Boshears Skyfest has new things in store

Tony Kazian takes a stroll on the wing of pilot Dave Dacy's biplane during the 2006 Boshears SkyFest.



Air shows, a parachute team, a strongman competition, vintage Navy planes and an antique car show will be a few of the highlights of the 19th annual Boshears SkyFest on Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16, at Daniel Field.

“There’s going to be a whole lot going on. It’s a family-friendly event,” said Brad Kyzer, the event chairman.

Each year, organizers seek to add new attractions to the event, and this year is no exception.

The strongman competition is a new feature.

“They will pull an airplane and deadlift a BMW,” said Kyzer.

The main draws of SkyFest are the sky shows, and there are several acts to watch this year. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. each day, with the shows to follow.

Among the performers are Team RV, which features 12 aircraft performing barrel rolls, diamond loops and other aerobatics; Tiger Air Shows, with tricks from the circus and aerobatics; Greg Shelton Air Shows, featuring wing walker and former Augusta resident Ashley Battles; and Greg Connell Air Shows, with Greg Connell, of Trenton, S.C.

Though there have been some accidents at air shows lately, Kyzer said safety is at the forefront of Boshears SkyFest.

“The air-show industry is highly regulated by the (Federal Aviation Admin-istration). There are strict guidelines. There will be an FAA representative on site Saturday morning,” he said.

Pilotsgo through rigorous training before receiving their licenses, he said, and the aerobatic groups have logged many air hours. Planes will be inspected before taking off.

In addition to the high-flying action, there will be things closer to the ground to do.

There will be a vintage car show with more than 100 vehicles, and there will be a tribute to Navy aviation.

“This year is particularly good as far as static displays,” Kyzer said. “We have a number of Navy aircraft. This is the 100th anniversary of Navy flying.”

Some of the planes that will be highlighted include a P-40 fighter and a B-25 bomber. During World War II, pilots trained on the B-25 at Augusta’s Daniel Field, said Kyzer.

Gates for SkyFest open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the gate for adults; children 12 years old and younger are admitted free.

Tickets for active-duty, Reserve and retired military with ID cost $10.

Advance tickets are available at area Circle K stores and at Augusta Aviation.