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Top Air Show Performers Commit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

January 7, 2016 - Some of the world’s top air show performers have made their commitments to fly at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 fly-in – The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration – as part of the afternoon and night air show lineups.

Those performers include national aerobatic champions and longtime Oshkosh favorites. They will add to the one-of-a-kind aircraft and performances that are part of the popular daily flying programs. EAA AirVenture 2016 is July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

“Over the past several years we’ve dedicated ourselves to create the best air show lineup for both our afternoon and night air shows at Oshkosh,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member benefits who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “That means gathering using the feedback we collect each year to bring back favorite performers, while adding exciting new acts, unique highlights, and air show attractions connected with particular aircraft and anniversaries. Air show performers know that flying at Oshkosh establishes them as one of the best, performing for the most knowledgeable audiences in all of aviation.”

Among the performers and aircraft already committed to Oshkosh in 2016 are:

AeroShell Aerobatic Team – The AeroShell Aerobatic Team brings its four North American T-6 Texans to Oshkosh again for both day and night air show performances. The AeroShell team has been performing for more than 25 years, amassing thousands of hours in front of air show fans all across America. The team is made up of four highly skilled and qualified pilots.

Luca Bertossio – Luca Bertossio is a sensational, young Italian aerobatic pilot who performs glider aerobatics. He is the first Italian to have won four gold and two silver FAI medals for the aerobatics discipline, to win the titles of Vice World Champion 2011 and Advanced Glider Aerobatics World Champion 2012, and to have obtained best ever placement in the Unlimited Category of the WGAC World Championship in 2015. Bertossio also became the youngest pilot to win the World Air Games in 2015.

Jeff Boerboon – Nicknamed Screamin’ Sasquatch, Boerboon takes his vintage biplane to new heights with a CJ 610 jet engine.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds - They are one of the most popular military aerial demonstration teams in the world, and have announced EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 as part of its schedule, which would be the first time the team would be back at Oshkosh in more than 30 years. The Snowbirds, officially designated as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, were created in 1971 and have a nearly 40-year connection to EAA, as they were the first military team to perform at Oshkosh when they flew over the EAA fly-in in the 1970s. The Snowbirds fly Canadair CT-114 Tutor jets in approximately 60 air shows each year. The nine aircraft used in the performances are piloted by experienced team members from the Royal Canadian Air Force. During the show, the pilots fly at speeds ranging from 110 to 465 mph (180 to 750 km/h) and in formation with distances as close as 4 feet of wing overlap. Comprised of exciting loops, rolls, and solo passes as well as graceful nine-jet formations, the Snowbirds’ show includes more than 50 different formations and maneuvers over each 35-minute performance.

Bob Carlton – Flying the SubSonex jet, Bob Carlton displays the precise aerobatic capabilities he has become famous for in his jet-powered glider.

Kirby Chambliss – Chambliss goes full throttle in his aggressive and explosive aerobatic routine in his Red Bull Edge 540. Chambliss and his airplane must sustain a radical span of 18g’s, so he follows a rigorous exercise regimen of skydiving and motocross to stay in shape. He is one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world ― a five-time winner of the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship and a former men’s freestyle world champion. He’s also world-class fast; Chambliss is one of only two American pilots ever to win the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Matt Chapman – Matt flies the Extra 330LX and counts the Hillard Trophy, the IAC Championship, and the Fond du Lac Cup among his long list of achievements. Chapman is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot who thrills millions of air show fans each summer. Chapman’s exciting competition aerobatics led him to air show performing. The Extra 330LX is a two-seat, tandem arrangement, low-wing aerobatic monoplane with conventional (tail dragger) landing gear, offering exceptional aerobatic performance.

Kevin Coleman – The extraordinary airplane, Extra 300SC, has allowed Coleman to think outside the box to come up with many new and inventive maneuvers. Coleman is one of the youngest air show stars in the world, and is a second generation pilot and second generation air show performer.

