The U.S. Navy Blue Angels (http://www.blueangels.navy.mil)
The Blue Angels’ mission is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts and to represent the naval service to the United States, its elected leadership and foreign nations. The Blue Angels serve as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps. A Blue Angels flight demonstration exhibits choreographed refinements of skills possessed by all naval aviators. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two Solo Pilots. Finally, the team illustrates the pinnacle of precision flying, performing maneuvers locked as a unit in the renowned, six-jet Delta Formation. Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 427 million fans.
GEICO Skytypers (http://www.geicoskytypers.com)
The GEICO Skytypers are a flying unit based in Long Island, New York. The team is comprised of 10 pilots who the only flying unit in the world to type giant skytyped messages AND perform in air shows across the United States. The aircraft used by the GEICO Skytypers are the North American SNJ-2s originally built in 1940 and 1941 during World War II. Called the T-6 Texan by the Army Air Corps, the Harvard by the RAF, and affectionately known as “The Pilot Maker” by its crews, the SNJ was designed to transition from basic trainers to first-line tactical aircraft. The planes have been fully restored and specially equipped with modifications for skytyping missions. The Skytypers perform a low-level, precision flying demonstration that has thrilled spectators all over the United States. The demonstration features maneuvers and formations utilized during WWII. Through expert energy management and steady hands, these expert pilots extract every ounce of performance possible from these wonderful WWII antique aircraft.
Kent Pietsch fell in love with flying when he was four years-old. Five decades later, his passion has not waned. Since 1973, Kent has performed his incredible aerobatic routines for millions of people at more than 400 shows that have taken him to quality venues throughout the United States. Kent grew up in Minot, North Dakota, where every day after school, he’d find a way to get to the airport, and do whatever it took to get into an airplane. While most aerobatic performers have one basic program, Kent executes three storied acts that leave spectators mesmerized. These include a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV! However, Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe. When Kent is at the controls of his plane, it is impossible not to watch him perform. Kent loves to fly, but the audience is always his number-one priority. “If you can’t entertain, you have no business being out there,” he said. “The gratification is in knowing that people are enjoying themselves.” Kent’s humble nature and willingness to interact with fans make him a crowd favorite wherever he performs.
Greg Shelton & Ashley Battles
The Pilot: In 1982, Greg started flying lessons in a J-3 Cub, but before he finished his pilot’s license, he traded it for a Starduster II so he could pursue aerobatics. Greg’s next aircraft was an AT-6 project. What originally started as a 1952 Canadian Harvard MK IV that served in the RCAF from 1952 through 1965 has become one of the most beautiful Warbirds on the aerobatic air show circuit. Greg has also performed in the Yak-52 and from 1994 to 2003 in the Yak-55M.
The Wing-walker: Ashley Battles was raised as a Georgia peach in Augusta, Georgia. Ashley started flying at age 16 and wing walking at age 20. Ashley has been a pilot since 2000 and has so far obtained her Commercial certificate, Multi-Engine, Instrument, and several type ratings. She has flown thousands of hours as a fire patrol pilot, an airline pilot, and a warbird pilot. In addition to flying, Ashley has an Aviation degree from Oklahoma State University.
Jason Newburg / Viper Air Shows (www.viperairshows.com)
Jason Newburg is an extreme aerobatic pilot who loves to share his high energy performances with air show audiences around the country. He keeps Viper spectators on the edge of thier seats and leaves them begging for more. Inspired by his father, Jason had his first solo flight by 16 and by 17 had earned his pilot license. Jason has competed in a number of events and has competed at the advanced level since 2003. In 2006, Viper took his talent to Sweden to compete in the Advanced Aerobatic World Championship. He has also competed in the Reno Air Races, and in 2012 he competed in the Lonestar Aerobatic Championship and earned himself the tile of Lonestar Unlimited Champion.
Justin Lewis / FLS Microjet (http://flsmicrojet.com)
Born in Texas and raised in Virginia, Justin started flying at age 14, and received his pilot’s license at 17. In 1999, he graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies, a Multi-Engine Commercial Pilot Certificate, and a Flight Instructor Certificate. He built experience as a flight instructor for several years until he left for Navy Officer Candidate School. After receiving his commission, Justin married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Clark Lewis, to whom he attributes much of his accomplishments. Upon completion of Navy flight school, Justin was recognized as the top graduating tactical jet aviator in 2001. He was assigned the F-14D Tomcat and in 2004, he transitioned to the E-6B Mercury (a Boeing 707 variant). In 2007, he was assigned to train the next generation of Navy fighter and aircraft carrier pilots in the T-45 Goshawk. Today, Justin’s a certified Airline Transport Pilot and currently flying the A-10C as a “Traditional Guardsman.”
