It’s a chicken-and-egg sort of question: did helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron make Red Bull’s aerobatic MBB Bo105 famous or did Red Bull make Chuck Aaron famous for his helicopter aerobatics? The short answer is “yes.”
From The Black Knights of Singapore to the Black Eagles of Korea, another fast jet aerobatic team performing here. But although show-goers will inevitably compare the two, Black Eagles team manager Lt. Col. Park San Hyoun says that for a true comparison to be made, “We would both have to be flying the same aircraft.” Instead of competing, he says, “we’re here to enjoy and give pleasure to the crowd.”
They’re still here! The Indonesian Air Force Jupiter aerobatic team’s appearance has survived the current diplomatic spat between Singapore and Indonesia, caused by Jakarta’s naming of a new warship for two marines who bombed an Orchard Road building here in 1965. The pair were tracked down, put on trial and executed by Singapore, which is upset by the naming. Indonesia said that the Ministry of Defence here withdrew invitations to more than 100 of its military officers, to attend the airshow.
Singapore’s Black Knights aerobatic team has been reformed for the seventh time to wow the crowd at this year’s show. The six Lockheed Martin F-16Cs have been painted in a snazzy new red-and-white design. Led by Lt Col Joseph Leong, 44, a 26-year veteran of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the team’s pilots are all experienced instructors with a minimum of 1,000 hours in the Fighting Falcon.
Aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff has joined The Aviation Alliance as part of the Excalibur 421 leadership team. Wagstaff will be the demonstration pilot for the Excalibur 421 and will be responsible for overseeing the transition training program for clients, as well as pilot-in-command of several planned attempts at world-record flights for twin-engine aircraft.
Rich Stowell, a master certified flight instructor and aerobatics teacher sometimes referred to as The Spin Doctor, is doing his part to address what he sees as a training gap that has the potential to lead to loss-of-control (LOC) issues. Stowell told AIN that, as an instructor, he recognizes the link between LOC issues in transport-category aircraft and the primary education being presented to both current and future generations of pilots.
The emergency maneuver training provided by Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) aims to put a dent in accident statistics that confirm loss of control in-flight as the number-one cause of commercial jet fatalities. According to Dr. Sunjoo Advani, chairman of the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes, “[the problem] cannot be simply solved through technology, or through current pilot training paradigms.”
The Russian air force celebrated its 100th anniversary with a three-day airshow at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow from August 10 to 12. The event underscored the resurgence of a service that had suffered years of retrenchment and under-investment after the demise of the Soviet Union. Russian military aviation is adding 180 new or upgraded aircraft this year and expects to add some 200 more next year.
The Korean T-50 jet aerobatic team has been wowing the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford this weekend. But Farnborough airshow-goers have been denied the chance to see their dynamic eight-ship display.
More than a week of almost incessant torrential rain will do little to dampen the industry’s ardor for this morning’s opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. But it has certainly posed huge challenges for organizers who have worked around the clock to try to minimize the anticipated disruption.
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