Local News

Air Show Takes Flight at RDU

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RALEIGH — Sunday's weather was grand for most of the day, winding up with a rainstorm about 5 p.m. -- just as theAir Expowas winding up itself.

Fortunately, the day's watchword was fun. The crowds that showed up to tour planes and watch the air show were able to get in to RDU International Airport without much difficulty. Traffic problems never did materialize.

For those who missed Air Expo this year, they will have a wait to enjoy it themselves. Some particularly large tourism events slated for next year will prevent the airport from staging the expo in 1999.

Out and About's Tracy Wilson dropped in on a couple of the pilots who planned to wow spectators with their mid-air stunts during the expo.

One of this year's featured air-commandos was Debbie Callier, who flies theBud Light Micro Jet, billed as the world's smallest jet. It's only 12 feet long and is less than 6 feet tall, yet it can zoom through the sky at 350 miles per hour!

Callier says her favorite stunt is called "Light my Fire!"

Callier holds the distinction of being the first woman to fly in a formation aerobatic team. After a hiatus to raise her family, she's back in the sky and has flown in 80 different types of aircraft!

Pilot Kent Gorton, promised to unveil a brand new stunt, which he calls "Thunder over Raleigh-Durham!"

Regarded as one of the strongest pilots in the industry, Gorton routinely does maneuvers in which he will pull up to 10Gs, or 10 times his body weight. By comparison, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pull a maximum of 9Gs during their flight routines.

Gorton will handle theToyota Airsports Corolla, which was custom built in Germany and is made to withstand the force of wild aerobatics.

For more information, call the Expo hotline at 840-2100, ext. 600 or go to the website, listed in Related Links.


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