Blue Angels Schedule

Smoky Mountain Air Show announces lineup of aerial act

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Capt. Corrie Mays, events coordinator for the US Navy's Blue Angels flight team, speaks to members of the media during a visit to the Tennessee Air National Guard Base at McGhee Tyson Airport Nov. 30, 2015.
Capt. Corrie Mays, events coordinator for the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight team, speaks to members of the media during a visit to the Tennessee Air National Guard Base at McGhee Tyson Airport Nov. 30, 2015.

Organizers of the Smoky Mountain Air Show, featuring the Navy’s Blue
Angels, on Tuesday announced the rest of the lineup for the April 16-17
show.
Besides the Navy’s renowned demonstration team, the acts at
McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base will include Greg Koontz Airshows,
Younkin Airshows, Aeroshell Acrobatic Team, Commemorative Air Force’s
Dixie Wing WW II warbirds and Jacquie B Airshows.
The event will
be the first air show held there since 2000, and is sponsored by the
Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, the Tennessee Air National
Guard, Knoxville, Knox County and Blount County.
Greg Koontz, who
has been performing since 1974, does aerobatic acts in “stick and
rudder” aircraft, Rob Reider, who will announce at the April show, told
dignitaries gathered Tuesday at the air base. Koontz operates the Sky
Country Lodge, which is a north Alabama airstrip/bed-and-breakfast where
he offers aerobatic lessons, and cooks the meals.
Matt Younkin,
of Younkin Airshows, will be doing aerobatics in a World War II-era
Beech 18, which is a twin-engine propeller aircraft never designed for
aerobatic flight, Reider said.
Jacquie B Airshows features the
aerobatics of Jacquie Warda, who in 2003 at age 50 retired as a white
collar professional to become an air show performer. Warda’s father was a
pilot and she began training toward her dream at age 32.
Not all
the excitement at the Smoky Mountain Air Show will take place in the
sky. The Commemorative Air Force, which preserves America’s vintage
combat aircraft, will have a number of World War II era aircraft on
display. Reider said organizers hope to have a P-51 Mustang fighter, two
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, a Navy SBD Dauntless dive bomber
and others.
The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team is four pilots who do maneuvers in World-War II-era North American AT-6 Texan trainers.
“Lots of noise, lots of smoke, and formation flying at the pinnacle of perfection,” Reider said of the act.
Remaining
revenue after costs of the show are met is earmarked for HonorAir
Knoxville, which provides free trips for World War II, Korean War and
Vietnam War veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.
Eddie Mannis, chairman of the organization, said it is grateful to receive the aid.
“Every
flight costs about $60,000 every time we leave the ground, so the
proceeds from this will be great for us and help us do many more
flights,” he said.

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