Originally created 09/25/98

There's an air raid coming



If it flies through the air, it stands a good chance to be a part of the seventh annual Boshears Memorial Fly-In at Daniel Field tonight through Sunday.

From Otto the helicopter clown to daredevil skydivers to deft military plane maneuvers, the annual air show will pepper the Augusta horizon, beginning tonight at sundown with a hot-air balloon display.

Also tonight, a street dance will feature the Amazing Stranders from 6:30 to midnight, said Marcie Wilhelmi, one of the event's directors. Admission for tonight only is $5 for adults and children ages 7-17. Children 6 and younger get in free.

The colorful convoy of balloons also will launch about 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and ascend again each day at 5 p.m.

This is the seventh year of the event, which has become Georgia's biggest air show, according to organizers.

The show was organized to honor Augusta aviators Buster and Forrest Boshears.

Last year it drew 15,000 spectators, despite bad weather that grounded the aerial show for the first time in its history.

Ms. Wilhelmi said that with good weather this weekend, organizers are expecting 25,000 ø "easy."

"The field can certainly handle it," she said.

This year's theme focuses on military aircraft.

One featured aircraft is Old Glory, a B-25J bomber that flew in combat during World War II. The North American Mitchell bomber is from the 12th Air Force and served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations from August 1944 to July 1945. It was recently restored and has been used in several air shows.

Also the E-Team, a company of current-production, Russian L-39 jet fighters, will perform. The fighters can reach a maximum speed of .80 mach and climb 4,500 feet per minute and are used in the armed forces of Russia, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and Iraq, according to the team's booking agent.

Leap Frogs, a Navy parachute team, will perform acrobatic stunts in the air. The 15-man group includes Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEALs) teams from the East and West coasts. The parachutists jump from more than 13,000 feet and reach speeds of 120-180 mph as they loop, spin and spiral in the air.

On the ground, there will be concessions and aviation vendors selling items such as aviator jumpsuits, patches, model airplanes, posters and historic items.

Also, Kent Shockley's jet-powered truck Shock Wave will be back again, spewing flames while racing planes down the runway.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, said Ms. Wilhelmi.

At 2 p.m. Saturday the air show starts with the singing of the national anthem as the Leap Frogs drop in. The aerial display lasts until 5 p.m.

Virtually the same schedule will be followed Sunday, Ms. Wilhelmi said.

Tickets Saturday and Sunday are $8 in advance or $10 at the gate for 18 and older and $4 in advance and $5 at the gate for ages 7-17. Children 6 and younger get in free.

Air Show

What: Boshears Memorial Fly-In

When: 6:30 tonight, 2-5 p.m. Saturday, 2-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Daniel Field Airport, Wrightsboro Road

How much: $5 for adults and children 7-17 today only; $8 in advance and $10 at gate for adults, $4 in advance and $5 at gate for children 7-17 Saturday and Sunday

Phone: 738-8060