Bob Carlton / Vertigo Air Shows (http://www.vertigoairshows.com)
Bob began flying in 1979 at the age of 19. He has since logged over 2000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft and holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bob has flown hang gliders, airplanes, helicopters, and sailplanes from hundreds of sites in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Bob has flown airshows professionally since 1993. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Laurie and their two dogs, Elsa and Cinco. Bob is one of the most versatile airshow performers in North America. He began flying airshows in his Salto sailplane, and over the years has continued to add innovative performances such as barnstormin’ biplane aerobatics, helicopter sailplane tow, night aerobatics with strobes & pyro and the world’s only twin jet sailplane. The tradition of innovation continues with the recent addition of the Super Salto jet sailplane, with more power, more speed and more aerobatic capability than any other sailplane on the planet! Bob is a retired rocket scientist for a major national laboratory.
Bill Leff (http://www.billleffairshows.com)
Bill excites the crowd with the roar of the radial engine, the flash of the sun off the polished aluminum surface and the volume of smoke coming off the engine as he does precision aerobatics, staying show center all the time. Like no other WarBird act, Bill keeps it close in and non-stop. It all starts with the roar of the Pratt and Whitney engine as Bill lifts off the runway and does a roll on take-off. Thirteen minutes of low-level aerobatics follow including barrel rolls, inverted flight, loops, four point rolls, and Cuban 8s. Bill explores the airspeed envelope of the T-6 from over 200 MPH to as slow as 60 MPH, thrilling both the novice and enthusiast alike. After the sun sets, the Starfire Night Skyshow is 15 minutes of spectacular night aerobatics with special computer-controlled lighting and firework effects on the plane.
The Shockwave Jet Truck / Darnell Racing Enterprises (http://flashfirejettrucks.com)
He’s baaaaaaaaaaaack!!!! Darnell Racing Enterprises brings you the 30th Anniversary Tour for Shockwave. When Les Shockley created the SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck in 1984 he had no idea the major impact this Triple Jet Engine Monster would have on not only the Drag Racing World but also the Airshow Industry. Shockwave has literally become a National Icon. We have many fans who say they saw this truck perform when they were kids. As a matter of fact Chris Darnell, who shares the driving responsibilities with his Dad Neal, got to ride in SHOCKWAVE at the young age of 7 years old and now he’s in the Driver’s Seat, a dream come true for him.
With Darnell Racing Enterprises acquisition and rebuild of the famous Shockwave Jet Truck, NAS Oceana is truly excited to bring this awesome display back to Hampton Roads!
Dan McLaren & Mach 1 Productions (http://www.danmclaren.com)
Since 1988, Mach 1 Productions has provided support for North American Air Show and other special events. Their specially designed sound system provides crisp, clear sound for up to a mile of crowd line. Take your spectators into the cockpit of the aircraft with the air-to-ground interface that allows the performers to talk to the crowd and be heard as though they were listening on the intercom in the back seat.
Ric Peterson (www.ricpeterson.ca)
Our air show announcer Ric Peterson is an award winning broadcaster. He is the voice of Fleet Week San Francisco, the Los Angeles County and California Capital Air Shows as well as The Canadian National International Air Show in Toronto to name a few. He has travelled across the US and Canada announcing at over 100 such events the past 26 years. He acts as MC at the International Council Of Air Shows annual convention in Las Vegas, The Young Eagles Gala at AirVenture, Oshkosh and is also an honorary member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Jet Demonstration Team. Ric has written and narrated several television documentaries on aviation and is very active on the web allowing air show fans to follow him on his travels and give them inside views of many performers by attaching his cameras to their planes. His videos have attracted thousands of viewers and you can ‘Friend’, ‘Like’, ‘Follow’, ‘Subscribe’ or just visit him via the link above.
Ric says, “I’m very excited to finally announce at a real fighter base and I can’t wait to explain what the men and women do here. I also hope to inspire you to stop dreaming and start flying and I plan to have a lot of fun doing it!”
Steve Myott; Uncle Sam on Stilts
Mr. Steve Myott will perform during Saturday and Sundays shows and entertain children and adults alike as he mixes and mingles with the crowd. Steve has appeared in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C, NFL pre-game shows and countless festivals as Uncle Sam on Stilts. As a drama teacher, actor and director he incorporates all his unique talents into theatrical mentoring for young people. Make sure you wave and say hello to this remarkable performer.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F/A-18C Hornet and Fleet Demonstrations
Check back soon…..we’ll have big news!