UC hosts aerobatic pilots; free event set for Sunday
Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008 8:18 pm
Top aerobatic pilots from all across the country will converge on Union City today in preparation for the CornFest Airport Extravaganza Sunday.
The event, which is free to the public, will be held at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport from 12:30-5 p.m.
Pilots will be competing Saturday and Sunday in five categories — sportsman, primary, intermediate, advanced and unlimited — during the International Aerobatic Club sanctioned competition. This is the first aerobatic competition to be held in Tennessee in nearly 10 years, organizers said, adding it’s the first for Union City.
The advanced and unlimited pilots will fly their “four-minute free style” and “unknowns” on Sunday afternoon, filling the skies over the airport.
Knivcovo, Russia, native Nikolay Timofeev, a three-time World Aerobatic Champion, former Russian National Aerobatics team member and the top act of OSHKOSH AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., will be head-lining the event. Known as the Master of the Sky, he will demonstrate his “Ballet in the Sky.”
National top aerobatic pilots, such as Steve Johnson and 2006-08 US World Aerobatics team members Mike Rinker and Debby Rihn-Harvey, and local aerobatic pilots will also wow those in attendance with their aerobatic skills. Ms. Rihn-Harvey, the “First Lady of Aerobatics,” is the highest ranked aerobatics competitor in the United States and the highest scoring female competitor for the eighth year. She is the longest standing member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Team, qualifying to represent the U.S. 13 times in World Aerobatic Championships in North America and Europe. In world competition, Ms. Rihn-Harvey has been a gold medalist and she holds many regional titles. With an overall percentage of 79.25 percent, she recently reclaimed the title of U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion at the 2008 Championships. She had previously claimed the title in 2006.
There will be vintage aircraft, war-birds and aerobatic aircraft, National Guard, Air Evac Lifeteam and Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopters on static display. A sky school for children will allow those ages 8 and older to build and launch their own rockets. Also available will be a rock climbing wall, mini carnival, pony rides and a petting zoo. Booths will be feature Tennessee Fish and Wildlife, David Haggard of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency with the Birds of Prey exhibit, face painting by the Carl Perkins Center, Obion County’s Reading Railroad, We’re Wireless and Cystic Fibrosis. Ventriloquist Terry Scott and his sidekick “Tony,” along with Peaches the Clown and Nurse Periwinkle, will entertain and dazzle attendees with their balloon art.
Helicopter tours, provided by Helicopters Inc. of Memphis, will be available for $30 per person. Rides may be taken on Saturday with John “Bosco” Bostick in his authentic Texas T-6 for $250. One ride will be auctioned on Sunday afternoon.
The Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a 2008 Chevy Hybrid Tahoe, which will be given away on Nov. 1. The vehicle will be on display. Main Street-Union City will also be selling $10 chances for a “UT Getaway” on Nov. 8. The winner will get a two bedroom/two bath chalet, four tickets to the University of Tennessee football game and a $100 gas card.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be selling concessions with all food proceeds going to fund vital research to develop drugs and to help find a cure for this fatal genetic disease. The Weakley/Obion County Great Strides Walk held in Martin, along with the food sales for the Airport Extravaganza, are this area’s main fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Although the day’s events will be free, there will be a $1 parking fee.
Published in The Messenger 10.10.08