Great Crowds, Great Times For Embry-Riddle Event
BY ANN Correspondent Kevin "Hognose" O'Brien
"Other schools have a
homecoming, with the football game and all that stuff. We have
this." We meaning Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and this
being Wings and Waves. The speaker was a young man nearing
graduation at the eminent school. Wings and Waves is an air and
ocean show that is put on by Embry-Riddle every two years for the
benefit of students, staff and alumni.
The Waves bit included a coast guard "rescue" and other events,
but the Wings side of the ledger is what we - and probably you -
and certainly the Riddle students, parents and alumni - were most
The airshow participants reads like a who's who of aerobatic
performers, from wing-walking (Gene Soucy in the Showcat with
Teresa Stokes), to warbirds (Lee Lauderback in the Stallion 51 P-51
Mustang), to military jets (F-15, F-18, KC-135) and a civilian one
(the Careers in Aviation L-39 with its mock-Thunderbirds paint).
Aerobatic performers in the show included Eric Beard's Russian
Thunder (during which the announcer mentioned our own Wes
Oleszewski), Kirby Chambliss, Mike Mancuso, Mike Goulian and Patty
Wagstaff. Julie Clark flew her trademark patriotic routine in her
T-34 styled after Air Force One, and the capstone of the show is
the US Air Force Thunderbirds - it's the 50th Anniversary of this
daddy of all demo teams.
How did the show go? In a word, (to use one of Goulian's
favorites), "awesome!" The performers worked hard, entertaining the
beachfront throngs. It is hard to imagine a better setting for an
airshow than Daytona Beach, and the show that the school put on
fully did justice to the setting.
It was interesting to see how the top acro performers make their
different machines look good. Kirby Chambliss tends to use the
vertical plane with his powerful Zivko Edge 540. Mike Mancuso flies
a very physical routine in the Extra; Patty Wagstaff flies a more
aesthetic routine in a similar ship. Mike Goulian also flies a
physical routine with a lot of gyroscopic maneuvers, but even
though the Wings and Waves website tells us to expect "Mike Goulian
and his Extra 300S," Mike showed up flying the same CAP 232 he
always flies. With different planes chosen by each of these top
performers, it just might be that the pilot is a lot more important
than the airplane.
Eric Beard sure know hows to herd a Yak-54 around the sky with
an act that is both unique as well as exciting--and the sound of
the Russkie Radial is a rush!
Julie Clark is in a
class by herself, flying the old T-34 military trainer. Most
maneuvers, she says, take full force of both hands on the stick.
You'd never know that to watch her fly.
Mike Mancuso (seen right) flew at 1330 and was supposed to be
signing autographs at 1500. In fact, Mike was at the Klein Tools
booth long before that, signing autographs, posing for photos with
fans, and all in all making each fan feel like he (or, especially,
she - Mike seems to have a lot of lady fans!) was making Mike's day
by talking to him. If you ever want to give a kid a lesson in
sportsmanship, having him watch Mike Mancuso makes a good
Throughout the day many military planes made brief demos,
including the KC-135, F-15, F-18, and F-117A. The Sound of Freedom
echoed off the high-rise hotels and boomed out over the amusement
park rides of Daytona Beach.
Finally, the Thunderbirds flew. Most everyone has seen them at
some time or another, so there's not a lot to say. They flew a
professional show, although encroaching clouds forced them to do a
modified "low show" and leave out some of the vertical maneuvers
from their regular show. They were, however, able to pull off the
trademark Thunderbird High Bomb Burst.
Aero-News attended the event as a guest of Riddle's Commercial
Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program, which is an ab-initio,
airline-oriented flight training program for exceptional candidates
who already have a four-year degree. It's a path to the right (and
ultimately left) seat for those who didn't know at 17 that they
wanted to attend Riddle and be pro pilots -- or those that didn't
know until they were thirty, or forty, that they wanted the airline
We've been digging deep into the CAPT program since its earliest
days as "First Officer Flight Training" and we're hoping to offer
an in-depth story on it "real soon now."
Wings and Waves continued through Sunday, Nov. 9. If you missed
it, you blew your last chance till 2005 - Riddle only holds Wings
and Waves every other year.