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.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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