Joe Bird flies with the Phillips 66 Aerostars who will perform at the Owensboro air show

Local News

Pilot Paul Hornick:
I’ve been flying since 1988. These planes are new for us, this is our second season flying these and they’re much higher performance than what we used to fly.

As we’ve developed the show over the last year and a half, we’re adding more and more figures and complexity to the show, and so it’s really nice to learn what these airplanes can do versus our old ones.

Aerobatics and then subsequently formation aerobatics is just another extension of flying in general. We have an instrument called an ADI, attitude direction indicator, so that basically tells you when you’re right-side-up, upside-down, when you’re turning, climbing, descending.

The skills necessary to fly formation aerobatics are transnational to flying a jet like I do for my day job.

Flying formation requires the brain to fire very quickly and come up and solve equations and problems on what to do with your hands and feet to keep that airplane in the same relative position.

Part of our mission is to educate young folks on science, technology, engineering and math. We have a young aviators program where we go out and speak to young kids.

With school districts, we’re able to partner with and get some of those kids who show the most promise, we’ll take four of them up for a formation aerobatics demo ride. Our typical demo ride is so fast that nobody has time to get sick.

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(This story was originally published on September 13, 2019)

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