Explore our 2019 line up!
Check back frequently for more exciting additions coming soon.
F-16 Viper Demo Team
The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team at Shaw AFB, S.C., performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities by one of the Air Force's premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The team also works with the Air Force Heritage flight, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.
Photo by Ken Middleton
The Black Daggers
The Black Daggers are the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. Their mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army Special Operations community relations and recruiting.
Descending from the skies at 12,500 feet, traveling nearly 120 miles per hour, free-fall parachuting is the closest humans have ever come to actually flying. For the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, that's a typical Monday morning.
During their two-mile drop, the Black Daggers maneuver their body using their hands, arms, legs and shoulders to control their flight. At a few thousand feet, they deploy their parachutes and land with pinpoint precision, whether it's in a football stadium or on their training grounds near Fort Bragg, N.C.
Their mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army special operations community relations and recruiting. Composed of volunteers from throughout Army special operations, the Black Daggers have diverse backgrounds and are skilled in various military specialties including Special Forces, Rangers, civil affairs, psychological operations, and signal and support. With an average age of 33 and an average number of free-fall jumps at 560, the team represents the professionalism and dedication of Army special operations forces.
Photo by Rebecca King Ferraro
Navy Leap Frogs
After we land we love answering questions about what it's like to be a Navy SEAL or SWCC.
Before every demonstration we first do a "streamer pass" to help us gauge wind speed and direction. Sometimes we'll activate a smoke canister attached to one of our foot brackets and perform what's known as an "early burn." When you see the “early burn” smoke it means we're ready to go. The smoke canisters attached to our feet make it easier for you to see us. Sometimes we're more than two miles up!
The United States Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs” is the official parachute demonstration team of the United States Navy. Part of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command. The Leap Frogs Navy Parachute Team is made up of active-duty Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. The team is sanctioned by the Department of Defense and recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration
Photo by Krystial Comins
The team was founded in 1984 by Alan Henley and Steve Gustafson as the North American Aerobatic Team. Alan, Steve, and Ben Cunningham flew together for 12 years, and were joined in 1996 by Gene McNeely. In 1997, Cunningham retired, and Alan's twin brother Mark was asked to join the team. The Henley brothers, Gustafson and McNeely would fly as the North American Aerobatic Team until 2001.
Mark Henley - Mark has been flying airshows for over 35 years. He has flown over 100 different types of aircraft and has type ratings in the AD4 Skyraider, Grumman TBM, Boeing B-17, Douglas DC3, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and the North American B-25 Mitchell. He holds a letter of Authorization (LOA) that covers all piston powered experimental aircraft, single and multiengine. Mark is also a Designated Pilot Examiner and a certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. He and Alan Henley, co-founder of the Team, are twin brothers.
Steve Gustafson - Steve soloed the very T-6 he flies with the Team while a junior in high school. He holds a commercial, single and multiengine instructors rating, seaplane and also type ratings in the F4U corsair and B-25 Mitchell. Steve has also been a certified aerial applicator for over 30 years and is an ICAS ACE examiner. Steve was one of the original founders of the Team and inherited his flying skills from his Dad, Merle Gustafson, a well- known and beloved pilot in the aviation family.
Bryan Regan - Bryan dreamed of flying for most of his childhood. The Aeroshell Team found itself in need of a backup pilot in the summer of 2008, and with his Commercial, single and multi-engine license, instrument rating and over 7,500 hours, Bryan had both the availability and the experience to fill the position. His flying expertise includes flying all four positions with the Red Baron Pizza Squadron.
Jimmy Fordham - Jimmy began flying at age 14, taught by his father. By age 18 he had obtained his Commercial, Instrument, Multiengine, Seaplane, and Instructor ratings. He was introduced to airshow flying in the late 1970’s by Marion Cole and Merle Gustafson. During this time he flew a Pitts Special, Midget Mustang, and Schweitzer 126 Sailplane. Jimmy has over 22,000 hours of flight time in over 100 types of aircraft, and retired from Delta airlines as a senior captain on the Airbus 330.
Photo by Sarah Parker
Korean War Hero: (Jim “Torc” Tobul)
One of the few surviving combat veteran F4U-4 Corsairs, “Korean War Hero” has a legendary history. She served two tours on two different carriers. She has the distinction of flying over 200 combat missions. Restored by Joe and Jim Tobul, this meticulously crafted Corsair now flies to remind us that the price of freedom is high, paid by those who have served to defend it.
June thru October 1951 Aboard the USS Boxer (CV21), VF884 Naval Reserve Squadron from Olathe, Kansas.
