Page 8 - World AirshowJuly-Aug 2018






Page 8 - World AirshowJuly-Aug 2018
P. 8


                           The Announcer, and More

        Dear Editor,                                           World Airshow News,
           I have been going to airshows for more than 50 years. Ever   Wow! “Advice for Airshow Producers” in the March/April
        since the beginning of my time attending, there has always   issue – what an in-depth article for the producer. But after
        been an announcer at every airshow. They were always just   reading the article, I couldn’t believe that the Ground Support
        there, in the background. I always went for the flying, the   was left out. I am not talking about volunteers or grunts, but
        planes, and the pilots, never paying much attention to the an-  paid ground support teams. These are people who see that air-
        nouncer (I thought). This past weekend, I stumbled to an air-  craft are parked safely, fueled, and smoked. They provide wa-
        show at Ocean City, Maryland (a beach airshow). I was down   ter to the pilots and sometimes even arrange where everything
        the beach out of range of the announcer.               is going to fit – from a C-5 to a J-3. We are a very important
           This is the first airshow I have ever attended where I could   part in this airshow business and enjoy making it all work,
        not hear the announcer. I knew most of the performers (not   sometimes very stealthily.
        all of them) and understood what was happening. But I real-  A note to the performers – be nice to all of these people.
        ized how important to the airshow the announcers really are.   We are supporting you in a pastime you are fortunate to be
        They constantly give you information on who is flying and   able to love to do.
        what is happening. They also offer a history of everything –
        planes, pilots, etc.                                                                         — Jim Stevenson
           I thought I was never paying attention to the announcer.                         East Hartford, Connecticut
        But sitting there on the beach watching the Heritage Flight
        without any dialogue or music, even though I knew all about
        it,  I  could  only  imagine  what  all  those  people  sitting  there
        were thinking. They just saw two planes flying together. That   At Presstime...
        was it, nothing more. They weren’t hearing about the history
        or understanding what they were seeing. Hearing that infor-
        mation adds so much power to the performance.          GONE WEST: Martin Tibbitts
           I also saw a pilot that I have never seen before, and with-
        out knowing the name, it was just a plane. The pilot makes
        the plane, and without the announcer, the airshow lost a lot   Pilot Martin J. “Marty” Tibbitts, 50, lost his life on July 20 in
        of depth.                                              Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin when the de Havilland DH.112 Ven-
                                                               om he was flying crashed on a farm shortly after takeoff from
           A good announcer is equally as important as the perform-                the local airport. According to news
        ers. It takes many players to make a successful airshow. This              reports, the accident also injured two
        also goes for all the people behind the scenes whose roles may             people on the ground and killed several
        also never be appreciated by the public.                                   dozen animals on the farm. Tibbitts was
           So, my hat is off to the announcers, and to everyone else that puts     participating in a formation flying clin-
        all of their efforts into a great airshow. The pilots get all of the credit,    ic in Sheboygan in preparation for EAA
        but they are only one piece of the puzzle of a successful and              AirVenture in nearby Oshkosh.
        memorable airshow.                                                           Tibbitts was a co-founder of the War-
           Thank you all for your efforts.                                         bird  Heritage  Air  Museum  (WHAM),
                                                                                   which is located near Detroit. He was
                                                  — Steve Welsh                    also an entrepreneur, who founded
                                                   Kidron, Ohio                    companies in several fields, including
        Denise,                                                telecommunications, software, web technologies, security, and
           I can’t thank you enough for doing the article in the May/  defense.
                                                                 World Airshow News sends our most sincere condolences to
        June issue of  World Airshow News on  my best friend Erin   the friends and family of Marty Tibbitts.
        Kelley. She is a very special lady to me, and it’s so nice of you
        to give her some well-deserved recognition. Thank you for all   Photo from
        you do for all of us on the airshow circuit!
                                                —  Randy Ball
                                                 Fighterjets, Inc.

                                          WORLD AIRSHOW NEWS   8  July/August 2018
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