2015 PERFORMERS

The Chippewa Valley Air Show was proud to present a first class line-up of performers during the 2015 show.

 
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.

CF18 Demo Team

 
The CF-18 Demonstration Team will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain – and the courageous airmen that Prime Minister Winston Churchill dubbed the “few” – during its 2015 show season.

The special design of the demo Hornet, reflecting this theme, will be unveiled at a later date.
 

Wings of Blue

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 Team

 
The Air Combat Command F-16 Demonstration Team at Shaw AFB, SC 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. 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

 
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.

 

Younkin Airshows

Matt Younkin is a third generation pilot. He is the son of legendary airshow pilot Bobby Younkin, who is famous for his amazing aerobatic displays in the AT-6, Beech 18, Learjet 23, Samson, and most recently, the Super Decathlon. Bobby is considered to be one of the greatest airshow pilots of all time.

Matt is also the grandson of Jim Younkin who is well-known for designing the Century and Trutrak autopilots. Jim is also famous for his antique aircraft restorations, as well as building beautiful replicas of the 1930’s air racers such as the Howard “Mr. Mulligan” and the Travel Air “Mystery Ship.”

Matt learned to fly at the age of 14 from family friend Ken Collier in a Piper J-3 Cub. At age 15, Chuck Irvin, the same instructor who taught Bobby how to fly, refined Matt’s piloting skills. On his sixteenth birthday, Matt soloed his grandfather’s 1928 Travel Air 4000 biplane.

Matt is now proficient in over 80 types of airplanes ranging from the Piper Cub to the North American B-29. He is also a fully rated flight instructor and now has almost 4,000 hours of total flying time and currently resides in Siloam Springs, AR.

Matt is also an accomplished radio-controlled model airplane pilot. Like his father before him, Matt learned most of his aerobatic skills by flying R/C models and later refined them in the Super Decathlon.

Bobby gave Matt two hours of aerobatic instruction which focused mainly on slow rolls. Bobby said, “Almost every aerobatic maneuver is based on a slow roll. If you can master the slow roll, you can master anything.”

When Matt took the Decathlon out to perfect his slow rolls, he soon discovered that he could perform every maneuver that Bobby performed in the airplane, plus a few new ones of his own. Matt’s latest and greatest achievement is perfecting the world’s only night aerobatic display in the Beech 18. Equipped with 17 spotlights and 13 strobes, the top airplane appears to glow in the dark while the bottom side twinkles violently. Combined with smoke, noise, choreography, and an incredible musical score, the Twin Beech Night Spectacular is quickly becoming one of the most sought after acts in the airshow arena.

Matt is also performing the daytime aerobatic display in the Beech 18 that his father Bobby perfected so many years ago. By lacking the intensity night show, this display has been described by many as “the most graceful and beautiful performance the airshow industry has to offer.”

Bobby always said, “An airshow act must be unique and original to be successful. People come to an airshow to see the impossible take place.” Matt is keeping with the Younkin Airshows tradition by performing unique aerobatics in precision aircraft and precision aerobatics in unique aircraft.

Greg Koontz Airshows

 
Flown in the 1946 Piper J-3 Cub, this act begins as Greg - farmer Clem Cleaver - climbs up on the announcer's stand, demanding a flight lesson. Later in the show, he "steals" the plane and takes off alone, with his whole crew chasing. Grandpa shoots off a tire to get him down, and Clem lands on his pickup truck as it races down the runway.

About Greg's Koontz:
Began in the airshow business in 1974 with Col. Moser’s Flying Circus
Performed in over 350 airshows
Over 1,200 airshow performances accident free
Level one SAC card since 1976
Aerobatic Competency Evaluator
Chairman of ICAS ACE Committee