October 21, 2005

Peachtree City Airshow

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

You wouldn’t think that a small town with a small airport like Peachtree City would be able to put on a very big airshow. But every year now for quite a few, they’ve had some acrobatics and planes and stuff that is really cool.

Of course, the fact that Dobbins Air Force Base and the Atlanta Naval Airstation are here must help. Then there’s all those pilots that work(ed) for Delta, Eastern, Piedmont, Republic, ASA and a few others which have either gone by the wayside or been redeemed.

Tyler, Linda and I went in after the Baha’i School Sunday afternoon. What a show! There was a fully functional B-17 (The Liberty Bell). We went through that from front to back. I kept wondering where all the room was. Tyler was fine, moving from pilot seat to bombay like he was made to travel the little tight spaces and the catwalk. He kept turning around to check that I was ok. Last year, you see, I walked into a pretty sharp piece of metal and cut my scalp so badly that bled all over and required four stitches. Well, “”required”” may be a little strong. At least it stopped bleeding before I got to the doctor’s office.

When we stopped at the National Weather service, we checked out the latest info on the hurricane. I asked what happens when they run out of names? They start using the Greek alphabet. It hasn’t happened since 1935. At least I think that’s the year. It was in the ’30s though.

Tyler had a blast riding on a motorcycle used in the deserts of North Africa during WWII.

There was a wing-walker. This woman stood on the wing while her husband did loop-d-loops and spins and stalls and swirls. After about 10 minutes of this he landed (finally!). She got out of the plan and headed straight for their van. He came over and signed autographs. I imagined her sitting in the car in a fetal possition biting her finger nails. But shortly she came out and signed autographs too.

One of the highlights was the jet powered beer truck. Yeah. Twin jet engines in a beer truck travelling 300+ miles an hour. It was over in the blink of an eye but it was everything a seven year old boy could want: (a) noisy (b) smokey (c) flamey and (d) fast!

Then, after waiting all afternoon, the weather cleared sufficiently to permit a couple of Air Force jets to come swooping in on the field. These babies were LOUD! They came sliding in turning over the crowd with their jets thundering. You could see the exhaust and right into the engines they were so close. Tyler was thrilled.

But then, the old WWII and other vintage trainers and P-class plains took off along with a ‘Black Cat Calalina.’ They formed up and flew together for a couple of passes and then did the “”Missing Man”” formation where one of the planes peels off from the formation to leave a hole in the group. This is the signal to the ground crew that one of their squadron has been shot down. It was a salute to those who died during the pervious year.

We had a great time! Of course, the day to go was Saturday – when the weather was clear and we stayed home. I signed Tyler up for Basketball on Saturday. More on that later!

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