A family airshow for all ages

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It's a lot more than an 'average' airshow. This is a family airshow.

Promising superb aerial acts with both power and speed in the air, the 2014 Ontario South Coast Airshow lineup, August 23rd at the Tillsonburg Regional Airport, will also have a touch of comedy to keep everyone entertained and on the edge of their lawnchairs. Organizers also added a Family Festival element with bouncies, face painting, a magician, and more, all included with the admission.

"We wanted to make it a family outing," said organizer Andre Brisson, "rather than just catering to pilots and enthusiasts. It's more of a family event – and we have airplanes.

"This guy, Jelly Belly, every time I've been to an airshow, this is the act I see kids watch from start to finish. He's got three different acts during the day – he's one of our two big ticket acts. Kids just watch it from start to end."

Gates open on the 23rd at 9:30 a.m. and the show starts at 1 p.m. In case of extreme weather, the rain date is August 24. General admission is $15, children (5-12) $10. Various family passes, adult four-packs, VIP tickets, and photo alley tickets are also available online (www.ontariosouthcoastairshow.com), at the Tillsonburg Customer Service Centre, Station Arts Centre, Tillsonburg Regional Airport and Tillsonburg Memorial Hospital.

"A lot of local pilots," noted Brisson, chair of the Ontario South Coast committee, proud to have landed Red Bull racer Pete McLeod.

"The youngest pilot on the circuit, and third or fourth place overall," said Brisson. "Him and Mike Trygvasson, they practice quite often here at the airport."

The entire show is expected to go until about 4 p.m., providing much 'bang for buck.' The Skyway Cafe will be open on the 23rd, so bring your appetites.

"We really want this to be a family event," said Brisson. "Just come, bring the family, hang out at the airport and see some planes fly. We're going to have the planes really close, so you can easily see them. And the Harvards are going to have their Harvard experiences."

All parking will be on-site, Brisson stressed. There will be no shuttles on the 23rd as there was for the Snowbirds show, which Brisson said was very successful.

"A huge success," he nodded. "We did very well, and everyone was very grateful and happy. The Snowbirds and CF-18 teams were very happy – they really liked the show site because of the fact that the crowd was 'right there.' The planes were close and they were able to mingle after. They said they'd come back – they were really happy with it. The one guy pulled me aside and said it was probably one of the best they've seen in a while."

2014 performances

Pete McLeod – amateur stunt pilot, youngest air racer on the Red Bull circuit.

Kent Pietsch – Jelly Belly comedic aerobatic pilot – Pietsch has three acts with a parts-falling-off plane, landing on a moving RV, and a dead stick from 5,000 feet.

Gord Price – 70-plus year old former CF-104 RCAF pilot, aerobatic.


Redtail P51 Mustang flown by Bill Shepard, a local CHAA pilot.

Mike Trygvasson – a local London pilot flying a Giles 202, aerobatics.

Danny Richer – Tillsonburg airport tenant who flies a BAC Strikemaster Jet solo, aerobatic and formation with Martin Mattes. A great supporter of airshows and the airport.

Martin Mattes – Also a Tillsonburg airport tenant, former RCAF pilot, flies a L29 Dolphin Jet, solo, aerobatic and formation. Also a great supporter of airshows and the local airport.

Sponsors this year include event sponsor Jade Engineers Inc.; media sponsor Easy 101/Country 107.3; aerial act sponsors Tillsonburg News, Our Coffee News, East Elgin Concrete, SCI Sirius Consolidated Inc.; fuel sponsor Dowler Karn; static act sponsors Tillsonburg Office Suites Ltd, Prestige General Contractors, Tillsonburg Flying School, Pro Oil Change, E&E McLaughlin Warehousing, CJDL Engineering, Harry's Electric; and family festival sponsors Eastwood Manufacturing, Dodsley Propane, and Sparta Candles.


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