March 29, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Four Aero L-39 Albatros aircraft, part of a new jet demonstration team, were ready to take to the skies at Sun `n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., March 28, if only the skies would clear.
The airshow team, called Heavy Metal, features the four L-39s, plus a solo Canadair T-33 that had not yet arrived as the other aircraft waited on the ground during the rainy set-up day for exhibitors.
The team is new to the airshow circuit and has performed only twice prior to Sun `n Fun. Heavy Metal pilots plan to target smaller airshows around the country.
The act is fully sponsored by the team, so performances are free to airshows. The act features more of a graceful approach, with gentle loops and aerobatic maneuvers, as opposed to a “shock and awe” style.
The opening day, March 29, was more like “ Mud ’n Fun” than Sun `n Fun. Weather forecasts call for continuing showers and thunderstorms throughout the week.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talks with AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon on his first 100 days and the top advocacy issues confronting AOPA.
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