The 13th year for Warbirds over Iowa was another successful event. Some threatening weather that didn’t happen along with the hot temperatures that did may have dropped the participant count a bit, but there was plenty of good flying and impressive aircraft on hand. 21 pilots and over 40 models were on hand to impress a fairly large crowd of spectators throughout the day.
One of our AMA district representatives made the trip from Lancaster Wisconsin to fly his large 1/3 scale
Nieuport. The big biplane was impressive on the ground and in the air. Mark was awarded the Best Scale trophy due to the realistic appearance of his WW1 masterpiece. Keep an eye out for a report in the AMA magazine that Mark plans on writing.
Lyle Vasser and Steve Forest once again made the trip up from Missouri to fly. Their mustang formation flights are always something to watch. Steve also had a new bird this year, a Ziroli Corsair. The large 93” aircraft was detailed out and weathered to perfection.
Steve also flew it many times and impressed the pilots on hand enough that they gave the Corsair the Pilot’s Choice award with their votes.
Terry Peterson once again made the trip up from Elkhorn Iowa. He impressed everyone with his flights on his Top Flite P-51 with low inverted passes and knife edges down the runway. Not really scale, but in a day with some nasty cross winds Terry was not afraid to put his airplane on the edge. He was awarded the Best Flight trophy for his efforts.
I finally got my new Stuka up for a few flights and showed off the siren and bomb drop feature.Randy Lepsch was more than willing to get behind the Stuka with the Spitfire so that I could get “shot down” by activating my smoker system. I also had a few flights on the Iskra jet. With the cross wind and lower pilot count I was putting it up often to keep the show going for the spectators.
I was able to get my Top Flite FW-190 up and make some passes with fellow squadron member Gary Owen. The two 190’s looked good going by, and made a good contrast to the pair of Mustangs that are always guarding the warbird event. Despite the nasty crosswind we got them up and down without damage to the long landing gear. Randy Lepsch brought a stable of planes to the event. Besides the Top Flite giant Spitfire I mentioned, he also had his kit-built Mustang the “Hawk-eye-owen.” A strong gust of wind caused a bit of retract damage on one of the landings, but it will be back soon I’m sure. Randy also had his T-34 Mentor and PT-19 biplane on hand. Steve Wilson flew his Fiesler Storch a few times. The wind played some havoc with the slow flying high wing aircraft, but Steve did a good job getting it up and down. Goeff Barrance was there with his large Tiger Moth. The big British trainer always looks good and needed only a few feet of roll out to land in the wind. It was good to see Jim Stikley’s Fleet Biplane back again, even though it sounded a bit different with the four stroke single instead of the Radial engine it used to have on board. Jon Wilke made his first appearance at Warbirds Over Iowa and brought some electric aircraft to the show including his Mosquito fighter bomber and his P-51 with the realistic Merlin engine sound.
Warbirds over Iowa could not have been the success it was without the help of the club members. There were plenty of helpers on hand to make sure things went smoothly. Special thanks to those who did the jobs that were not so fun, such as helping to make sure the parking went well and everyone got in and out without incident.
Rich Dean once again took some great photos that we’ll get out soon. The flight line was always safe and organized thanks to Mark Woytassek. When our normal announcer couldn’t make it, Harvey Hopp stepped up and did a commendable job at keeping the PA busy with a wide variety of information on every Warbird that was flying.
The large number of spectators is always great to fly for, but even better it provides Honor Flight with more
donations and opportunities to find veterans to send on flights. I don’t have the numbers yet, but the Honor Flight people made it a point to tell me that they received many donations as well as some new people who could participate in the program. Now that it’s all over I’ll once again start the process and get ready for an even bigger event next year!
The Skyhawks were well represented this year as members brought plenty of local Warbirds to the show.
Wendell Maakestad once again showed up with his big B-17 bomber. Unfortunately he had some engine troubles that limited him to only one flight. If there was one disappointment this year it was the lack of big
bombers. After seeing six last year, I guess our expectations are high. I talked to some of the bomber pilots at Owatonna and it seems that there was a multitude of schedule conflicts that accounted for the no-shows.
Hopefully they’ll be back in force next year.