April 7, 2011
By Dave Hirschman
Team RV, a formation and aerobatic display team, is back at full strength after two of its airplanes were destroyed and others damaged by the March 31 tornado that struck during the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In.
The event was to have been the 12-airplane team’s national debut.
“It wasn’t exactly the way we meant to start our airshow season—but we’re absolutely not going to allow an event like this to slow us down,” said Mike “Kahuna” Stewart, Team RV leader. “We’ve already found replacement airplanes, and we’re going to fly every airshow on our schedule.”
Two Team RV airplanes—an RV-7A built and flown by Tad Sargent and an RV-3B built and flown by Tony Spicer—were completely wrecked by the violent weather while tied down on the flight line. Four of the group’s 12 airplanes required new rudders, one needed a new aileron, and another had water damage after its canopy was flung open by the 95-mph wind.
Team RV is scheduled to perform April 30 at Vidalia, Ga.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
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