2018 PERFORMERS

The Chippewa Valley Air Show was proud to present a first class line-up of performers during the 2018 show. This page will be updated as performers are confirmed.

 
A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members.

The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. Boss must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 jet.

Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.

Career-oriented officers specializing in maintenance, administration, aviation medicine, public affairs and supply fill support positions. The Blue Angels base their selection of officers on professional ability, military bearing and communication skills. Blue Angels officers are well-rounded representatives of their fleet counterparts.

Demonstration pilots, the Events Coordinator, Maintenance Officer and Flight Surgeon serve two years with the squadron. The other officers typically serve three years with the team. Blue Angels officers return to the fleet after their tours of duty.

 

Wings of Blue

(Tentatively Scheduled)
The Wings of Blue has a reputation for producing exceptional officers and great leaders...not just exceptional skydivers. Since the team's inception, the Wings of Blue has produced four team members who have become astronauts, ten team members who have become general officers, and countless other professional officers and business professionals; that's in addition to the team members that have become national and world skydiving champions.

F-16 DEMO AND HERITAGE FLIGHT

P-51 Mustang

 
The Air Combat Command F-16 Demonstration Team at Langley AFB, VA performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities by one of the Air Force's premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon flown by Major John "Rain" Waters. The team also teams up with Air Force Heritage flight exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.

Shockwave Jet Truck

 
As driver/pilot of the World's Fastest Jet Powered Truck, Neal Darnell has been performing at airshows for 10 years.

With a long career producing various types of motorsport events Neal and wife Marilyn made the decision to turn over that business to son John in 1999. Neal then turned to real estate development building a luxury subdivision in Springfield, Missouri, but missing the adrenalin rush from the various types of racing he'd been involved in, it was time to jump back in.

Always interested in jet engines, he thought why not put a military fighter jet engine in a Chevy pickup truck? With a little magic, a lot of money, a little luck, and lots of hard work, the Flash Fire Jet Truck was born. A Jet Truck with over 12,000 horsepower and capable of speeds approaching 400 mph.

After licensing with NHRA and a short drag racing stint, Neal decided it was time to start performing at airshows and soon he was developing a reputation racing and beating some very fast airplanes, even an F-16 in 2011 at Andrews AFB in D.C.

With over 20 years in the Show Promotion Business as the Producer of over 400 major events, Neal understands the importance of showmanship in everything he does.

In 2005 Neal set an airshow speed record of 375 mph at Tyndall AFB in Florida. This record still stands today making Flash Fire the "World's Fastest Jet Powered Truck."

In 2011 and 2012 Neal performed with the Air National Guard Max Adrenaline Air Show Team. Neal and son Chris will be sharing the driving duties of the Shockwave and the Flash Fire Jet Trucks.

 

Lucas Oil Aerobatics

Like many of the show pilots, Mike’s passion for aviation started when he was very young. Mike’s Dad took him to his first air show at their hometown in Iowa at the age of 10. That show made an everlasting impression so deep that at 14, Mike rode his bike to the airport for two weeks straight and bugged the owner for a job washing airplanes and cleaning hangars just to be around airplanes. In school, Mike had a teacher tell him he would never be a pilot. His grades weren’t great and he got into trouble. Later that year a tutor gave him the book The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper. It changed his attitude and it helped Mike believe in himself. He traded his work of washing airplanes for flying lessons and received his Pilot’s License on his 17th birthday.

Thirty eight years later, Mike has accumulated more than 24,000 flight hours and is qualified in more than 40 aircraft. He keeps a very busy schedule flying for Corporate America as well as keeping a full time air show schedule flying the Lucas Oil stunt plane April through November. “It is incredible to be part of the Lucas Oil Team. Their products as well as their integrity make what I do even more rewarding.”

It wasn’t easy getting where he is today, and as Mike would attest, he fought battles every day. Things didn’t always turn out the way he planned, but with each year he believes that one of the biggest impacts in his life and the lives around him was his attitude.

With everything he has experienced as a Pilot, Businessman, Husband and Father, Mike still admits to making mistakes every day. But he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to pass on the same gift of encouragement and attitude that had been given to him by his Parents, Grandparents, 2nd Grade Tutor and all who believe in him and the dreams he still chases. That is why Mike started the “I Can” program in conjunction with his air show.

Mike’s air show career is a testimony of how dreams really can come true. As a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team, Mike has traveled the world with the same aircraft you will see him performing in at your air show. His excitement for aviation and willingness to share his experience with people around the country is nothing short of contagious in his attempt to help encourage kids of all ages, to not only dream, but to live their dreams and never give up!

You can live big adventures, follow your passions and do the impossible!

It simply begins with two words....... "I Can."

Ace Maker - PHOTO RIGHT

Ace Maker

 
A Native Californian, Gregory “Wired” Colyer took his first flight at the age of 7 in a Cessna 172 with Dr. Lee Schaller out of the Schellville airport in Sonoma, California, Hooked ever since, Greg has been licensed since the age of 18 after learning how to fly while serving in the U.S. Army from 1982-1987.

Since leaving the service he has been employed by the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller at Oakland ARTCC since 1988. His passion for flying never left him as he continued to fly as a hobby, mostly in Beech T-34 mentors, until he imported a Russian L-29 Delfin in 2003 along with a few of his friends.

After flying numerous other ex-military aircraft, it was flying Kay Eckhart’s T-33 in 2007 that decided Greg’s next aircraft. One of his favorite aircraft as a youngster, the Shooting Star held a special place in his dreams, so he set his sights on America’s first operational Jet Fighter and Trainer, and his search began. He acquired his T-33 in 2008, and named it the “Ace Maker.” Then promptly founded the 501(c)(3) non-profit T-33 Heritage Foundation to help in the preservation of the type.

He holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi engine ratings as well as being a certified flight instructor. He is type-rated in the Aero Vodochody’s L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. An unrestricted, surface level aerobatic waiver and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications.

Greg stays in shaped for flying high performance aircraft by competitive cycling and an occasional Ironman Triathlon.

Greg would like to acknowledge and say thanks to his ACE Wayne Handley and Randy Howell of the Patriot Jet Team for their coaching, advice and support. A special thanks to Steve Hinton for his help, insight and expertise in the Shooting Star.

 

Kent Pietsch - Jelly Belly

Kent Pietsch fell in love with flying when he was four years-old. Five decades later, his passion has not waned.

Since 1973, Kent has performed his incredible aerobatic routines for millions of people at more than 400 shows that have taken him to quality venues throughout the United States.

Kent grew up in Minot, North Dakota, where every day after school, he’d find a way to get to the airport, and do whatever it took to get into an airplane.

While most aerobatic performers have one basic program, Kent executes three storied acts that leave spectators mesmerized. These include a dead-stick (turning the engine off) routine from 6,000 feet and a rooftop landing on a moving RV! However, Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe. When Kent is at the controls of his plane, it is impossible not to watch him perform.

Kent loves to fly, but the audience is always his number-one priority. “If you can’t entertain, you have no business being out there,” he said. “The gratification is in knowing that people are enjoying themselves.” Kent’s humble nature and willingness to interact with fans make him a crowd favorite wherever he performs.

He flies an 800-pound Interstate Cadet with a 37-foot wingspan. The plane’s horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine can generate 90 horsepower and a G-force ranging from -3 to +5.