The Gary Air Show is this weekend, and we at NWIndianaLife were able to get an up close look of some of the attractions that will be taking to the skies this weekend.
At the Gary Jet Center, the Aerostar Formation Aerobatic Team was at the ready and we happily sent Trevor Mahlmann, resident Lifer, up with them so he could experience aerobatic flying first hand.
After being briefed by Dave “Cupid” Monroe, who holds the Right Wing Position in the flight formation, they suited up and climbed into the plane.
The aircraft is a Yak 52-TW, a nearly one ton machine that was designed in the 1970s (though the ones flown were much newer). The airframe is able to withstand G-forces of +7 and -5 so it can easily maneuver through the twists, loops, barrel rolls, et al while remaining in a tight formation with the other aircraft.
Trevor rode in the back seat of Harvey “Boss” Meek’s Yak 52-TW. Harvey is the Team Lead and an Air Force veteran. To be specific he was a fighter pilot. He along with the rest of the team came by the desire to fly the same way, witnessing pilots do amazing things with their aircraft. The third member of the Team is Paul "Rocket" Hornick, Left Wing in the formation.
So what happened? How did it go? Watch Trevor's GoPro video to see what it looked like from his POV.
“It was amazing,” Trevor exclaimed. “I specifically liked the 0 G’s more so than the 4.2 G’s. We pulled a few seconds of 0 G’s.”
While in the air, Trevor experienced a barrel roll, a loop, and a Half Cuban Eight. A Half Cuban Eight is a combination of the barrel roll and the loop – the best of both worlds, if you will.
“We have a combination of aerobatics as well as slow maneuvers,” Harvey said. “Our actual performance is approximately 18 minutes long. We operate pretty tight, doing things within a half mile of shows normally.”
Guests who attend the Gary Air Show will get to see phenomenal performances by many great flight teams including the Lima Lima Flight Team, The US Air Force Thunderbirds, the Firebirds Xtreme, Dave Darcy – wing walker extraordinaire, The Vanguard Squadron, Matt Chapman flying his rare CAP 580, P-51 (Vlado), Paul Wood in his Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk, and the US Army Parachute Team, A.K.A. the Golden Knights.
“We love doing the shows. It’s great to not only fly but also to reach the young people. We are able to educate them about what we do and hopefully get some aviation careers going,” Harvey said.
For two days these high flying, super speedy acts will entertain audiences filled with people who have traveled from all over the country to catch see the show.