Hangar 24 AirFest
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Journal

JON MELBY: Grounded through flight

There are some idyllic scenes distinct to North America — unique visuals that define memorable locales. In the mountains outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, the combination of Douglas-fir and western red cedars is unmistakably western Canada. In Mexico, a boat gently bobbing in Acapulco Bay invokes equal parts warmth and relaxation.

For pilot Jon Melby, however, those exact visuals have become anything but peaceful. They have developed into reminders of danger and vulnerability.

Going on 16 years now, the 56-year-old Melby has been an air show pilot, delighting crowds with speed, skill and deft aerobatic maneuvers. For the past year, he has flown the Hangar 24 Craft Brewing Muscle Bi-Plane, a Pitts S-1-11B made of metal, wood and fabric. It is a 350-horse power dynamo that climbs at 4,500 feet per minute.

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“The Hangar 24 Spin Recovery Party” added to an expanded Hangar 24 AirFest

REDLANDS, California – Picture yourself reclining on your portable beach chair, enjoying an Orange Wheat Mimosa, listing to live surf rock and reggae, while watching extreme pilots perform acts of aviation daring overhead. Have that unique scene play out right in front of you, as well as so much more, as the Hangar 24 AirFest & 10th Anniversary Celebration adds a second day to its weekend festivities this coming May.

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