AIRSHOW 1 | AIRSHOW 2 | AIRSHOW 3 | How We Did It |

First Airshow Program 1988 AIRSHOW
October 22,1988
Show Schedule:

Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Club Demonstration
Westex Skysports Team - American flag escort with Brad Baysinger and his Pitts S2-A
West Texas Aerobatic Team Flight Demonstration
Westex Skysports Parachute Team
Fly Bys - Military and Private
Reception for participants and Webb AFB exes that evening.


Second Airshow Program 1989 AIRSHOW
October 28 & 29 1989
Show Schedule - First Day:

Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Club Demonstration
Flag Jump by the Golden Knights
F-16 Tactical Demonstration
Craig Hoskins - Double Take
S&S Aviation Fly-By
Jim Franklin - Waco Solo
Manfred Radius - Sailplane
U.S. Army Parachute Team - Golden Knights
Craig Hoskins - Double Take
Johnny Kazian & Jim Franklin - Wing Walk
Reception for participants and Webb AFB exes that evening.
Show Schedule - Second Day:
The schedule for the second day was the same as the first with the addition of:
UH-60 Fly-By
T-38 Talon Fly-By

Final Airshow Program 1990 AIRSHOW
October 7 & 8 1990

B1-B Fly-By over Big Spring the day before the show
Show Schedule - Both Days:
T-6 "Dawn Patrol" over Big Spring
Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Club Demonstration
Flag Jump by the Golden Knights
Vought F4U Corsair - Howard Pardue
C-130 Demostration
U.S. Army Parachute Team - Golden Knights
The Coor's "Silver Bullet" Jet - Lynne Geringer
AV-8A Harrier II Tactical Demostration
T-6 Missing Man Fly-By and Taps
Reunion and Dance Saturday evening.


How We Managed To Produce Three Great Air Shows
There's three things to remember when producing an air show----coordination, coordination, coordination.... or was it work, work, work?

C-130 Big Spring is a relatively small town of about 20,000 so we had to count on drawing people from other West Texas towns in order to even hope to raise any money. As the schedule indicates, our first air show was a pretty simple one. We utilized mostly local West Texas talent with minimal military participation. The second air show required much greater coordination and much more work. Before the first air show had even ended we were working on the second. By the time the third air show rolled around we had had at least one person working on a air show related project for over three years. It was hard work, but when the crowds start pouring in the gates, and the planes start flying....the feeling was great!

Our air show committee consisted of hard working people who all had a good track record in the community for getting things done. We tried to ensure we had a diverse group.

We gathered as much community support as possible. Our goal being to raise money for a Vietnam memorial made it much easier to get support. We enlisted the local Chamber of Commerce and the city and county government....these added credibility. All major businesses were approached for return they received exposure for their company and first class seating at the air shows.

Flight Line In order to receive any military participation, including Air Guard units, approval from the Pentagon was required. A "Request for Military Aerial Support" (DD Form 2535) had to be completed (these are available from any Air Force Base or Air Guard unit). Approvals were required from the airport manager (or agent exercising authority for the site), the FAA Flight Standards District Office, and the DOD OASD (PA) DCR (Aviation Liaison Officer). The completed form had to be received by DOD no later then October 1 of the previous year for any requests for the Golden Knights, Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds. A simple fly-by required a 90 day lead time. Aside from DOD approval for the Golden Knights, Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds, the approval for aerial support didn't guarantee what we could get. We had to contact every military base in the Southwest to see what was available on our target weekend.

One of the things that made our second and third air shows successful was the ease of which it was to get military support on the unit level. We took great care of the pilots...and word got around. We ensured they were treated like visiting royalty. Upon arrival, each aviator was greeted with a food and drink buffet set up in our operations building and given air show hats and other memorabilia. Aside from the basic requirements for transportation to and from the venue, lodging, and meals....we had parties a plenty.

T-38 Civilian air show acts are abound. We joined the International Council of Air Shows...this was a great resource. Nearly everyone who performs in air show is a member along with air show "producers" like ourselves.

Not only were there things in the air, but on the ground as well. Aside from all of the static aircraft displays, we had some great exhibits. NASA had a space exhibit that included models of the shuttle and Sky Lab. The U.S. Border Patrol brought in one of the drug dogs along with their aircraft.

With all the exhibits and planes sitting around (and flying), insurance was something we could not forget. Insuring for some of the calamities that can occur at an air show isn't cheap ($3,300 for three days)....but very necessary and there are some good companies out there that specialize in air shows.

Security was another concern. Aircraft started arriving the night before the air show, so we needed to ensure for their safety. Fortunately, we had lots of volunteers willing to hang out at the airport all night. During the daytime, and the show itself, we supplemented the volunteers with county deputies and local police.

We planned it...all we needed was for the people to come. Aside from a massive advertising blitz (we thought it was massive)...we had a Dawn Patrol. A flight of four T-4 Trainers buzzed the town at sunrise. One year we had a B1-B do the buzzing the day before.

P-51 Of course the main objective was to raise money for the Memorial. There were several ways we did that; though we could have charged a lot more we decided to keep ticket prices affordable and charged no more than $10.00; we charged for parking; we sold sponsorships to businesses with costs ranging from $500 to $5000...the more it cost the more they received at the air show; vendors were charged $100 for space on the air show grounds; we sold a high quality program (all with original cover art by Jerry Provenza), and of course in the program we sold advertising.

The flip side to income were the expenses......aviation fuel, more aviation fuel, advertising (radio, newspaper, and television), printing cost for the programs, flyers and other miscellaneous items, food for the numerous parties...and beverages, lots of beverages (almost as much as aviation fuel); the civilian performers; the professional air show announcer; equipment rental (tents); telephone; Porta-Potties (there's actually a formula for the number of Porta-Potties per person per hour!); lodging for the military; and the above mentioned insurance.

The 1989 air show cost us over $53,000, and we grossed $78,000...which we thought was pretty good for a bunch of amateurs.

After three years and three airshows we were all tired....and haven't had a air show since 1990.

Even though the money was for a worthy cause, what was probably more important than the money, was the awareness that was raised. People remembered Vietnam and our POW/MIAs, and they looked at Vietnam veterans in a little better light.


| HOME | In Memoriam | History | The Memorial | Memories |
| Location | Photo Gallery | Links | VMCBS |