An Evening with Champions

Sun, Jul 21, 2019 - Sun, Jul 21, 2019
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Location: Theater in the Woods

For the 34th year, brings you a captivating line-up of enlightening and entertaining speakers. For his eighth year, your Master of Ceremonies will be pilot Tye Mortensen. Tye has been an EAA Airshow regular since age four. He flies the skies of Kentucky.  The Mortensen family, father Danny and Tye, continue to do a wonderful job announcing this Official Airshow Kick-off for all of its 34 years—announcing over 100 speakers!

7:00 p.m.  Mark Grady uses humor and real life scenarios to take you through the top three things you need to be a safe pilot of excellence. Mark spent a decade as an award-winning traffic pilot and reporter on radio and TV in Raleigh, North Carolina and toured the country for two decades doing safety seminars and Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics for the AOPA Air Safety Institute and The Aviation Speakers Bureau. Today, Mark is a full-time writer and filmmaker. He is the author of the family drama Blaire's Bridge, the co-author of Yes. Sir! Mr. President with Howie Franklin of Air Force One fame. Look for two more of Mark's books, Searching for Walden and Pilot of Excellence to be out this fall. He is the writer/director of two independent feature films.

7:45 p.m.  Gregory Feith is a former NTSB Senior Investigator and “Go-Team” captain, investigating over 2,500 GA, business/corporate and air transport (commercial air carrier) aircraft incidents and accidents worldwide during his 39 years as an aircraft accident investigator and aviation safety expert. Greg spent more than 21 years with the NTSB and investigated numerous high-profile aircraft accidents including the Valujet DC-9 in-flight fire; the American Eagle ATR 72 in-flight icing; the Korean Air 
B-747-300 CFIT crash in Guam, and numerous accidents world-wide. He led a team of aviation experts and Sherpas to 21,000 feet on Mt. Illimani in Bolivia to investigate Eastern Airlines Flight 980, the highest aviation CFIT accident in history. Greg shares some of the “back stories” of the more challenging investigations during his career.  

8:30 p.m.  Capt. Denny Flanagan may be one of the most unusual four stripers you'll ever meet. When is the last time your Captain bought you pizza while you waited for a delayed departure? Denny has probably created greater personal connections with his passengers in 30 seconds than any formal loyalty program has in 30 years. "I just treated everyone like it's the first flight they've ever flown," said the Navy veteran. During layovers, he'd write thank you notes on the back of his business cards for the next flight, adding passenger names from the manifest after boarding. “I'd ask the FA to give out 50 cards to first class, and to those in middle seats in coach. The results of these gestures was quite surprising. Denny shares some of his funniest and most entertaining stories. 

9:00 p.m. Danny Mortensen was the unflappable Master of Ceremonies for this official airshow kick-off for 26 years. Previously an air traffic controller, and President of Bill Phelps’ Airline Ground Schools, he co-authored The Airline Career and Interview Manual. Danny has flown many air races including the Reno Air Race and was the 1990 Gold Trophy National Championship Air Race winner. He now enjoys flying his beautifully restored 1940 Waco. Danny shares some of the best of his funny and incredible stories from his 2019 book Confessions of an Air Traffic Controller: An Autobiography of Adventure, Humor, Lack of Talent, and Terror by a Unique Aviator.

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