We are excited to reveal our “In the Sky” 2018 lineup!
Stay tuned as this list of performers is updated as the air show approaches.
Performers / Activities
USAF F-22 RAPTOR DEMO TEAM
The F-22 Raptor is one of the Air Force’s fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
USMC MV-22 OSPREY
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and landing capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The US Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007. The Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait.
RED BULL TEAM CHAMBLISS
When I was 21 years old flying corporate for La Quinta Motor Inn, our chief pilot was a really smart guy and he said, ‘Hey, if this jet ever ends up upside down with a CEO on board, we want you to be able to turn it right side up without killing everyone.’ I thought, ‘Makes sense to me!’” From that point on, flying became more than Kirby had ever imagined.
As a child, Kirby was always playing and running around with toy planes. “I don’t ever remember saying I wanted to be a pilot, I just always wanted to be a pilot.” At only 13 years old, he began flying. By 24, he was the youngest commercial pilot at Southwest Airlines and made captain by 28. Although he enjoyed flying commercial, it became a means to pay for his true love for aerobatics.
Kirby continuously trained to perfect his aerobatic skills and routines, which he was able to display at various air shows. There, he began to establish his continuously growing fan base and earned recognition for his skills with an acceptance onto the U.S. National Aerobatic Team. To date, Kirby has accumulated 13 medals in world competition.
By the early 2000’s, Kirby was recognized as one of the top 15 aerobatic pilots in the world and was asked to compete in the very first Red Bull Air Race. He transferred his explosive, aggressive flying style to the racetrack and is now a two-time Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
Kirby resides on the “Flying Crown Ranch” between Tucson and Phoenix with his wife and fellow pilot, Kellie, and their daughter Karly. With a hangar and runway in the backyard, Kirby is only a few steps away from hopping in one of his several planes. (Be sure to check out the “Hangar” on the website to view Kirby’s fleet!)
When not flying, Kirby enjoys jumping out of airplanes and perfecting his skydiving skills. Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane, you ask? Because he has a perfectly good parachute, of course!
RED BULL SWOOPERS
"Swooping" is a skill practiced while under canopy, including a hook turn into a very fast landing. All of our skydivers have high speed canopies, but two of the four will jump canopies 69 sq ft and exceed speeds of 60 mph on landing. The jumper flying a wingsuit will use a larger canopy to provide a little more stability but he/she will still do a swoop landing, just not quite as fast as those jumping the high-speed canopies.
As for when they jump, our performance is very dynamic. Weather sometimes affects how many jumpers participate in each section, but here's a standard rundown of the jumps if all works out to plan:
- Jump 1: 1 jumper will "fall" from the helicopter show center (in our eyes, this is a base jump with a low pull - jumper will deploy canopy at 1000 ft, a new element we just had approved at the end of last season)
- Jump 2: 2 jumpers deploy high speed canopies and will fly in formation ending with a swoop landing
- Jump 3: 1 jumper in a wingsuit will launch and Kirby will circle him across show center before the jumper deploys and lands
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RED BULL AEROBATIC HELICOPTER
Aaron Fitzgerald will be performing in the Red Bull Helicopter.
Aaron Fitzgerald, known as ‘Fitz’ to his friends and colleagues, was born in Portland, OR, and grew up in Wenatchee, Washington. Wenatchee is home to a USFS Tanker base and Aaron grew up watching airplanes and helicopters overhead as they fought fires in the surrounding mountains. Seeing these aircraft in the skies all summer instilled in him a strong desire to fly.
After serving in the US Army as a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, Aaron began formal flight training in Long Beach, CA, in 1994 and quickly earned his commercial rating. He went right to work flying news helicopters in Los Angeles. Throughout his career, Aaron has primarily focused on flying for the film and television industry. He has performed and filmed for over 100 films and television shows. He has also flown in various other capacities such as utility flying in mountainous terrain and offshore support. He has flown in flight test programs for NASA and Lockheed/Martin. He was the aerial coordinator for several projects that broke world records and he continues to work as an aerial coordinator and stunt pilot for the movie industry.
Aaron was introduced to Helicopter Aerobatics in 2017 when he was trained by Rainer Wilke and Blacky Schwarz, the masters of Helicopter Aerobatics. He joined The Flying Bulls that same year, becoming the only American pilot on the team.
When not flying or performing, Aaron lives with his family in Los Angeles.
JERRY CONLEY WWII BRITISH JET FIGHTER - VAMPIRE
The world’s first single engine jet fighter, the Havilland DH-115 Vampire. Development of the aircraft began during WWII in 1943 as an aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the new innovation of jet propulsion; it was quickly decided to opt for a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft equipped with the Harlford H.1 turbojet engine, which was later known as the de Havilland Goblin. Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (FAF) was finalized in May 1944.
