Within the airshow industry, Bob and Annette Hosking are like Mom & Dad. Annette is almost universally call "Mom" by the touring performers. Such is the relationship within the tight knit performer community.
Therefore, if Bob and Annette are my "airshow parents" and they are Otto's parents, it follows that Otto must be my "little brother!"
Here's an essay from, World Airshow News, about Otto and his new parents, Roger and Pauline Buis:
an institution undergoes change, I worry that traditions might be lost. So were
my concerns with adoption of "Otto" the clown helicopter by his new
parents, Roger and Pauline Buis of
back to the time when Craig Hosking was flying his highly modified, dual landing
gear equipped S2B Pitts and the routine he referred to as "Double
Take" on the circuit, Bob and Annette Hosking have been a very important
part of my extended airshow family. No matter the location of a show, I knew if
"Otto" was going to be there, I would be among family.
Otto first appeared on the national airshow circuit, his antics were an
important addition to the entertainment mix of airshows. That little clown
helicopter broaden our demographic appeal to a family based audience. Bringing
smiles to adults and laughter to children, Otto's playful character was a
wonderful change from our repertoire of hard-charging aerobatics and high-speed
I first learned that the Hosking's were planning to sell Otto and retire,
frankly, I was worried our industry would lose a valuable asset.
a cool morning in the spring of 2000, I sat chatting with Bob and Annette in
their motor home parked on the ramp of the NAS Atlanta as a young couple knocked
on the door. I knew why they were there: to speak with the Hoskings about
"adopting" Otto. I also knew that this couple were not the first, but
Annette had assured me that these people would make good parents for the little
helicopter we all loved.
I rose to leave and let the business discussion began, I met Roger and Pauline
Buis for the first time. The similarities between the couples were sticking.
Roger, like Bob, quite, unassuming, yet with an air of professional confidence;
Pauline, like Annette, bright, outgoing and with warmth that you immediately
sometimes happens in this business, the shortened 2001 season would pass without
the Oldham's and Buis' crossing paths. I heard good reports, knew Otto was being
treated well, but I did not know how the tradition was faring.
-- another cool spring morning... No, make that a cold, windy spring day -- this
airshow is well underway when I introduced Otto's adopted mom, Pauline Buis,
handed her a mike and turn to the mixer deck to help Jane with Otto's music. I
thought to myself, "Hmm, music, this is different."
resplendent in a red flight suit, complete with noise canceling headset,
handheld radio and script book took the mike and called Roger inbound. To the
strains of _"Ride of the Valkyries," Otto flew to show center with all
of his old feisty personality.
narrator belted out the script in a manner that clearly displayed her experience
as a speech teacher. Her voice, with just a touch of south
flying act followed the old sequence fairly closely, but Roger has added several
exciting personal touches. As an Army helicopter instructor pilot, he may not
have enjoyed watching student pilots struggle (as I once did) with "turns
about a point." He gave an unbelievable demonstration of that skill as he
wound the rope around the Yoyo in a stiff crosswind, standing the big wheel
upright using Otto's skid like an extension of his own hand.
the act, Roger's flying was crisp and precise, the colorful and patriotic
narration was expertly delivered, and the music added just the right touch to
bottom-line: Annette Hosking had told me not to worry about Otto; his new
parents would take good care of him. She was right -- the tradition continues!