Aerobatic pilots to soar in Vero air show
By Jessica Creagan
VERO BEACH -- Watch the skies, Vero Beach, because the air show is coming back to town.
After an 18-year hiatus, the Vero Beach Air Show will take flight at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport once again, bringing high-flying aerobatic pilots, a squadron of vintage World War II aircraft, a truck with a jet engine, pyrotechnics and more, event coordinators said.
The show is scheduled for Oct. 5-6 with the gates opening at 9 a.m., said Justina "Justy" Anuszewski, air show director.
The show is brought back through the collaborated efforts of the Exchange Clubs of Vero Beach, Indian River and the Treasure Coast, as well as the Veterans Council of Indian River County. Funds raised at the two-day event will go to the four organizations to be distributed for the prevention of child abuse and to assist local veterans.
Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the gate. Advance ticket sales are recommended for a quick entry. On the day of the event, signs will be posted directing visitors to free parking, but $5 VIP parking passes are available upon request.
Chalet admission tickets are also available for $55 per day. Admission includes lunch and refreshments, as well as a chance to meet the performers.
"We have some of the best performers in the aviation industry in this air show," said Ms. Anuszewski.
Patty Wagstaff, known as the queen of the air show circuit, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with her dynamic low-level aerobatic performances. She is based in St. Augustine and is an award-winning aerobatics pilot and a Hall of Fame inductee.
A bright yellow Piper Cub will also be featured in the show and flown by pilot Greg Koontz.
"He has a phenomenal car top landing that he does on a specially-built runway on top of a truck," Ms. Anuszewski said.
The FlashFire jet truck combines the excitement and visual impact of both motor vehicles and aircraft. The jet trucks are the world's fastest jet-powered trucks and can reach up to 375 miles per hour.
Chris Darnell will be driving the FlashFire, and in a triple-threat performance, Ms. Wagstaff, Mr. Darnell and another aerobatics pilot, Skip Stewart, will perform as TinStix of Dynamite.
"It is an exciting performance with a 1,200 foot wall of flame," Ms. Anuszewski said.
Other performers include the Geico Skytypers, Manfred Radius, a sailplane pilot, and Matt Younkin, who flies a large transport plane and puts it through seemingly impossible aerobatic paces, she said.
Static aircraft will also be on display, as will tanks, antique cars, an amphibious vehicle on. loan from the U.S. Navy SEAL museum in Fort Pierce.
"This is just a very well-rounded airshow, from sail planes to airplanes to a jet aircraft and more," Ms. Anuszewski said.
A kid's zone and vendor booths will also be available for visitors to browse, she said.
For tickets or more information about the air show, visit www.veroairshow.com.