Greg Koontz loves flying, and he loves flying American Champion aircraft. The award-winning airshow pilot is bringing his 2015 Decathlon Xtreme to the AOPA Fly-In at Tullahoma Regional Airport on Oct. 10.
“I call it down low and up close,” Koontz said of the routine he flies in the Xtreme. The demonstration includes an inverted ribbon cut if conditions allow.
Koontz has flown the Champion line of aircraft since he got started in aviation in the 1970s. When he returned to airshow performances in the 1990s, “I stuck with it because I like it, and I can use it as a trainer and show it off to people at airshows. It’s a good old average person’s airplane.”
“People enjoy seeing something they could fly” as opposed to some of the advanced, expensive aircraft flown by other performers, Koontz said.
Koontz has had a busy summer, traveling up and down the East Coast. “We did about nine airshows up north,” he said. “We moved all of our equipment up north in early June and we just got everything home last week.” Home is in Ashville, Alabama, where Koontz teaches tailwheel, spin, upset, and aerobatics training at his residence, located on a private grass runway.
An airshow performer since 1974, Koontz said one of the highlights of his vocation is “mixing with the crowd. That’s the best thing.” His Alabama Boys routine, in which he lands a Piper Cub on a pickup truck, “attracts so many young people and the nonfliers.” He said he loves to answer kids’ questions, and has received emails from fans who tell him, “I saw you in an airshow once—I’ve just learned to fly.”
Bring your friends and family to enjoy Koontz’ aerial demonstration. RSVP for AOPA’s Tullahoma Fly-In.
This AOPA Fly-In has been made possible by a generous grant from the AOPA Foundation. Visit foundation.aopa.org for more details.