Second Day at Sun ‘N Fun

This is a regular blog post. If you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio, please check out the other posts.

Day two here at Sun ‘N Fun in Lakeland, Florida. We got up at 4:30 a.m. yesterday to make the flight to Orlando and didn’t get to the hotel until around 10:00, so no blog post yesterday.

But we’re back at a reasonable time tonight, so here are a few views of the day.

Rod Rakic, the mastermind behind, got to hold Sean Tucker’s pole (at least one of them) for one of the ribbon cuts at the show today. Ella and I talked our way up onto the announcer’s stand and shot this picture of the moment. That’s Rod in the orange shirt holding the near pole.

Yesterday, we hit the Splash-In at the Fantasy of Flight museum on the way to Lakepand. We hooked up with Will Hawkins and Rico Sharqawi of Wilco Films and got to help set up for Kermit Weeks’ interview for A Pilot’s Story. Ella was the stand-in for Kermit during the setup phase.

The Viper East Demo Team was there with a single-ship F-16 demonstration. I shot what I could of the demo, but this was the first time I could get really close to the announcer end of the presentation. Here, the major is handling the communications with the aircraft during the demo while the chief did the announcing.

Be sure to join me on the Sun ‘N Fun Radio porch tomorrow right after the airshow (approx. 5:30) for the very first live rendition of Airspeed! I’ll tweet as we get close to airtime. See you there!

Viper East F-16 Demo Pilot Maj Jason Koltes, USAF

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We ran into Maj Jason Koltes, USAF, on the ramp at Battle Creek and managed to buttonhole him for a few minutes to talk about the F-16 and what it’s like to train and fly in the workhorse of the US fighter arsenal.

See more about the Viper East F-16 Demo team at

More about the Air Force in Airspeed’s sidebar or at

Many thanks, USAF, Viper East Demo Team, and Maj Koltes for tearing up the skies here at Battle Creek!

Battle Creek – Day One – On the Ramp with the Blue Angels and More!

This is a regular blog post. Looking for show notes? See below.

Spent yesterday at the Battle Creek Balloon Festival and Field of Flight Air Show. Too much fun! Beats the first day of last year any time!

Got a media flight with Michael Mancuso in the morning. Fantastic aerobatic experience. Even whacked my head on the canopy during the hard four-point roll. Didn’t hurl. Happy about that. Can’t wait to post that audio, but I need to edit it and give the proper attention. Different from the Brett Hunter ride in some ways. Did an aggressive ass-over-teakettle gyroscopic mindbender toward the end. Yeah, baby!

The Blue Angels arrived at 10:30 and cased the field for an hour or so. At 2:30, we got a private media show from the ramp. Well, as private as anything is that takes a 80 or so square miles of airspace to do. When the show was over, I got to interview LCDR Craig Olson, the Blues’ opposing solo. Yeah, he has returned to replace LCDR Kevin Davis, who crashed at NAS Beaufort. I had decided not to bring up the crash, but one can’t very well interview No. 6 this season without asking about it. Good interview. Will post it soon.

Also interviewed the F-16 pilot of the Viper East Demonstration Team. Really good discussion. Will post that, too. Back to the show tomorrow and Sunday! Can’t wait!