Boshears Fly-In includes Cobra rides for first time

Air show offers chance to ride in Cobra helicopter

 

John Schultz was all smiles Saturday as he walked back to the tent from a 1967 Cobra helicopter.

“It was great,” he said. “It was unbelievable.”

He had ridden the Huey helicopter at the Boshears Skyfest in the past, but this was the first time he’d had an opportunity to fly in the attack copter.

“It’s so responsive. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience; it really is,” Schultz said.

The Cobras have appeared as demonstration craft at the Boshears Skyfest for about 10 years, but this is the first year one has taken on passengers.

About an hour earlier, the Cobra that took Schultz up demonstrated war-flight patterns for the crowd, showing how it would have behaved in combat.

The Cobra was the world’s first attack helicopter, and the one flying in this year’s show was one of the first to go to Vietnam, said retired Lt. Col. Skip Lam, the director of media and public relations for the U.S. Army Sky Soldiers Demonstration Team.

“The (helicopter) rides have always been popular,” he said. “Many of the veterans that flew in these aircraft during their service put their family on board.”

Guests can ride in the Huey for $50 and the Cobra for $450. Schultz said everyone who has ridden in the Cobra said afterward that it was worth every penny.

And veterans get discounts.

Becky Shealy, the media spokeswoman for Augusta Aviation, estimated that about 4,000 people attended Saturday’s show at Daniel Field.

The only damper on the day was the absence of a DC-3 that was to be part of the show. The plane, which began service in 1937, blew an engine and couldn’t make it.

Today’s show will be exactly the same, except that the World War II Corsair plane will be on display today only.

There is plenty to do on the ground, too. A carnival area keeps the children entertained, and a monster truck is available for
rides.

That was all 4-year-old Robert Randolph wanted to do. He was there with his sister, Pamela, 5, and their father, Guy.

Asked his favorite part of the show, Robert simply pointed to the monster truck ride.

Randolph said the air show gave him something to share with his children.

“I’m a single parent now, and I’m just out here trying to spend some quality time with my kids,” he said. “And this is a good thing.”

Admission to the Skyfest is $18. Gates open at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. Visitors should enter through the Wrightsboro Road entrance to Daniel Field.

For more information, go to www.boshears.com.

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