Air Show at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
By Dana Stranger
Last Saturday’s Air Show at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe was a spectacular aerial performance of military type maneuvers and civilian plane aerobatics. Air show attendees were delighted to have access to a C-130 Hercules, with its open cargo area for inspection and viewing. Youngsters enjoyed climbing into the cockpit of a Blue Angels flight simulator and being photographed. The Spirit of Freedom is literally a World War II flying museum. The restored Douglas C-54E was filled with displays and artifacts telling the compelling story of the famed Allied Berlin airlift; which ended May 12, 1949
Red Star and the Dragon kept viewers on there feet while performing an action packed Dog Fight. Red Star a Viper-29 war bird was piloted by Jerry “Ivan” Conley. The Viper with its incredible vertical climbs and 360 degree turns is capable of out maneuvering the best.
The Dragon a Bac 167 Strike master is a lightning fast powerhouse packed with stealth air combat capabilities. When the Dragon piloted by Andy “White snake” Anderson takes flight it is an aerial menace.
“The Alabama Boys and the World’s Smallest Airport” thrilled the crowd when they landed the plane on top of a driving pickup. Gregg Koontz the talented pilot flew 300 hours in a 1946 Piper j-3 Cub as a senior in High School. He restored the plane in his mother’s garage planning to become a pilot.
“Jane Wicker- the Wondrous Wing Walker” has performed across the United States and Canada. Wicker walks on the wings of a beautifully restored Stearman boasting its 450 horse power. Big Foot the monster truck became almost invisible at times with the throng of onlookers. Children were mystified seeing a school bus fly down the runway at speeds exceeding 360 mph. The Air Show at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport was one to be remembered.
Jeff Roncone from Maryland and a dedicated group of war veterans had an outstanding World War II display. The restored army jeeps and tents filled with artifacts and weaponry were a history buffs dream. Veterans answered questions regarding display items and military history.
Members from this group and other former divisions will stage a reenactment of the closing days of World War II. Ike’s Farm and Convoy, at Gettysburg, PA will be held on Sept 17-18.
DeNunzio’s located right at the Arnold Palmer Airport catered the event. Spectators enjoyed upscale pasta dishes and Italian specialties under the comfort of a large tent. One of DeNunzio’s famous dishes is Chicken Cariofi which is sautéed with, garlic artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and white wine served over penne regatta. Dan Demyan and Leah Lohr who had attended the air show were enjoying the hot Italian sausage and nachos.