August 24, 2019 – Long Pond, PA — A week after the Pocono Indy Car 500-mile race, “The Great Pocono Raceway Airshow” came to the motorsports and entertainment facility with another family-friendly weekend packed full of action. The 2-day event included ground displays, aerial displays, jets, acrobatic planes, parachute teams, and the incredible “Tora! Tora! Tora!” recreation and salute to those lost in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The inaugural airshow was directed by David Schultz Airshows and narrated by the energetic and educational Mike McFarland. As the crowd arrived, they could check out in the numerous static aircraft and military vehicles outside of the racetrack, and could even take rides in a vintage Huey helicopter.
The United States Army Golden Knights parachute team kicked off the opening ceremony and National Anthem with a formation jump from over 10,000 feet! The first aircraft in the sky was a colorful 230-hp Christen Eagle performing torque rolls, tail slides and other aerobatics.
A glimmering T-33 jet was next up, which was one of America’s first jet fighters and training jets.
This was followed by a WWII-era Navy T-6 piloted by Kevin Russo and painstakenly restored to its original colors.
And then the beautifully-ugly A-10C Thunderbolt “Warthog” performed precision aerial maneuvers and a simulated bombing run to light up the raceway infield. The A-10 was joined in flying formation by a famous P-51 Mustang fighter.
A comedy-act from Greg Koontz Airshows featured a “stolen” 1946 Piper J-3 Club that landed on a moving pickup truck owned by “The Alabama Boys”.
Justin Lewis zoomed in, piloting the FLS Microjet, also known as the world’s smallest jet. This is a single-seat, low-wing jet-powered aircraft built from an amateur homebuilder kit!
The US Coast Guard from near-by Atlantic City Air Station simulated a search and rescue mission with their MH-65 Dolphin.
Next up was Matt Youkin, a 3rd-generation pilot with experience flying over 85 different airplanes, performed powerful loops and rolls in a powerful black and red Beech 18.
David Windmiller, who began flying at age 14, then gave the crowd a jaw-dropping performance of spins, cartwheels, high-speed rolls, and head-scratching tumbles in his Zivko Edge.
And as the grand finale, an incredible and emotional recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbor began, accompanied by air raid sirens and numerous pyrotechnic explosions that made you feel like it was 1941. The vintage replica aircrafts included Mitsubishi A6M “Zeros”, Aichi D3A “Vals”, Nakajima B5N “Kates”, and a Curtis P-40 “Warhawk”.
The 2-day event concluded with the same show on Sunday. We can’t wait to see what next years brings!
[Photos by Rick Pettine]
[Article by Rick Pettine]
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