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Banana Don’s Slice Of Americana – It’s Almost Airshow Season!

Soon it will not be snowing. Soon we will not have to worry about blowing or shoveling snow in 30 below windchill. Soon it will be summer in Michigan. And to some people, summer means airshows.

I love airshows. I used to spend a LOT of time at airshows – helping crew for friends, flying in them, doing the narration for the acts or just going to see cool airplanes fly.  (One of the best renditions EVER of “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” was done by myself and a Marine CH-53 helicopter crew, in a bar in Altoona, PA)

Most people go to big airshows to see the military acts, and the airshow schedules for the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels have been announced, and both teams are coming to Michigan. They missed some shows last year because of the U.S. government’s sequestration. (bites tongue and continues…)

The Thunderbirds will be in Battle Creek on July 5th and 6th, and the Blue Angels will be in Traverse City on the SAME weekend! BUT, the Thunderbirds will be in Ypsilanti on August 9th and 10th, for people who want to catch both teams.

I’m a little partial to the Thunderbirds because they let me fly one of their F-16s when I worked in Pittsburgh. I only flew it for about 45 minutes, but I apparently owe you, the U.S.taxpayers, a few beers. It was a two seat F-16 with full controls in the back so I got to actually do some aerobatics in it. Pretty sweet ride. Up front was Major Mike Major, the Thunderbirds logistics officer. Yeah, Major Major. Until he got a promotion to Lt. Colonel.

How long does it take an F-16 to go straight up from the surface to 10,000 feet altitude? Allow me to show you from the back seat of Thunderbird #7:






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