Headliner: Royal Canadian Air Force
Pilot: Capt. Adam “Manik” Runge
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2014.
2014 Theme: To the Stars – Fueled by Legacy
The 2014 CF-18 Demo Pilot, Captain Adam “Manik” Runge, along with Canada’s other fighter pilots; today carry on the tradition of courage, pride, and professionalism established by Canadians who distinguished themselves as fighter pilots in the First and Second World Wars and in the years that followed.
During its 90 years of existence, the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force – and the organizations that preceded it – contributed to two world wars, the Korean War, the Gulf War and more. During our most recent air combat mission, Operation Mobile, the RCAF contributed fighters and other aircraft that flew 1,539 sorties over Libya enforcing a no-fly zone in order to protect its civilians and civilian-populated areas.
Visit the RCAF website
Pilot: Kent Pietsch
Aircraft: Interstate Cadet
Kent Pietsch fell in love with flying when he was four years-old. Five decades later, his passion has not waned.
Since 1973, 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 grew up in Minot, North Dakota, where every day after school, he’d find a way to get to the airport, and do whatever it took to get into an airplane.
Kent loves to fly, but the audience is always his number-one priority. “If you can’t entertain, you have no business being out there,” he said. “The gratification is in knowing that people are enjoying themselves.” Kent’s humble nature and willingness to interact with fans make him a crowd favorite wherever he performs.
He flies an 800-pound Interstate Cadet with a 37-foot wingspan. The plane’s horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine can generate 90 horsepower and a G-force ranging from -3 to +5.
Visit Kent's website
Pilot: Melissa Pemberton
Aircraft: Edge 540
Melissa's air show routine is a high energy and action packed display of Unlimited Aerobatics in the Edge540 Aircraft. The show will give your audience everything from the thrill of gyroscopic maneuvers to the extremely complex and technical maneuvers learned through competition. Melissa believes that mastering the skills of both competition and air shows will make her the most skilled and safe pilot that she can be. You will be provided with a full and entertaining display for every type of audience.
Melissa views each venue as a new palate where she can create a beautiful painting in the sky to please the eyes, ears and imaginations of all. As a young female in aerobatics, Melissa attracts the harder to reach audiences. The younger viewers can relate to her and be encouraged to pursue their own dreams of aviation!
Performer: Rex Pemberton
Wing Suit & Aerobatics
Wing Suit Skydive
As an adventurer Rex is one of the world’s best, breaking countless world records across a wide platform of adventure sports. Most notably, in December 2006, Rex made history by becoming the youngest Australian to climb the highest mountain on all seven continents! That includes the Summit of Mt Everest!
Visit the Pemberton Aerosports website
Pilot: Vicky Benzing
Aircraft: Boeing Stearman
Born and raised in California, Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic competitor, and Reno racer. With over 6000 hours of flight time and over 1100 parachute jumps, Vicky has a passion for everything airborne.
In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend and trainer to the stars, Wayne Handley. Working her way up the ladder, Vicky competed in International Aerobatic Club competitions throughout the US. In 2006 she won first place in the Intermediate Category in both the Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships. After moving up to the Advanced Category she won third place in the 2008 and 2009 Northwest Regional Championships and placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in 2008. In between flying competitions Vicky began performing at local air shows. Today she focuses her energies on her air show performances where she continues to thrill and inspire audiences up and down the West Coast.
Visit Vicky's website
Pilot: Jon Melby
Aircraft: Pitts S-1-11B Muscle Bi-Plane
Jon Melby is an airshow pilot with over 35 years of flying experience. He is surface level aerobatic qualified, formation aerobatic qualified, and holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating. He has flown dozens of aircraft types and currently performs in a highly modified Pitts S-1-11B bi-plane.
At the age of 12, he had the opportunity to meet the legendary airshow pilot Bob Hoover at a local airshow. Bob Hoover’s sincerity and great personality gave him the inspiration to pursue his dream of flying. When he was financially able, he made it a goal to solo in a non-powered glider before his 16th birthday. In only 8 flights, he achieved his goal by riding a bicycle 45 miles, on hot Arizona July summer weekends, to the nearest glider airport!
Now, flying “extreme” freestyle aerobatics at Airshows, Jon can encourage both adults and children to pursue their dreams, much like Bob Hoover did for him.
When not flying his airplane, Jon is a Technical Senior Manager for a major stock brokerage firm. Jon also enjoys many other activities other than flying. Jon plays Ice Hockey (since 4 years old), golf, snow skiing, playing guitar, rides his Harley Davidson Motorcycle, and enjoys to travel no matter the destination.
Visit Jon's website
Pilot: Bob Carlton
Aircraft: Super Salto Jet Sailplane
Bob began flying in 1979 at the age of 19. He has since logged over 2000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft and holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bob has flown hang gliders, airplanes, helicopters, and sailplanes from hundreds of sites in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Bob has flown airshows professionally since 1993. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Laurie and their two dogs, Elsa and Cinco. He is a member of SSA and ICAS.
Bob & Jet Salto
Bob is one of the most versatile airshow performers in North America. He began flying airshows in his Salto sailplane, and over the years has continued to add innovative performances such as barnstormin' biplane aerobatics, helicopter sailplane tow, night aerobatics with strobes & pyro and the world's only twin jet sailplane. The tradition of innovation continues with the recent addition of the Super Salto jet sailplane, with more power, more speed and more aerobatic capability than any other sailplane on the planet!
Visit Bob's website