Bits and Pieces
Ken Fowler Aerobatics
If you’ve attended air show performances from Abbotsford to Ottawa, from Yellowknife to ‘The Golden West’, you have probably seen Ken Fowler and company in action.
I met with Ken at the Rocky Mountain Airport in west-central Alberta and spoke of the various activities that occupy Ken’s time and passion.
Ken is the manager of this airport and spends his spare time building high-performance aircraft for himself and other clients. He has built two RV-4’s, a Harmon Rocket (that he flies in his air shows), an F-1 Rocket, and is presently building two F-1 Rockets, a modified BD-5, and his own design, a metal take-off of a Rutan VariViggen.
Ken learned to fly in 1977 earning his glider license. In 1978 he joined Canadian Military as an Airframe Technician and worked on T-33s, CF 101s and CF-18s before becoming a Flight Engineer in 1988. After leaving the service, he settled down at Rocky Mountain House, and started his career with homebuilt aircraft and aerobatics. This developed into serious stuff and with the completion of his Harmon Rocket, Ken was soon honing his vertical flying skills and aerobatic routines.
Ken is joined in air show aerobatics by Dr. Eric Hanson, who built and flies an F-1 Rocket. Together they thrill crowds with their unique blend of breath-taking performances. Their trademark is a head-on take-off from opposing ends of the same runway and rolling as they pass each other. Spectacular!
They also combine air show performances with the popular Dan Buchanan flying a hang glider, who attempts to ward off these two fixed-wing marauders with his pyrotechnic rockets; a great crowd pleaser.
And you will want to stay to see Ken’s solo night show! His high-speed aerobatic capabilities combined with an outstanding fireworks display is simply awesome!
Ken and I spent an enjoyable hour talking as pilots and aircraft enthusiasts do. We spoke of the passion and the privilege, the enthusiasm and the financial realities of our flying world. Ken spoke of the importance of communication with our airport neighbours and local officials as well as the need to help shape our youth and their future with our values and work ethics. As Ken sees it, the success of his airport and his flying community is a personal responsibility.
From where I see it, he is succeeding.
- Jack Dueck