While in Korea, The "Bitter Birds" flew 1,519 missions, dropping 750,000 lbs of bombs and firing 3,800 rockets, also 1,400,000 rounds of ammunition
December thru May 1951 Aboard USS Valley Forge (CV45), VF653 Naval Reserve Squadron from Akron, Ohio.
From approximately 1960 to 1970, the aircraft flew with the Honduran Air Force. In 1970 was sold to an American Airline pilot and brought to the USA.
Joe & Jim Tobul bought this airplane in 1981 and started a very long rebuilding project. Ten (10) years later "Korean War Hero" proudly flew again on December 8, 1991 fittingly over the Pittsburgh skies.
Jim Tobul and the "Korean War Hero" F4U-4 Corsair are an exciting tribute to the men and machines that fought to defend democracy and freedom in the Korean Conflict from 1950 - 1953. Jim tells the story of this celebrated aircraft with both dramatic aerial displays and while static on the ground at airshows all over North America.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio John now lives in Cocoa Beach, Florida. John credits his love of flying to his father and growing up in the “Birth Place of Aviation.” His first airplane ride was in 1974 during the very first Dayton Air Show. John learned to fly in Citabrias in 1984 when he was 17 at a little airport called Moraine Airpark, just south of Dayton. He took his first aerobatic lesson in a Super Decathlon before he had his private license.
John attended college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach where he received a Bachelor of Science in aircraft engineering technology and completed the USAF ROTC program. John was commissioned in the Active Duty Air Force in August 1989. He completed pilot training in April 1991 after a year of flying T-37s and T-38s, and he was selected to fly the F-15C. Taking a turn back to his roots, John bought a Super Decathlon, which he calls “Blue,” in 2002. He began flying air shows in the Decathlon in 2004, and the past several seasons have seen him flying in shows throughout the country, from Florida to his home state of Ohio.
John holds an ATP and flight instructor certificates. He has flown over 60 types of aircraft, including more than 7,000 hours and 6,600 sorties, over the past 32 years.
John is now retired from military service. During his 21 years in the Active Duty Air Force and Florida Air National Guard, all of his assignments were flying F-15As and F-15Cs. His assignment locations included Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan; Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida; and Jacksonville International Airport in Florida. He amassed 3,600 hours in the Eagle, and he was an F-15 mission commander, instructor and evaluator, earning the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Photo by Matt Haskell
Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team
Team owner, Mark Sorenson has teamed up with Mark Nowosielski with his second identical Tiger Yak 55’s displaying a magnificent aerial demonstration of precision and skill during their performance of spectacular formation aerobatics.
Offering 3 different performances, the team will start off by circling the opening flag jump, then start off with a dual ship version of the already well-received Salute to Veterans act. This is guaranteed to exceed your expectations and start the show off on an exciting pace. Later they will return with another precision formation aerial demonstration that will highlight the demanding skills required to fly close formation precision aerobatics, all while combining the challenges of flying through the Ringmasters exciting smoke rings. Make it even more exciting, add the jet vehicle race to the end of their dual performance with a wall of fire. Don’t miss this exciting new team the entire family will enjoy watching.
The Team has been featured in aviation ma2016TwinTigersBannergazines across the nation and is a crowd favorite at every show, especially with their no child left behind autograph session with team provided posters. Both Marks are B737 pilots for Southwest Airlines and enjoy inspiring the next generation of aviators when they are not connecting LUVed ones across the country with the airlines.
Nathan Hammond - GhostWriter Airshows
Nathan Hammond joined SkyDancer Airshows in 1998, quickly learning the techniques and nuances of Skywriting and Airshow flying. Today, Nathan flies the Super Chipmunk, the GhostWriter, in both daytime and nighttime airshows; as well as skywriting across the nation. The passion of flying was instilled into Nathan from his earliest days. Born and raised in Rhinebeck, New York; the airplanes and airshows of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome started his flying career. Soloing an airplane at age 16, earning his pilot’s license at 17; Nathan has logged over 7,000 hours flight time, from 1917 Curtiss Jenny’s to Cessna Citations. Along with being a Commercial rated pilot, he also maintains an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanics License.
The Super Chipmunk - GhostWriter
Originally designed as a trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, our 1956 deHavilland Chipmunk has been specially modified for Airshow aerobatics and Skywriting. Nearly 3,000 man-hours over a two year period were spent on developing the GhostWriter into the finest example of a Super Chipmunk. It now boasts a cruising speed of 150mph, and a range of more than 500 miles. It will climb at a rate of 2,500 feet per minute, with a ceiling of 17,500 feet.
