Aerobatics, stunt pilots highlight AirFair

This year spectators will grit their teeth, hold their breath and scream for more as stunt pilots spiral planes through the air, a plane encircles a man flying in a wing suit, a jet soars to its highest speed, and giant, radio-controlled aircraft fly through the sky.


All this and so much more will take place Saturday, July 6, at the free 2013 Truckee Tahoe AirFair & Family Festival at the Truckee Tahoe Airport in Truckee. Above photos courtesy Melissa Pemberton.


Clarence Bud Anderson

Honorary Dinner
The pre-event Friday, July 5, Honorary Dinner in Hangar One at the Airport honors WWII Veteran and Triple Ace Clarence “Bud” Anderson. The evening includes a silent auction by North Tahoe Arts, no-host bar, catered dinner, a presentation and short History Channel video of Anderson in action and a chance to mingle with performing pilots. Anderson also will have his “To Fly and Fight; Memoirs of a Triple Ace” book available for purchasing and signing. Dinner cost is $50 per person and tickets are at the Truckee Tahoe Airport or

“With last year’s attendance estimated at more than 11,000, we feel confident that we’ll see close to 20,000 this year, offering great exposure for our sponsors, vendors – all participants,” said Tim LoDolce, president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1073, in a press release.

New for 2013 are stunt pilots soaring through the air and a rare opportunity during scheduled speakers’ forums throughout the day to meet big name aerobatic performers, talk to a man who soared to the ground in a wing suit and shake hands with World War II, Triple Ace, Fighter Pilot, published author and the show’s Grand Marshal, Clarence “Bud” Anderson.


Scott Thompson  |  Scott Shots

Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, who’s best known for saving the lives of the 155 crew and passengers while serving as captain during what has been dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson,” will address the crowd during the Opening Ceremony at 11 a.m. As the co-chairman of the National Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles – a program that inspires and educates youth about aviation, Capt. Sullenberger will be available for a short time following the Opening Ceremony to greet attendees and sign autographs in the EAA Building located at the Airport.

Featured pilots include young adventure sports enthusiasts from Pemberton Aerosports, Melissa Pemberton, 28, in an Edge540 Aircraft and husband, Rex, flying his wing suit during the opening ceremony. Rich Perkins will unleash “Firecat,” an Eastern Bloc Jet Trainer built in Czechoslovakia that will soar at top speeds, and Eddie Andreini’s up close to the crowd performance will leave the audience spellbound, as he flies his restored 1944 Stearman biplane.

The Commemorative Air Force SoCal Wing returns to give rides in its P51 Man O’ War and the SNJ/T6. Ten percent of the proceeds from ride costs go to Truckee North Tahoe Youth. As well, free flights for kids ages 8 to 17 years from the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1073 will be on Sunday, July 7, and kids may sign up at the AirFair.

Other highlights include The Red Star Formation Flying Group livening up the sky along with the Reno Radio Club Radio Aircraft Demonstrations throughout the day.

“These radio-controlled aircraft are giant scale planes,” said LoDolce. “We’re thrilled to have another fascinating element added to our AirShow this year.”

Festival activities will include a Vendor Village, flight simulator, live music, static aircraft displays with pilot docents, a kids’ zone, food and beer garden.

“In my 25 plus years of being involved with organizing air shows, there has always been an admission fee and one for parking. Our show is unique in that we don’t have one,” LoDolce said. “We thank the Truckee Tahoe Airport District for fronting the operational costs for this event, so we can put it on and make money to support our young people. I’m committed to making this show awesome and to giving back to our community.”


Scott Thompson  |  Scott Shots

The festival is organized by The Experimental Aircraft Association local Chapter 1073, KidZone Museum and the Truckee Optimist Club, with proceeds benefitting programs for local youth.

Bike parking will be available in a designated and gated bike corral. No bikes are allowed to be ridden at the AirFair & Family Festival. As well, leashed dogs are allowed; carry clean-up bags. This will be strictly enforced.

For more information and updates about the Truckee Tahoe AirFair & Family Festival, visit or Facebook. For more information on the youth rides on Saturday, call (805) 482-0064 or visit 


Friday, July 5
6:30 p.m. | Honorary Dinner

Saturday, July 6
8-10 a.m. | Lions’ Club Breakfast

10 a.m.-4 p.m. | AirFair & Family Festival

10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Guest speaker forums every 30 minutes

11 a.m. | Opening Ceremony

11:40 a.m. | Wing Suit/Stunt Flying performance

Noon | Biplane Fly By

1:20 p.m. | Radio-controlled aircraft demo

1:40 p.m. | Soar Truckee glider demo

2 p.m. | “The Firecat” Fly By

2:20 p.m. | Man O’War Flying Demo

2:40 p.m. | RedStar Formation Team Flying Demo

3 p.m.| Biplane Fly By

3:20 p.m. | Radio-controlled aircraft demo

3:40 a.m. | Wing Suit/Stunt Flying performance

Sunday, July 7
Free kids’ airplane rides

Tahoe Weekly
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