POLK CITY, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2009) - Two rare appearances by Neal Goss, an 89-year-old World War II veteran pilot and accomplished hang glider pilot of 35 years, will be among the highlights of this year's Roar n' Soar at Fantasy of Flight. Goss is a Guinness World Record holder as the oldest living hang glider pilot.
In celebration of Veteran's Day, Goss will give hang gliding demonstrations on both days of Roar n' Soar at noon (weather permitting) on Sat., Nov. 7 and Sun., Nov. 8. Goss took up the sport of hang gliding at the age of 54 with great enthusiasm and has competed in several hang gliding meets around the country. He began with a 16-foot glider hand-made for him by a friend, and he has owned and flown at least 10 other models. His love for flying and adventurous, can-do spirit inspire this decorated veteran as later in life he continues to enjoy accomplishments as a hang glider pilot, making frequent flights.
"I continue to hang glide because of my love for the sport and my enjoyment of the people involved in the sport." Goss says, "I'm looking forward to Roar n' Soar and the excitement of the event. I've enjoyed previous visits to Fantasy of Flight, but this will be a special day."
Goss began his World War II service in February 1942 as an Army Air Corps bombardier and navigator. In his tour of duty, he flew a remarkable 50 missions in B-17s over Sicily, Italy, France, Austria and Greece. Back in the United States following his tour, Goss trained in piloting B-25 and B-26 planes and completed his commercial multi-engine pilot's rating in June 1945. In addition to his love of hang gliding, Goss has remained a lifelong airplane enthusiast, owning and flying small planes over the years such as the Champ 7AC, Cessna 120 and Cessna 150.
"Neal Goss' extraordinary service in World War II and continued enthusiasm for hang gliding are amazing examples of what can be achieved through determination and devotion to the art of flight," said Fantasy of Flight owner and founder Kermit Weeks. "We are proud to showcase the abilities of this distinguished veteran just in time for our Veteran's Day celebration at Fantasy of Flight's annual Roar n' Soar."
Roar n' Soar is Fantasy of Flight's signature two-day extravaganza of the world's finest classic land, sea and air racing machines ever built. Now in its third year, the All-American-themed, family event promises an even bigger combination air show, classic car show, slalom competition, boat show and regatta, and extreme sports showcase held at Central Florida's premier aviation-themed attraction.
Roar n' Soar takes place Sat., Nov. 7, and Sun., Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.) at the attraction's spacious lakefront grounds and airfield in Polk City, Fla., midway between Orlando and Tampa. Tickets are on sale now for the family-oriented event. (See information below.)
Throughout the two-day festival, the best of the best in aviation perform precision aerial maneuvers in Fantasy of Flight's "World's Greatest Aircraft Collection." These daring pilots will be on hand between maneuvers to greet guests and inspire the dreams of future pilots of all ages.
Fantasy of Flight is honoring the U.S. military and the upcoming Veteran's Day by partnering with Homefront Hugs USA to pack holiday care packages to ship to U.S. Troops overseas. Guests will receive $5 off one event ticket for one donated item. Items can be dropped off at the attraction prior to the event or at the event. Items include:
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