Kyle Franklin – Kyle Franklin's Dracula airplane is a one of a kind airplane with a classic theme, an appealing story, and a commitment to his fans that is rooted in creativity and passion. He has emerged from a storied, sometimes tragic past as a man who is a product of his unique upbringing, but who has also brought forth his own talents and ideas.

Geico Skytypers – The World Famous GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team is a flight squadron of six vintage WWII aircraft performing precision flight maneuvers at select air shows across the US. The diverse flying expertise of the team members aligns perfectly with the unique components of their overall performance.

Mike Goulian – One of the top air show performers in the world and a Red Bull Air Race competitor, Goulian will thrill spectators with his Extra 330SC. He's won the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Championship at only 27 years of age, and has represented the United States at the World Aerobatic Championship on three separate occasions.

Rob Holland – Holland is one of the most decorated, respected, and innovative aerobatic pilots and air show performers in the world today. He is a four-time defending U.S. National Aerobatic champion and two-time defending World Freestyle Aerobatic Champion, and has 10,000 flight hours in more than 168 different aircraft types. Flying the MX-2, Holland thrills millions of spectators with his dynamic and breathtaking display.

Jerry Kerby – A past Black Diamond Jet Team member, Jerry “Jive” Kerby demonstrates the capabilities of his RV-8 Wild Blue.

John Klatt – Lt. Col. John Klatt will thrill air show spectators with his own unique blend of precision, power and performance in the MX-S.  He has served in the Air National Guard for more than 20 years - flying combat, air support, and humanitarian missions.

Greg Koontz – One of the greatest stick and rudder pilots in the air show business today, Koontz will perform in the Xtreme Decathlon. Koontz flies this popular plane through a solo aerobatic routine that demonstrates its agility with a full set of outside loops, vertical rolls, snaps and tumbles, and inverted passes. The grand finale is a down low, in the dirt inverted ribbon cut!

Sammy Mason – The youngest member of the US national Aerobatic team, Mason is a third generation aerobatic pilot treating crowds to a special show with his Pitts S-1S. Mason’s effortless flying style comes from a life immersed in aviation, and has won multiple Sportsman and Intermediate contests.

Paul McCowan – Skydiver with the American flag

Patriot Parachute Team – The Patriot Parachute Team is a team of professional parachutists who formerly served as active duty Navy SEALs.  As SEALs, parachuting into different and challenging environments was their duty. They have performed in hundreds of cities and venues around the country, in thousands of demonstrations.  All of the team members are United States Parachute Association PRO accelerated freefall instructor and tandem rating holders, the highest qualifications in the parachute demonstration field. 

Jim Peitz – Peitz performs incredible low-level maneuvers in his aerobatic F33C Beechcraft Bonanza.

Rex & Melissa Pemberton – Award-winning aerobatic pilot, free fly skydiver and champion rock climber, Melissa Pemberton brings a high-energy, action-packed display of unlimited aerobatics to audiences worldwide with her Edge 540 aircraft. With thousands of skydives and more than 300 base jumps, her husband Rex jumps out in his wingsuit and the two fly together in formation in this unique performance.

Kent Pietsch – Kent has performed his incredible aerobatic routines for millions of people at more than 400 shows that have taken him to quality venues throughout the United States. Kent is best known for a comedy act that features a detached aileron (wing flap) and a mesmerizing wingtip-scraping pass down the runway that you must see to believe.

Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes – Soucy flies his iconic Grumman Showcat biplane delivering a Hollywood-style smoke and noise solo routine, a wing-walking act with Stokes, and a night pyrotechnic performance called the Fireflight. Soucy is a former member of the record-setting Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team, has been a member of two World Champion U.S. Aerobatic Teams, and has won more awards than any other active air show pilot. Stokes is an internationally acclaimed aviation and space artist as well as the top stuntwoman-wing-walker in the world. She is also a pilot with multiengine, instrument, and commercial ratings, and enjoys flying aerobatics herself. Stokes has been wing-walking on Soucy’s Showcat since 1988.

