Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pilots happy to be back

Melissa Pemberton is often one of the only female pilots participating when her Edge 540 monoplane takes off to perform aerobatic maneuvers at air shows around the world.

"Unfortunately, I'm often the only one," said Pemberton, 29, of Groveland, Calif. "But that's why we do these shows. It's to encourage the next generation of pilots to come along."

This weekend, she will be one of the 12 high-flying acts aiming to inspire in the return of Airfest.

Aerobatic pilot Michael Goulian, 45, was scheduled to appear in the 2013 Airfest before it was canceled. When the organizers started talking about bringing the show back, Goulian was excited for his first trip back to MacDill since the '90s.

"We're excited to go back to what we call a mega show," Goulian said. "Over the years, they've done a great job with the show. For fans coming back, there will be different people flying than before, but it will only be better."

The GEICO Skytypers will be skywriting messages for sponsor GEICO and the Airfest around Tampa all weekend. Messages can be up to 32 characters, 1,500 feet tall and 8 miles across. They will also use their smoke to draw a heart in the sky before piercing it with the four-plane triangle formation, said spokeswoman Brenda Little.

The renowned Air Force Thunderbirds are closing the show both Saturday and Sunday, but Pemberton said the civilian acts are nothing short of world class themselves.

Pemberton said the entire airshow community welcomes the return of the military supported air shows and flight demonstration teams.

"We're absolutely thrilled to have the military involvement again," she said. "You can come out to see the out the civilian acts, but you notice when you're missing the military.

"The show is not the same without them."

Comments
Florida education news: School closing, teacher pay, graduation day and more

Florida education news: School closing, teacher pay, graduation day and more

FINAL ACT: Current and former students, staff and friends of Pasco County's Ridgewood High bid a formal farewell to the school, which closes this spring after 40 years of operation. The campus will reopen in the fall as a technical high school, ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

Postgame reactions from Lightning’s Game 7 loss to the Capitals

The Lightning was shut out once in the first 97 games of the season, the playoffs included. Then it was shut out during the last two games of the Eastern Conference final, including 4-0 on Wednesday to the Capitals in Game 7.Here are some postgame re...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Dog shooter hosts Adam Putnam fundraiser

Dog shooter hosts Adam Putnam fundraiser

It's no secret that Adam Putnam is a loyal NRA supporter and avid defender of gun rights. But we suspect aligning himself with a donor videotaped shooting two pet huskies multiple times at point blank range could be a bridge too far for most fir...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

Forecasters: Increased likelihood for tropical system to form in gulf, soak Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The National Hurricane Center now says an area of low pressure in the Carribean is likely to develop into the first tropical system of the 2018 hurricane season, with Tampa Bay possibly in its path. Wednesday night, the weathe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thai court grants bail to detained pro-democracy activists

Thai court grants bail to detained pro-democracy activists

A court in Thailand granted bail to 15 pro-democracy activists arrested earlier this week after several thousand police were deployed to halt their protest against military rule
Updated: 1 hour ago
Macron wants to make France gateway to Europe for tech firms

Macron wants to make France gateway to Europe for tech firms

French President Emmanuel Macron says his innovation policies aim to make France the gateway to Europe for tech companies.
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP names Dustin Weaver as Congress news editor

The Associated Press has named Dustin Weaver as a news editor overseeing coverage of Congress
Updated: 1 hour ago

Italy brings Pakistani woman back after forced abortion

Italy's foreign minister has proudly announced the return to Italy of a young Pakistani woman who was taken by her family to Pakistan to have an abortion against her will after she got pregnant by her Italian boyfriend
Updated: 1 hour ago
London couple convicted of murdering nanny, burning her body

London couple convicted of murdering nanny, burning her body

A couple have been found guilty of murdering their French nanny and burning her body on a bonfire in their London backyard
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lebanese president begins consultations to name new premier

Lebanese president begins consultations to name new premier

Lebanese president starts consultations with lawmakers on naming new premier, incumbent PM Hariri likely to keep post
Updated: 1 hour ago