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A narrator can make or break an airshow act. Especially for an audience that doesn’t understand what it’s seeing.
You’ve heard me say it before. John Mohr, Greg Koontz, Kent Pietsch, and others cast pearls before swine. I don’t mean to sound rude or elitist. It’s just true. Most of the audience has no idea how difficult some of those maneuvers are. You and I know that it’s very often not how fast but how slow, and not how high but how low, that is the really amazing thing about an airshow performance.
If the announcer isn’t there telling the crowd what to look for, there’s no way they’ll get it. Take John Mohr. He rolls a stock Stearman inverted low to the ground. He holds it there until the engine sputters and eventually quits from fuel exhaustion. The Stearman has a very slow roll rate. If John doesn’t do a lot of things right – and immediately – he’ll make contact with the ground inverted in an open-cockpit aircraft. He has to know without a doubt that he can get the aircraft rolled upright in time to either get the engine restarted or land on the wheels. [Read more...]