Few things can make my hair stand on end just by existing. Certain types of jet noise, however, will immediately cause my usually straight face to break out into a big stupid grin and send a chill down my spine.
Couple the fantastic noise of military jets with the awe-inspiring close formation flying of groups like the Black Diamond Jet Team, and you’ve got a recipe for happiness. The noise, the sights, and smell of jet fuel, and the inevitable summer sun all combine to create a perfect moment of Airshow Zen.
Unfortunately, the airshow industry is under assault from the FAA. There are rumors swirling that the FAA will be charging a minimum of $5k for an airshow waiver, which applies to everything from Oshkosh to your local airport’s summer festival. FAA is also trying to charge large events like Airventure and Sun n Fun for the use of federal air traffic controllers, which is odd as the fuel taxes generated at large fly-ins are already pretty hefty and any pilot who’s a U.S. Citizen has already paid for the use of the National Airspace System. This is the advent of user fees, something I would personally like to keep at bay.
If you’re like me and you want to keep experiencing Airshow Zen it is super critically important that you stay on top of current events in aviation, and leverage the power of organizations like EAA and AOPA to lobby on our behalf. Send a letter to your congressman, call your representative’s office, be active in the aviation community. Only by working together can we keep our National Airspace System open and accessible to the everyman.