2015 Event Review

New York Air Show:  August 29 & 30, 2015
Location: Stewart International Airport, Newburgh, NY
Admission: General Admission - $14/Adult & $8/Children (6-12),VIP Flight Line - $129, Photo Pit - $109 
Parking: $15, VIP$20
Value: Very Good
Rating out of 10: 8
 
MCAS Yuma base commander
Stewart International Airpor and the NY ANG to the right
Stewart International Airport, which has struggled to hold on to and build its commercial flights since the 2008 recession hosted its first air show since 2003. The airport and its organizers were thrilled to be hosting the largest event to ever take place at this airport.
But despite the sunny and hot days, several recent air show tragedies were on spectators' minds. One week prior an aircraft at an air show at Shoreham, England crashed on a highway near the airport, killing at least 11 and injuring 14 others. Somehow the pilot survived. Two weeks prior the Navy Seal Leap Frog parachute team was involved in a collision while performing a stunt with an Army parachute team at a Chicago air show. The Leap Frog parachute team which was scheduled to perform at the New York Air Show was forced to cancel their performance. And just a day before this air show tragedy struck Stewart International Airport when Andrew Wright a pilot practicing tricks for his performance at the air show was killed after his propeller-driven stunt plane crashed when the aircraft's tail separated..
With respects being paid to the fallen and injured, the air show went on as scheduled with gates opening at 9 am. Headlining the show was the US Air Force F-22 Raptor, America's newest super-fighter and the world's most advanced aircraft. Piloted by Major John Cummings, the crowd was amazed as Major Cummings skillfully completed a 360-degree turn while flying straight up to the sky.
The Navy F-18F Super Hornet demonstration team flew in from NAS Oceana to put on an wonderful display of aerial maneuvers. And the West Point Parachute Team demonstrated their elite skydiving skills. The crowd was awed as the AV-8B Harrier hovered in the air and descended to the runway like a helicopter. And the HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter demonstrated by the New York Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing also performed, showing off their skills.
Civilian performers included the world famous GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team – a squadron of six vintage WWII SNJ2 aircraft typing messages in the sky with smoke and performing precision flight maneuvers. Also featured was a large display of static aircraft including an Air National Guard C-17 cargo jet and a Marine Reserve KC-130 transport plane, both of which are based at the Stewart Air National Guard Base.
As a special treat, the public had an opportunity to not only watch Larry Kelley's performance in his Panchito B-25J Mitchell Bomber but to travel back in time themselves and fly aboard the B-25J, courtesy of the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation. This bomber, one of only 32 airworthy airplanes that remains of the nearly 10,000 built, was available for four flights each day with up to six passengers at a time for a half-hour flight. Although the requested donation of $425 per person was steep for some, others were eager to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
And always a crowd favorite, the show ended with the Heritage Flight consisting with the Air Force F-22 Raptor in close formation with a P-51 Mustang to salute the history of the Air Force from its beginning in 1947 to today.
Performers included:

The F-22 Raptor Demo Team
Navy F-18F Super Horne Tactical Demonstration
AV-8B Harrier demo.
106th Rescue Wing CSAR Demo
Horsemen, a three-ship P-51 formation flight team
and the GEICO Skytoppers
The West Point Jump Team 
B-25J Panchito
USAF Heritage Flight: F-22 and P-51D
Michael Wiskus, Pitts Special Aerobatics

Military Aircraft on static display included:

F-15 Eagle

F-16 Thunderbird

C-17 Globemaster III

HH-60 Blackhawk helicopter

UH-72A Lakota helicopter

AV-8B Harrier Jet ·

C-130 Hercules

Marine Reserve KC-130 Tanker

UH-1 Huey Helicopter

Report and photography by Brian B. Veprek for The Aviation Magazine

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