The 2016 Valiant Air Command airshow in March was one of the best I have seen in many years even if the Thunderbirds weren’t there. And I say this as having attended this show dating back to 1985. To the days when the men of the AVG Flying Tigers and VMF 214 came to the show. This year, we were blessed with Lt Colonel Cole, one of the last of Doolitte’s Radiers.
Below are some pictures of the aircraft that were in attendance. Nice mix of modern and classic warbirds were on the ramp and attendance seemed pretty high. Lots of safe flying although
listening to the Air Boss channel, he had to assert his authority a couple of times when pilots were trying to change things in the air. To paraphrase, “lets fly as briefed”.
A few scheduled aircraft were not able to attend, the CAF P-51 Tuskegee Airmen, the US Navy F-18 Hornet demo and F-104 Starfighter. But I think the schedule was full regardless. Again, lots of flying and my barometer for activity, my son, seems to have entertained the whole day.
Here are a couple of things that I have thought of that may make the show better and few things that need attention:
1. Plane Captains: For the static displays, when talking to my son about an aircraft, I was asked a few times if I was the pilot. I told them I wasnt but asked if they had a question and could perhaps
answer it. And I did. Maybe have a person in a bright colored shirt that identifies them as the plane captain so they can answer question.
2. Pop up tents: Provide the plane captains a pop up tent so they can stand in the shade to talk about the aircraft. The USAF Majors and Captains were baking in the sun in their flight suits.
3. Night time photo shoot: How about a night time photo shoot on Saturday night on the flightline? Or a Sunday morning sunrise shoot? Lots of other shows do this. Maybe even a nightime engine run, hint F-86 and P-51.
4. Backpack policy: I saw on Facebook that he backpack policy got beat up with some people getting in with backpacks and some that didnt. Those that didnt saw those that did. Not a major issue, but something to bring up.
5. Golfcarts: Two years ago, I brought up an issue with one of the Safety people who was on a ATV that almost ran someone over. It is still dangerous out there. I almost got run over by the same
golfcart twice, hours apart, that was being driven by a Army JROTC cadet, who was doing trash detail, I think. Too much speeding down on the closed hard top. Someone is going to get hurt badly one day.
6. VAC tent: There is a VAC gift shop tent but how about a VAC history tent with a “join here” booth. Dont think I have seen one in awhile at the show.
7. WW2 re-enactors: What a great bunch! The shootout was awesome and the tanks were a favorite with my son. Wish you could get some of the other tanks from around the corner to attend. And give those guys a sound system so we could all hear them at the beginning.
8. Traffic light: I know that this may be beyond your scope, but Titusville PD should put an officer on the corner of Grissom and Columbia. The light still short cycles and traffic backups. Then the road rage and horn honking starts.
Had lots of fun and no sunburn thanks to lots of sunblock!