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator
USTA Smash Zone Tour
AZ CAF B-25 "Maid in the Shade"

Vintage military vehicles from the SEMO Military Vehicles Group

North American AT-6D Texan

Douglas EA-1E/AD-5 Skyraider

Practice Sessions:

Wayne Roberts and his Extra 300/LC

Patrick McAlee and his Pitts S-1-E

The Aerostars Team with their Yak-52TW trainers

Kent Pietsch lands his Interstate Cadet on the camper

Kent Pietsch "loses" his aileron during comedy routine

Kent Pietsch flies slow-speed aerobatics

Bill Leff flies his North American AT-6G Texan

Randy Ball flies his MiG-17

Paul Stender's Jet School Bus

Night Show: