Team SHAR is just back from the Hamilton, Ontario twilight airshow, hosted by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The museum displays many WWII era airplanes, but also has jets in its collection. The show limited the attendance to only 1,200 tickets per day. This is usually considered a small crowd by airshow standards, but ticket holders were given the VIP treatment. Ticket holders were treated to up-close and personal tours of the airplanes, a gourmet meal, a bar, and of course, select seating for the airshow. The show was sold out for both days and demand appears to be strong for a repeat.
“The hospitality was spectacular!” said Patricia Hatfield, co-owner of the Sea Harrier. Pat usually travels in advance of the rest of the team and the airplanes, to ensure that all the hotel rooms and cars are in place, when the airplanes arrive. This being a show outside of the US, there are some extra preparations that she attends to. She was on hand while Canadian customs cleared both the L39 and the Harrier.
Monica Marusceac and Joe Anderson took turns in the Harrier Paddles truck to direct Art during the demonstrations. From their unique perspective, they can better judge altitude, especially for the very low, high-speed passes. Art also tried announcing his routine, from the cockpit, while flying, so they paid extra attention to each maneuvers to be sure this added task did not distract from actually flying the airplane.
“The rules in Canada are slightly different, ” said Nalls. “I cannot do my normal steep climb and tuck-under for the repositioning turns. We had to watch all the turns like a hawk, to stay within the strict guidelines. In addition, they asked if I could comment from the cockpit, directly to the crowd via a loud speaker. Of course, I’m no stranger to talking!” quipped Nalls, “but I don’t want to be overly focused and forget to actually fly the airplane.”
Joe Anderson also took the opportunity to provide some valuable instruction to Monica, who is a LSO (actually a safety director), under training. Monica has done this type of supervision many times, but is learning how the airshow rules differ from landing aboard an aircraft carrier.
The airplanes were left on display at the museum, until the team returns next week to ferry the airplanes to their next Canadian airshow at Drummondville, Quebec August 28th – 30th.