Aerobatic Pilots Seek to Inspire Kids to Fly
By Cathy LockeAerobatic pilots Julie Clark and Tim Decker appeared Oct. 4 at the Lincoln Airport Day & Airshow at California's Lincoln Regional Airport. They and four other pilots performed loops and rolls and flew upside down as part of their exhibition. Decker, an Air Force pilot stationed at Beale Air Force Base, manned a Pitts Special, a plane specifically devised for aerobatics. The maneuvers are like ones he has carried out in military aircraft during his two decades in the Air Force. Clark has worked as a civilian instructor for the U.S. Navy; and during the 1970s, she was one of the first women hired as a commercial airline pilot. Following her retirement from Northwest Airlines in 2004, she became involved in aerobatics full time. Clark performs in about 20 air shows annually; and at the Lincoln show, flew her T-34, a military airplane constructed during the early 1950s. Decker notes that around 450 air shows are held across North America each year. He says he is looking forward to focusing on his aerobatics company when he finishes his present assignment at Beale.
November 12, 2008