Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 5, 2012 – Skies over the Atlantic Ocean will get louder, faster and more exciting Oct. 13-14 with Embry-Riddle’s Wings & Waves Air Show.
The free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day is the only air show in the United States to host three jet demonstration teams including the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, returning favorites The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the only civilian-owned team in the U.S., the Black Diamond Jet Team.
But there’s more at the family-friendly show as aerobatic performers, sky divers and historic military aircraft will soar oceanside in front of the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort at Ocean Walk Village. The newest addition to the performer line-up includes The New Jersey Air National Guard with a fly-by in the KC-135 Stratotanker.
On the shore, Embry-Riddle will host the “Education Zone” in the Bandshell featuring student robotic and environmental group demonstrations, athletics, Alumni Relations and the Jet Dragster.
The air show, which wraps up a week-long celebration of Embry-Riddle’s Homecoming, features performers with ties to the university including a former professor, a former flight instructor and several alumni. They include Embry-Riddle Prescott alum Major J.R. Williams (lead pilot No. 5) of the Thunderbirds; Daytona grad and former flight instructor Doug “Tut” Demko of the Black Diamond Jet Team; world-record holding skydiver Cheryl Stearns, GEICO Skytyper lead solo pilot Steve Salmirs; and former Daytona Beach campus professor Tim Plunkett. Embry-Riddle sponsored champion aerobatic performer Matt Chapman also joins the group.
“I am always excited when I return to my alma mater Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in the great city of Daytona Beach!” said Steve Salmirs, a Daytona Beach campus grad.
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 elite 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 alums and another graduate tapped for the team later this year. 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 Diamond Jet Team – Making their first appearance at Embry-Riddle’s Wings & Waves, the Lakeland, Fla.-based aerobatic civilian-owned jet team will fly two L-39s. The team recently performed in Cocoa Beach with Embry-Riddle alum Jerry “Jive” Kerby doing a solo T-33 performance. 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 air shows flying WWII aircraft, the SNJ-2. Of the 11 SNJ-2 airplanes still in existence, the team uses six. 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.
- Mike Goulian – For the past two decades Goulian has entertained crowds, having earned the U.S. National Advanced Champion title (the youngest ever at age 22 in 1990) and the Unlimited National Aerobatic Championship and represented the United States three times in the World Aerobatic championships. He also was one of the Red Bull international race pilots. www.mikegoulian.com
- Matt Chapman – Sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an airline pilot when not performing, Chapman began flying aerobatics in 1984 and quickly worked his way up to the highest level of competition aerobatics – the Unlimited category. At the 1998 World Aerobatic Championships, Chapman was the highest-ranking American pilot, finishing third in the world with a bronze medal and led the Men’s Team to a silver medal. Look for Chapman and Rob Holland to wow the crowds with a duo performance. www.mattchapman.com
- Rob Holland – Flying the MX2 aerobatic aircraft by MX Aircraft Ultimate Airshows, Holland recently earned his second title in a row as U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and will be part of next year’s World Aerobatics team. He also is a World Gold Medal winner in freestyle aerobatics for his advanced aerobatic aircraft show with a mixture of high and low altitude maneuvers. www.ultimateairshows.com
- John Klatt – During his more than 23 years with the Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Klatt flew combat, air support and humanitarian missions in the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” and the C-130 “Hercules” and served multiple missions in Iraq. In partnership with the Air National Guard, he rolls, soars, tumbles and dives his state-of-the-art all carbon fiber MXS aircraft at speeds of more than 250 mph. www.johnklattairshows.com
- Corkey Fornof – A test pilot, corporate pilot, aerial coordinator, fixed-wing camera pilot, technical advisor, actor and stunt pilot, Fornof has 17,000-plus hours in over 287 different types of aircraft. His resume includes more than 2,600 low-level aerobatic performances, and he formed the first civilian high-performance aerobatic flight demonstration team, using World War II fighters. He also formed and led the first civilian jet demonstration team, flying BD-5Js. www.corkeyfornof.com
- Jason Newburg – Instructed and mentored by numerous top air show performers in the industry (including Goulian, Sean D. Tucker, Jim Leroy, Clint McHenry, Nikolai Timofeev and Bill Stein), he flies high-performance solo and formation performances in several types of aircraft, including the Pitts S1C. He also is the former vice president of the Embry-Riddle Sport Aviation Club and builds aircraft as well as flies them. www.viperairshows.com
- Cheryl Stearns – Embry-Riddle alum and former US Airways captain, Stearns also is one the most successful competitive skydivers globally with 30 world records in parachuting (including a Guinness World Record for the most parachute jumps in 24 hours by a woman, 352 jumps Nov. 8-9, 1995) and more than 17,000 jumps logged. She also was the first female member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachuting team, the Golden Knights. www.stratoquest.com
- The Plunkett WWI Aviation Collection – Former Daytona Beach campus professor, Air Force pilot, international airline pilot and test pilot Tim Plunkett will present this special performance featuring Great Britain’s Sopwith F.1 Camel and the German Fokker DR.I Triplane. Nicknamed for the humped fairing over its twin machine guns, The Camel shot down more German aircraft (1,294) than any other Allied plane. The Dreidecker, a small, lightweight and highly maneuverable dogfighter, is best known for its image as the “Red Baron’s” aircraft during WWI as it was flown by ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen.
Longtime air show favorite and former airline pilot SkyTalker Danny Clisham (www.dannyclisham.com) will serve as master of ceremonies, and there is a scheduled U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration. There also will be air show performers’ autograph sessions throughout the weekend.
Those who get tickets to the Oct. 13 Wings & Waves After Dark special concert featuring three-time Grammy-nominated country band Little Texas and Dwayne O’Brien will have an exclusive opportunity to meet air show performers before the 7:30 p.m. show at the Peabody Auditorium. Tickets, which range from $29-$34 (some fees apply for some outlets), are on sale now at the Peabody box office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
In addition to Embry-Riddle’s title sponsorship, other sponsors include Hilton Daytona Beach Resort, Bright House Networks, the Orlando Sentinel, GEICO, LoPresti, Goodyear, Whelen, Air National Guard, Volusia County, City of Daytona Beach and Black Crow Radio including WNDB1150 and KRO93.1.
For visitor information, go to the event’s official website www.wingsandwaves.com or contact Rick Grissom at (386) 256-0451.
Special Homecoming events open to the public include a Homecoming Parade on Oct. 7. More details to come soon on Embry-Riddle’s Homecoming events and schedule. For more information, go to http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/news/homecoming-2012.html.
About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.