They’re Aces: Local pilots plan flyover at Granby parade
June 30, 2011
The local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association is gearing up for a jam-packed Fourth of July weekend.
A 90th birthday bash will get the ball rolling. Members and volunteers of the Middle Park EAA Chapter 1267 will don their party hats on Friday night to celebrate the 90th birthday of Bob Brunson, a World War II naval aviator veteran from Estes Park.
Saturday marks the 10th annual Pancake Breakfast Fly-in fundraiser at the Granby Airport. Pilots hailing from Colorado, Wyoming and beyond will navigate the snowcapped peaks in support of the event. Attendees will have the opportunity to indulge in piping hot pancakes and scope out the wares donated by local merchants for the silent auction.
The real excitement, however, will take place on Monday morning. This year, the ever-popular parade in Granby will feature more than just free candy and imaginative floats. Although local aviators have participated in the flyover at the July 4 parade since 2009, they have a little something special up their sleeves this year.
“We will be flying with four airplanes instead of three for the first time ever,” reveals “High Mountain Flier” member Rod Kauber. “Four planes present more of a challenge, but they allow for some really creative formations.”
The pilots have been practicing formation flying intermittently for three years, and they know their aircraft inside and out – literally.
“All of the planes featured in the flyover are kit planes, so all of us ‘fliers’ built our individual planes by hand from assembly kits. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into these things.”
What better way to showcase years of hard work than by kicking off the Independence Day celebrations? The fliers will take to the air in a finger four formation shortly before the procession begins. After completing the first pass, the pilots will circle back and regroup into a diamond shape.
The flyover will conclude with a “missing man” arrangement in which one aircraft rapidly pulls up out of formation.
“The ‘missing man’ is an aerial tribute to the individuals who have dedicated their lives in service of the armed forces, so it will play a major role in our flyover.”
Kauber will assume the role of flight leader. Darell Herck and Doug Young will take control of the second and third planes, and Dave Cook and Craig Kauber will pilot the fourth. For now, the planes bide their time in their individual hangars, subject to countless last-minute checks and inspections.
The pilots’ preparedness and attention to detail manifest themselves in flawless paint jobs, gleaming engines and a lack of pre-performance jitters.
“I’m not nervous,” says Kauber. “I’m just excited to fly, and I can’t wait for the crowd’s reaction.”
Granby’s Fourth of July Parade will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, July 4, on Agate Avenue. Applications to be in the parade are available at the Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce, 365 E. Agate Ave. Suite B or on-line at http://www.granbychamber.com.
This year’s theme is “United We Stand.”
For more information, contact the Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce, 887-2311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.