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All Those Airshow Pilots Have To Practice Somewhere

Some Rehearse In ANN's Back Yard At St. Augustine Airport In Florida

In truth, its right out the front window from our new offices on the grounds of KSGJ. Northeast Florida Regional Airport said Wednesday that the “seasonal” increase in Aerobatic Box use at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport will be picking up in the coming weeks. Local residents and airport users can expect increased flight activity pertaining to the practice, annual training and recertification of aerobatic pilots in preparation for the 2011 Air Show Season and United States and worldwide aerobatic competitions.

Local and visiting aerobatic pilots will take to the skies nearly anytime from now through the end of April. Activity is limited to daylight hours and normally requires that weather conditions be relatively fair.

Airport Authority Chairman, Kelly Barrera states: “As we have been doing since the 1960's, we are pleased to again host the amazing aerobatic talents of pilots such as Patty Wagstaff, Michael Goulian and Dale Snodgrass at Northeast Florida Regional Airport. This time of the year brings some of the best flying weather in the country and with it a sampling of the world’s best aerobatic flying talent to the area. In addition to hosting their pre-season training and certification efforts, the airport benefits from additional economic impacts and the notoriety that surrounds these pilots and flying teams”.

Edward Wuellner, the airport’s Executive Director said: “If this year is typical, numerous media outlets will make their way to St. Augustine over the next several months to highlight the performers and the airport”. He continued, "the seasonal aerobatic flying will get a jumpstart with the arrival and weekend flying of the "Heavy Metal Jet Team" scheduled to be here over the first weekend of February." The jet team is made up of four Aero L-39 "Albatros" jet trainers and a Lockheed T-33 "Shooting Star" jet trainer. The group is sponsored by United Bank Card with all proceeds from its first season's performances benefiting the "Make a Wish Foundation."

Some of the prominent aerobatic talent scheduled for the airport include: Former World Aerobatic Champion and Hall of Fame Member, Patty Wagstaff; US Aerobatic Champions, Michael Goulian, David Martin and Michael Mancuso, as well as, Air Show Performers, Christine Gerner and Dale Snodgrass.

FMI: www.flynf.com

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