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Louisa County Airport hosts 17th annual air show

 The 17th annual Louisa County Air Show takes off Saturday afternoon at Louisa County Airport.
Tammy Daughtry/Meridian Air Group, Inc.
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Date published: 9/4/2008


Want to take a break from viewing the bumper-to-bumper landscape on Interstate 95 this weekend? Take State Route 208 down to the 17th annual Louisa County Air Show on Saturday to see some air traffic instead.

To kick off the air show, members of SkyDive Virginia, whose headquarters is located at the Louisa County Airport, will jump in a crowd-pleasing "starburst" formation.

According to Tonney Boan, one of the owners of SkyDive Virginia, about four to six divers will exit a plane at between 7,500 and 13,000 feet, and link together in the air. While falling at about 125 mph, the divers will turn 180 degrees and "track" forward horizontally as they fall vertically.

"It looks like a big snowflake," says Boan, who has taken part in skydiving formations involving more than 250 people.

Other highlights are the static aircraft displays sponsored by various local organizations. Several antique aircraft used in World War II will be on display, including an L-5 Sentinel, a T-6 Texan and a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk.

This year's spectacle features aerobatic performances by pilots Charlie Schwenker and Roger Marshall. Schwenker will fly an Extra EA-300, while Marshall will fly a Yak-55.

Dawn Pickhardt Howard, manager of the Louisa County Airport, expects about 6,000 people to attend this year, a notable increase from last year's 4,000.

"Last year, we ran into some adverse weather," Howard says. "Even though things cleared up by noon, less people came out than expected."

Despite expectations of high numbers, Howard insists that the airport will provide plenty of parking.

"The show is a true family event," she says. "Well worth the drive."

Susannah Clark: 540/374-5000, ext. 5617
Email: smclark@freelancestar.com

What: 17th annual Louisa County Air Show When: Saturday, 1-3 p.m. Gates open at 11 p.m.

Where: Louisa County Airport, Freeman Field

Cost: Free. Bring a can of food for the food bank. Info: 540/967-0050