In 1946, the first production aircraft entered service with the RAF, months after the conflict had come to a close. The Vampire was the second jet fighter, after the Gloster Meteor, operated by the RAF, and it was the service’s first to be powered by a single jet engine. The Vampire was quickly used to replace many wartime piston-engine fighter aircraft. The RAF operated it as a front-line fighter until 1953. About 3,300 Vampires were manufactured.
Jerry Conley will be performing in the Vampire. Jerry holds a degree B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Florida State University, College of Engineering. Jerry is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive and Aerospace Engineers, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He served in the US Air Force. He’s been flying airshows for more than 13 years.
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KENT PIETSCH IN JELLY BELLY
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 throughout the U.S.
Ken 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. His show will leave you mesmerized. Part of his show includes a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV or truck. He’s known for his comedy act that features detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe.
He flies a 90 horsepower, 800-pound Interstate Cadet, with a 37-foot wingspan pulling between -3 to +5 G-forces. Catch Kent after his performance because he always has Jelly Belly’s to hand out!
Chuck Coleman will be performing in the Extra 300. Chuck is not only an airshow pilot, but a test pilot, flight instructor with over 4500 hours in the Extra 300 series aircraft. He has performed in hundreds of airshows and given 3000+ rides in airshow aircraft. Chuck has been deployed around the world in aircraft such as the Burt Rutan Proteus utilized for scientific research as is currently a test pilot for ICON Aircraft flight testing the ICON A5 Amphibian. Chuck has an Aerospace/Mechanical Degree from the University of Michigan. Chuck is also an Airframe and PowerPlant (A&P) Mechanic with inspection Authorization ( IA) credentials.
Chuck has built and restored multiple aircraft as well as provided maintenance and test pilot support to the aviation community.
Chuck has given instruction in unusual attitudes, low L/D approaches, energy management and g tolerance to professional pilots including the first two private astronauts and hundreds of others having various roles. He has also performed and provided aerial support for the movie/TV industry in aircraft some of which contributed to the winning the Peabody award for the documentary “Black Sky”.
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JIM PIETZ AEROSPORTS
Jim is from Pierre, South Dakota where his father taught him to fly in the 1970's. He began teaching himself aerobatics in 1992, and has since amassed over 14,000 incident-free hours in over 100 aircraft types!
Jim is the recipient of the most prestigious award in the airshow industry, the International Council of Airshows Sword of Excellence. He has performed in a wide variety of airshow aircraft. His first "real" airshow airplane was the venerable Christen Eagle, which he flew for eight years, Followed by a 14-year run in an Extra 300L. He has been flying the F33C Beechcraft Bonanza for over 10 years.
He believes that aviation is one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in this country, and nobody probably enjoys it more than Jim. He flies his CERTIFIED aerobatic Beechcraft F33C Bonanza in an amazing demonstration that will leave all who see it completely mesmerized! The specialized Bonanza is capable of a wide range of aerobatic maneuvers including loops, point rolls, barrel rolls, snap rolls, Cuban eights, and hammerheads.
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ANTHONY OSHINUGA AEROBATICS
PITTS SPECIAL S-1
Anthony Oshinuga, son of Nigerian immigrants, loved watching planes with his Dad as a young boy and now flying for more than 10 years. He is based in Temecula, CA. Anthony has made history as the first African-American pilot to enter the Reno National Championship Air Race and earn a podium finish. Anthony will be performing in his custom Pitts Special S-1 dubbed “Black Hawk.”
GREGORY "WIRED" COLYER
ACE MAKER AIRSHOWS
Gregory “Wired” Colyer, a native of California, took his first flight at the age of seven in Sonoma, CA. Hooked ever since, he earned his pilot’s license at the age of 18 and flew while serving the U.S. Army in the 1980’s. He retired after 27 years as an Air Traffic Controller at Oakland ARTCC. He will be performing in the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star – Ace Maker, America’s first operational jet fighter and jet trainer.
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BILL STEIN AIRSHOWS
Bill Stein from Aptos, CA began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been flying airshows across the US since 1995. He now performs in his Zivko Edge 540. The Edge has a unique paint that continuously changes color from green to purple, to blue, along with gold, yellow, pink and orange depending on the angle of the light and the perspective of the viewer. It’s the talk of every show. He is the recipient of the 2016 Sword of Excellence award and the inducted in the ICAS Foundation Hall of Fame in 2015. Bill had performed for many years with the Red Baron Stearman Squadron and participated in many aerobatic competitions. Bill actively mentors new airshow pilots, and coaches the “Stars of Tomorrow” team.
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THE PATRIOT PARACHUTE TEAM
The Patriot Parachute Team is five professional parachutists who have served as active duty NAVY SEALS. They have logged more than 14,000 jumps together and over 22,600 jumps combined! They have performed in hundreds of cities around the country at thousands of demonstrations.
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All performers, aircraft, displays and schedules are subject to change without notice.