If you recognize the airplane, that's no surprise. GhostWriter developed a well established career in the Airshow and Skywriting industry as the Pepsi SkyDancer for 25 years. In 2016 Nathan K. Hammond took the controls and has been captivating audiences with the smooth lines and raw horsepower of the unparalleled Super Chipmunk ever since.
Photo by Kelley Hammond
Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows
Rob’s rise to the top started as a young airshow fan in his native New England. Earning his pilot’s license while still a teenager, Rob began flying aerobatics almost immediately, all while building valuable flight time and experience as a corporate pilot, commuter pilot, banner tower, flight instructor, ferry pilot, and operating his own aerobatic flight school. Now in his 17th year as a full-time airshow pilot, Rob has distinguished himself by blazing a trail of innovation, developing maneuvers never before seen at an airshows. “One of my goals is to take aerobatics to the next level,” Rob explains. “I want to push the limits of what can be done.” But while his impact and influence on the airshow community is undeniable, his remarkable skills at the controls of his MXS-RH are matched with a humble and approachable demeanor that has forged a unique connection with countless fans the world over.
Photo by Matt Haskell
Bill Stein has logged over 5,000 hours of aerobatic and formation flight. Bill began flying aerobatics when he was still a student pilot and has been dedicated to perfecting his skills ever since. Since 1995 Bill has performed at air shows all across the United States and has entertained millions air show fans.
Bill’s passion for precision flying is evident in his dazzling air show routine. He trains every day so that his skills stay razor sharp, and to maintain the all-out energy and excitement he puts into his air show sequence. Bill’s experience includes competitive aerobatics and years of flying on the world famous Red Baron Stearman Squadron. Bill also gives back to the air show community by mentoring new air show pilots including coaching the “Stars of Tomorrow” team which have performed at many prestigious air shows including the EAA AirVenture Air Show.
Bill carries a Commercial Pilot Certificate with airplane multi-engine and single-engine instrument ratings. He has flown air shows in the Pitts Special, Globe Swift, Boeing Stearman, and in his current airplane: The state-of-the-art Zivko Edge 540.
Photo by Norman Graf
The airplane is a Pitts S1S. Chefpitts built it in his garage over a three year period while he was working as a professional Chef. That is why it's called the "Chefpitts". Pitts test flew it in February of 2013. He flew it to Sun n Fun in Lakeland, FL a few months later and was honored to win the "Best Homebuilt Biplane" award! The single place Pitts design has been flying since 1945. Chefpitts incorporates many modifications, including : Precision wings with longer ailerons, larger tail surfaces, integral gap seals, one piece plexiglass floor, many hand formed custom fairings, spring gear, and many more. The engine is a lightweight IO-360 from Barrett Precision Engines. About 200 hp spinning a Prince Carbon Fiber Prop.
The paint scheme is what sets this airplane apart. It is unique to this airplane. I designed the scheme and painted the airplane myself. The bottom surfaces feature a 3 dimensional cube design inspired by the German WW 1 " Lozenge " camouflage....The face on the nose is an homage to Cole Palen, who started "The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome" in NY. The face was on his Fokker Triplane. It was also on the Triplane of German Ace Werner Voss during WW1.
Chefpitts started out in aviation like many others...Model airplanes. From hand launch gliders, to rubber powered stick and tissue free flight, to control line, to radio control. Hewent to his first airshow at Quonset Point in RI when he was 8. He saw The Red Devils, (later to become the famous Christian Eagles) do a formation snap roll in three Pitts Specials! That was the moment that led him to where he is today. Check out some cool facts about Chef Pitts:
Got glider license before driver’s license
Worked his way up from dishwasher to Chef over the next twenty years
Started flying aerobatics while working in Country Clubs up north and in Florida
Won the second Pitts Trophy ever awarded with less than 30 hours of Pitts time
Now working as an aircraft mechanic at Precision Jet in Stuart, FL
Currently working towards his flight instructor rating
He is available as a ferry pilot for single engine piston aircraft
Chef Pitts is the builder, pilot, publicist, advertising designer, agent, photographer, web designer, accountant, secretary, and cook for Chefpitts Airshows!
Photo by Matt Haskell
Gene served in the Navy and used the GI bill to realize his dreams of flying. He operated his own agricultural business for over 20 years before starting an air cargo service flying Beech 18; DC-3s and MU-2s. Gene discovered his love for T-6s at an airshow. He was a member of the Aeroshell Aerobatic team for over 20 years. He has consistently finished in the top 5 since 1986 in the Reno Air Races and currently rebuilds T-6s with his father.
Photo by Matt Haskell