MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
September 17, 2012
Barbara A. Schmitz
Team RV is proof that it isn’t always “cheaper by the dozen.” But having the world’s largest air show team with 12 pilots and 12 planes does provide some economies of scale since 12 families are also involved in the business.
“Everyone has skills that they bring to the team,” said founder and flight lead Mike Stewart. Some have business backgrounds, others finance, marketing or public relations skills. Each contributes their strengths to the team’s success.
The team includes retired fighter pilots and airlines captains, to financial advisers and project engineers from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
What’s the best part about their show?
For Stewart, it’s that one magic moment in the middle of a barrel roll. “I’m rolling very slow and am upside down when I look over my shoulder and catch eight airplanes underneath me with all their smoke on and I also get to see the crowd.”
Wingman Len Legette likes the high-intensity moves. “For a pilot, I like the pull ups and hard turns … But without a doubt, from the crowd’s perspective, it’s the large formations.”
James Clark said his favorite part takes part on the ground. “Once we land, we walk the line, meet the kids, and give out cards and pictures that we sign. Once we see the smile on the little kids’ faces, even if the kids are 70 or 80 years old, it is so rewarding. There is something special knowing we’ve touched someone.”
And it is not a coincidence that the world’s largest air show team flies Van’s RVs. “The RV is affordable,” Stewart said. “You couldn’t find 12 T-6 guys … to travel 100 miles to go practice three times a week and then travel cross country to fly every weekend.”
Pilot Youth and Introductory,
Pilot Types of Flying,
Youths ages 13 through 18 who are members of the AOPA AV8RS program can now apply for scholarships to help them achieve their aviation dreams.
NetJets has added a new safety feature to its long-range fleet: a doctor who is always in.
Shell announced Dec. 3 the development of an unleaded aviation fuel that will be submitted for certification as a "performance drop-in" avgas replacement.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.