Sunday, July 11, 2010

Geneseo Airshow

This weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) was a highlight of the year - "The Greatest Show on Turf" - the Geneseo Airshow.

This year, as last year, I was on the Aerobatic Sailplane Team as a member of the ground crew for Manfred Radius, a glider pilot. He is a German fellow in his sixties; a very particular man, but very kind, always smiling, and with a beautifully quaint accent. His aerobatic act is very unique in that it is the only quiet act of the show.

He does graceful loops and lazy eights to the sound of classical music on his way down from 5,000 feet, smoke trailing from cans on his wingtips.

Simply stunning.

 Then he does a tailslide to invert himself, comes down the runway upside down at about 40 feet high, and cuts through a ribbon that we are holding between two poles.
Right After the Cut

 He loops over right side up and circles around and lands.


 It's quite a privilege to be a part of his act. I tow the glider out to the runway with the Jeep.

 When he is beginning the takeoff roll, I hold one of the wings and run along for a few paces till the wings produce enough lift to steady the sailplane on its one wheel.
The takeoff, with a Stearman biplane as the towplane.

When he begins his performance, I go out with the four or five other members of the team.

We carry the poles and banner out to the runway and set up the banner across the runway.

Make it taut!

 As soon as he cuts it, we carry everything back to the crowd line, pile in the Jeep, and drive to the end where he has by this time landed.

 Back to the hangar we tow it, then we can finallly take a breather. There is not much to do the rest of the day, but the the hour and a half that our routine is in is very intense. A couple of us helped him unpack his glider out of its trailer and assemble it Friday morning, and we derigged it and put everything back in this afternoon. When we were done with our duties, including washing down the entire glider and re-taping the broken ribbon, we could sit back and enjoy the show!

Waiting for permission to to go out to the runway.

The Canadian Harvard Association

F-16 Viper

Thank God it's on our side.



We had a church service on Sunday morning. Major Chaplain Rev. Henry Christian preached a message. Quite a number of visitors came, and hundreds more could here the singing. Pray that people will continue to think on it.

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