Embry-Riddle's Wings & Waves Set to Soar over Daytona Beach

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Forces Snowbirds and Black Diamond Jet Team Headline Oct. 13-14 Air Show.


Daytona Beach, Fla., July 26, 2012 – World-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will join an action-packed weekend of aerial performances by more than 40 aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean at Embry-Riddle’s Wings and Waves Air Show on Oct. 13-14, 2012 in Daytona Beach.

The show begins at 11 a.m. daily on the shore in front of the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. The event, which is the only air show in North America to host three jet demonstration teams, is free and open to the public.

Numerous Embry-Riddle alumni are scheduled to participate including Maj. J.R. Williams and Maj. Jason Moore of the Thunderbirds, world-record holding skydiver Cheryl Stearns, GEICO Skytyper lead solo pilot Steve Salmirs and Black Diamond Jet Team Leader Jerry “Jive” Kerby, along with Embry-Riddle sponsored aerobatic performer Matt Chapman.

"We are especially pleased that this year’s air show will feature a large number of our alumni,” Embry-Riddle President Dr. John P. Johnson said. “Some of the best pilots in the world are educated at Embry-Riddle. Having them perform at Wings & Waves is testimony to that fact. It's going to be a great show.”

This year’s featured performers include:

- U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds – Now in their 59th year of wowing audiences with their combat fighter pilot skills, the 130-person squadron deemed the USAF's "Ambassadors in Blue" represents nearly 700,000 active duty, guard and reserve airmen serving at home and abroad – including two team members who are Embry-Riddle alum and another graduate tapped for the team later this year. Prescott graduate Williams (lead pilot No. 5) and Daytona Beach alum Moore (maintenance officer) will be joined by 2011 Embry-Riddle Worldwide grad Capt. Joshua Boudreaux at left wing as Thunderbird No. 2 for the 2013 team. The demonstration is a mix of six aircraft performing formation flying and solo routines. www.afthunderbirds.com

- Canadian Forces Snowbirds – The iconic Snowbirds Demonstration Team (431 Squadron) composed of approximately 80 members of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force will perform only once in Florida this year – and this is it. The Snowbirds’ pilots and aircraft technicians spend the winter months at their home base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada practicing more than 50 five-, seven- and nine-plane formations. The Snowbirds fly the Canadair CT-114 Tutor, a Canadian-built jet that was used by the Canadian Forces as a basic pilot-training aircraft from 1963 until 2000. www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/snowbirds.

- Black Jet Diamond Team – Making their first appearance, the Lakeland, Fla.-based aerobatic civilian-owned jet team will fly two L-39s led by Embry-Riddle Alum Jerry “Jive” Kerby. www.blackdiamondjetteam.com

- GEICO Skytypers – A flight squadron of six vintage WWII airplanes performing precision flight maneuvers, the Skytypers are the only civilian squadron currently appearing at airshows flying WWII aircraft, the SNJ-2. Of the 11 SNJ-2 airplanes still in existence, the team uses six. Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus alum Steve Salmirs (lead solo and executive officer). www.geicoskytypers.com

- F-18 Tactical Demonstration – This aerial demo features the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) flying the Navy’s newest tactical aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

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