2013 Florida International Air Show Wowed in Punta Gorda

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Wing Walker Jane Wicker Hanging with Her Ankles from Her Biplane at the Florida International Air Show in Punta Gorda, Fla., March 24, 2013

Wing Walker Jane Wicker Hanging with Her Ankles from Her Biplane at the Florida International Air Show in Punta Gorda, Fla., March 24, 2013

Military jet teams seem to be the biggest draw for an air show yet they were absent from this year’s Florida International Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport last weekend. But ya know what? The show was pretty darn spectacular.

AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Sequester? The Show Goes On

I’ve been told due to the federal government sequester more than a dozen air shows for 2013 have been cancelled, primarily because they were scheduled to take place on military bases and are deemed nonessential even though they’re great tools to promote STEM to students. But don’t get me started on that…

Most air shows not held on military bases will probably carry on without military teams. Having just concluded its 33rd show, the FIAS takes place at the Punta Gorda Airport so the show went on.

Yes, I Was There Early Both Days, PGD Air Traffic Control Tower, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Yes, I Was There Early Both Days, PGD Air Traffic Control Tower, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013. This Tower Will Close Due to the Federal Government Sequester.

Air show planners must have had foresight because the only military jet scheduled to perform this year was an F-22 and was cancelled because of the sequester. Other than that, the show went on with amazing aerobatics, including that of AeroShell Aerobatics Team in their North American AT-6 Texans and wing walker Jane Wicker, as I blogged about prior to the show. Do you see her in the photo at the top of this post? Amazing and believe me, I was sitting on the edge of my chair, holding my breath watching her.

Military Heritage Museum's Jeep at Sunrise, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Military Heritage Museum’s Jeep at Sunrise, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Mother Nature was in full windy force causing some modification both days and the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team couldn’t jump either day. Wicker had to modify her performance because she was being tossed like a rag doll the first day.

One of the Hobby Photographers Snapping AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Florida International Air Show, March 2013

One of the Hobby Photographers Snapping AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Florida International Air Show, March 2013

In addition to a lineup of aerobatic performances, there were several planes on display including one which appeared in the movie “Amelia” and will be in the upcoming movie “42” starring Chadwcik Boseman, Alan Tudyk and Harrison Ford.

Nose to Nose with a Harrier Jump Jet,  Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Nose to Nose with a Harrier Jump Jet, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Despite the sequester, there were three active military aircraft on display, two Harrier Jump Jets and a C-130 cargo plane. They were on a refueling mission in the Gulf of Mexico and had the OK to stopover at the air show. Plus, some of the crew have ties to Charlotte County.

Official Commemorative Souvenir Envelope Crafted for the 2013 Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Official Commemorative Souvenir Envelope Crafted for the 2013 Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Stamp of Approval

One of the neatest things over the weekend, other than seeing the sun rise each day, was meeting the gentleman in the above photo who created official commemorative souvenir envelopes and postmark for the Florida International Air Show. (I’ll get his name and add it down the road.)

Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team,  Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

List of Performers

Tiger Yak 55s, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Tiger Yak 55s, Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Contest for Aviation Photographers

A feature FIAS added last year was the Hobby Photographer Admission which allowed access into the show grounds prior to the general public and front row seating in a tent. Aviation really isn’t my thing but I can appreciate interest in the craft.

Coincidentally, Air & Space magazine is holding it’s first photo contest for those 18 years or older. Categories are: Military, Civilian, People and Planes: Portraits, and Spacecraft. The contest is open until Sept. 15, 2013 and you can find additional information on the Air & Space magazine website.

Disabled American Veterans Flight Team B-25 Mitchell Bomber, Panchito, Owner Larry Kelly,Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

Disabled American Veterans Flight Team B-25 Mitchell Bomber, Panchito, Owner Larry Kelly,Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda, March 2013

2014 Florida International Air Show

It’s never too soon to begin planning your visit to the 2014 Florida International Air Show. Be sure to add March 29 & 30 to your calendar. For additional information about the air show, visit their site, www.floridaairshow.com.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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5 Comments

  1. Show looks awesome. Think I saw one in Dayton years ago when I was really young.

  2. Hi would it be possible to use the Photo of my Brother and Bill Gordon The Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team that you have with the American Flag and if you have any more I will make a gallery on the site. Thank you Deb Segalla

  3. Absolutely! I’ll send a high-res over and will see what other photos I have from the weekend.

  4. Hello from France.
    On your FIA aviation post, you show a gentlemen with souvenir envelopes of this airshow.
    Have you postal adress of this man ?
    As I am collecting aviation souvenir envelopes, I would be happy to contact him for buying or exchanges.

    Best regards from France

  5. Hi Pierre.

    Thank you for dropping by. Let me see if I can locate this person for you.

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