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:


Whenever 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 Crestview , Fla.

Dating 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.

When 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 military hardware.

When 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.

On 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.

As 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 liked.

That fall in Augusta , Georgia , Bob and Annette, and Roger and Pauline worked the show together with Otto and I knew the adoption was final, yet I wondered how it would work out.

As 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.

2002 -- another cool spring morning... No, make that a cold, windy spring day -- this time in Columbus , Georgia . Airshow committee person, Lee Pierson, drives up to the announcer's stand to check on the progress of the PA system installation. In the back of his car sat Roger and Pauline on their way to check out a school site for an afternoon show. After quick handshakes all around, I was thinking to myself, "Well, now I'll know."

Saturday's 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."

Pauline, 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.

Otto's 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 Alabama (her former home as a military wife) projected both her and Otto's personality across the spectator area. The inflections were perfect, the humor dead on, the timing impeccable. The music tracks added a lot to the presentation, each cut complimenting the action at center stage. It was very obvious to this old gray haired radio person that a lot of preparation and hard work had gone into this narration.

 The 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.

Throughout 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 each sequence.

The 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!

 Hugh Oldham