Air Show Narration & Sound
307 West Fredericks Street
Anderson, South Carolina 29625
Why do we need the FAA to monitor Airshows?
Stupid Plane Tricks !
As South Carolina pilot, I'm always heard stories of Col. Elliott White Springs flying a Thomas-Morse Scout Bi-plane under the Buster Boyd Bridge over the Catawba River, SW of Charlotte NC. This flight took place on August 17th, 1923.
I've also enjoyed the 1942 stories of Richard Bong looping his P-38 around the center span of the Golden Gate Bridge, waving to stenographers in office buildings as he flew along San Francisco's Market Street and blowing laundry off clothes line in Oakland. http://www.nationalaviation.org/enshrinee/bong.html
I'll admit to more then my share of "Stupid Plane Tricks," from scud running, low altitude runs, (across the restricted Savannah River Site +) and other activities for which the "statue of limitations" has expired (2K hrs flying Skydivers in late 60's, fill in the blanks).
Fortunately, I've lived long enough to realize how stupid I was and how very lucky I was to have never killed anyone!
It was during the late '70's early '80's when I was appointed an "Designated FAA Airshow Monitor" that I saw and experienced what the FAA Inspectors deal with from the pilot community that I started to realize I was not the only stupid pilot; but, I was just a live stupid pilot.
I finally grew up and today ascribe to the ICAS Safety Creed. Especially the part: "I shall remember ... that spectators place their trust and well being in my mature judgment and professional actions."
As an airshow professional, my greatest fear is that we, as an industry, betray that trust.
Here's an example of trust betrayal and what happens. This biker did not intend to hurt these spectators, but he did. Once in flight, he was simply a passenger on his machine and the fate of the young lady was sealed. If we, as airshow performers, ever do something like this public opinion and Congress will act and we're out of business.
We can lose all US airshows in the blink of a eye: it almost happened in 1951 and again in 1990.
Flying airplanes at people is poor judgment! You can not regulate or legislate good judgment, sometimes you simply must enforce it.
It would appear to me that "stupid and lucky" are the only common denominators of these fellow aviators.
Stupid Plane Trick #1
Stupid Plane Trick #1 "Fly Under the Effie Tower, dodge people, write article justifying actions!"
The justification sounds like Enron, WorldCom, and Qwest rolled into one.
Stupid Plane Trick #2+
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Down south we'd say, "Hey Vern, let's fly under that thar bridge! Y'all watch now, ya heer!"
Seems a few thousand of his close friends are watching; where is his escape route?
Stupid Plane Trick #2+ "Fly Under the Bridge!"
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