Bill Stein – Stein flies the dazzling Zivko Edge 540, whose paint continuously changes color based on constantly varying angles between spectators, airplane, and lighting. Stein has logged more than 5,000 hours of aerobatic and formation flight. He began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since. Stein’s experience includes competitive aerobatics and years of flying in the world famous Red Baron Stearman Squadron.

Skip Stewart – As the recipient of the 2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, Skip Stewart has proven to be one of the most entertaining air show pilots in the world today. Stewart has more than 10,000 hours of flying experience, holds an ATP certificate, and is a certified flight instructor. Stewart delights his audience with a high-energy solo demonstration flight in his highly modified Pitts S2S biplane, Prometheus.

Team Aerostar – The Aerostars are a precision aerobatic demo team whose aerial ballet captivates air show audiences large and small. They fascinate the crowd with a combination of graceful aerobatics flown in tight formation, spectacular breakaways followed by breathtaking opposing passes, and awe-inspiring inverted maneuvers. The team performs in the Yak 52TW, a former Soviet-designed, Romanian-built, WWII-type aerobatic trainer. The deep roar of their 400 hp, supercharged, nine cylinder radial engines singing in harmony is a true crowd pleaser.

Team Redline – RedLine Airshows is a dynamic two-ship formation aerobatic performance team. The opposing, inverted, and formation maneuvers are very popular with air show crowds. Ken Rieder is an aerobatic and multi-engine flight instructor and serves as flight-lead for the Redline Team. Jon Thocker retired from a 25-year career as an airline captain flying heavy jets to pursue a lifelong passion for building and flying experimental aircraft.

Sean D. Tucker – EAA’s very own Young Eagles Chairman Sean D. Tucker performs a high-energy aerobatic demonstration in the one-of-a-kind Oracle Challenger III biplane with a full-throttle attitude. He has flown more than 1,225 performances at nearly 500 air shows, in front of more than 125 million fans. Tucker is a National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and International Aviation Air and Space Hall of Fame inductee, and was named one of the 25 Living Legends of Flight by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Patty Wagstaff – Wagstaff, flying the Extra 330LX, is a six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, a three-time U.S. National Aerobatic champion (first woman to win the title), and one of the most famous air show personalities of all time. She flies thrilling, low-level aerobatic demonstrations before millions of people each year. Her breathtaking performances give air show spectators a front-row seat view of the precision and complexity of modern, unlimited hard-core aerobatics.

Matt Younkin – Younkin, the first second-generation recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, will fly his famous twin-engine Beech 18. This act is described by producers and fans alike as one of the most beautiful and graceful displays the industry has to offer. Younkin’s latest achievement is perfecting the world’s only night aerobatic display in a Beech 18. Equipped with more than 50 externally visible lights, the top of the airplane appears to glow in the dark while the bottom side twinkles violently. Younkin continues to amaze air show goers with his unique ability to capture the crowd in the moment, much the same way his father, Bobby, and sister, Amanda, did for so many years.

Among Warbirds performers already confirmed are:

Tora! Tora! Tora! – Tora! Tora! Tora! is the Commemorative Air Force's recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that signaled the beginning of the American involvement in World War II. Designed as a living history lesson, Tora! Tora! Tora! is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries. These aircraft are modified to resemble the Zeros, Vals, and Kates of the Japanese attacking force, and participate each year in more than 15 air displays across the USA.

Texas Flying Legends – The Texas Flying Legends Museum will be featured in the air show, and is dedicated to honoring past generations and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow through active display of WWII warbirds.

Class of '45 – " Jim Tobul " dual routine is a stunning act with Jim Tobul in his Corsair Korean War Hero and Scott Yoak in his P-51 Mustang Quick Silver

Greg Shelton – Info to come

Along with these early confirmations, many more exciting performers are yet to be announced, including some not-seen-anywhere else performers and aircraft flying at Oshkosh. Exact days for each performer and complete daily air show lineups will be announced as they are finalized.

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