Three solo performers top the marquee for Nov. 1 Airshow
Oct 13, 2008 | 1402 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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THE AIRSHOW is fast approaching, as this banner on the vintage army truck proclaims. The Nov. 1 program at the Gilmer Airport includes flyovers, solo acts and something for everyone.
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“Fox Stephens Field and the Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum are thrilled to offer the top three Airshow performers for our show on Saturday, Nov. 1” said show organizer Steve Dean.

Admission for the show is free. Donations for parking are optional and encouraged at $10 per car load. Gates open at 9 a.m. Parking for handicap and special needs will be available. Just advise the parking attendant when you arrive and you will be directed to special parking.

Returning to Gilmer for his third airshow appearance is Jan Collmer in the Fina 300 Extra.

Collmer received pilot training in the US Navy at Pensacola and Corpus Christi. He flew the Banshee, Panther, Cougar, Fury, and F-8 Crusader during his fighter pilot career of active and reserve, retiring as a Navy Lieutenant Commander. Jan is a civic leader in Dallas, serving on the University of Dallas Board of Trustees and past-chairman of the DFW Airport Board.

Paul Fiala from Humble is chief pilot for the King Ranch, whose flight department is based at George Bush International Airport in Houston. When the busy week of the corporate jet set is done, Fiala is found performing for airshow crowds all across the State of Texas in his open cockpit Great Lakes Bi-Plane.

Paul started flying at the age of 15 in Corpus Christi. Before he completed high school he earned his commercial pilot certificate and was working as a charter pilot and flight instructor before entering corporate flying in 1962. Now, with almost 60 years of aviation experience, Paul brings the true barnstormer brand of entertainment to airmeets, Dean said.

John MacGuire brings his awesome PiperSuper Cub act to Gilmer for a repeat performance.

MacGuire is an aeronautical engineer from Ft. Worth, designing aircraft systems for Lockheed Martin Aircraft. The thing that makes John’s act so awe‑inspiring is the fact that he is paralyzed. You’ve heard of handicap-operated automobiles, but probably never saw a handicap accessible Piper Super Cub. John MacGuire is living proof that the Power of Positive Thinking really works.

Veterans are invited and encouraged to gather outside the airport gates at 10:30 a.m. to ride in a vintage military vehicle parade into the airport parade ground. A Veterans Tribute at 11 AM will be headed up by Mayor Buck Cross, assisted by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), State Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), and State Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola).

Several flag presentations will be made, including a recent combat flag from the Afghanistan Theater of Operations.

Warbird rides are available in the vintage warbirds, the B-25 “Pacific Prowler,” the C-47 “Ready For Duty,” and the T-6 “Texans.” Log onto www.flightofthephoenix.org to check the flying schedule and pay for your flight on-line.

In addition to the heavy warbirds, PT-17 “Stearmans” from the CAF Wing in Marshall are coming.

ETMC is bringing their Air Ambulance.

Lunch will be served by Longhorn Smokehouse Barbecue with tickets available on site for $10. Homemade ice cream will be available. The Commemorative Air Force will have a PX selling aviation memorabilia. Snacks and cold drunks will be available.

Sponsors are still welcome to donate to the museum to help underwrite the expense of this year’s show. Details are on line at www.flightofthephoenix.org
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