From staff and press reports
In what is becoming one of the fastest growing events in Winston County and surrounding area, The Louisville-Winston Airport will host the 3rd Annual “Wings over Winston” aerobatic air show October 1, 2016.
“I’m excited to let all of our friends and neighbors around the state of Mississippi know that we will have an even bigger and better airshow at the Louisville-Winston airport,” Louisville-Winston Airport Board President Mike Forster stated. “Please mark your calendars and plan to come out and bring the whole family.”
Last year’s event surpassed all expectations with more than 2,000 Mississippians from all over the state coming in for the show. In addition to the aircraft in the show, there were over 30 visiting aircraft parked along the runway.
“It will be a tough act to follow, but we have the lineup to do it,” Forster said. “One new event I’m very excited about is having David Mars, a Neshoba County native, now living in Jackson, come up on Thursday night in his 1929 Curtiss Wright Travel All airplane. He painstakingly restored this plane after literally finding it in a barn, and takes it all over the country ‘barnstorming.’”
Mars will be offering rides all day Friday and both before and after the air show on Saturday.
“What a great experience for you and your kids or grandkids to take a flight over Louisville in this vintage airplane,” Forster said. “David charges only $70 per seat for the ride (2 persons per flight). You can call Pam Kirk at 662-803-9297 to book your ride. You can pay for it at the airport on the day of your flight.”
Once again, the ramp at KLMS will be covered with warbirds, vintage aircraft, and high performance aerobatic ships on display and in the air. Following on last year’s great performance, Greg Koontz will return with his two great acts, including Farmer John and the “stolen” Piper Cub.
“Greg also has a special surprise he is planning for our crowd this year that is sure to have everyone on the edge of their seats,” Forster said.
The airshow is pleased to have as a headliner this year, Randy Henderson of Texas T-Cart fame.
“Randy is a native of Kosciusko, MS, so we are sure to have a lot of our Attala County brethren at the show,” Forster said. “Randy’s two acts are considered to be among the finest in the country and he will amaze you with his dare-devilry in that T-Cart.”
In addition to Randy and Greg, the show will feature Frank Kimmel returning in his T6 and Mac McNeer in his T28, with both pilots performing encore acrobatic performances.
The show’s announcer from last year, Jerry Homsley of North Little Rock, is returning and bringing with him as many as 7 custom built RV aircraft in what they call a “Bulldog Flight”.
“I can’t think of a more apt name for a formation flying group than Bulldog, can you?” Forster said. “These guys all hail from the Little Rock area, and will amaze you with their wing tip to wing tip formations.”
Forster shared some sad news, however. Randy Harris of Tulsa, OK, who started our show last year in that beautiful red, white and blue bi-wing airplane, died in a crash prior to an airshow in Enid, OK, about a month ago.
“We are dedicating this year’s show to Randy’s memory,” Forster said. “He was a great aviator and one of the finest men I’ve met in my flying experience.”
The grounds will open to the public at 10 am, and the show will start at 11 a.m. with sky jumpers, and the National Anthem.
“You don’t want to miss Vincent Moore and his partner from Gold Coast Skydivers as they bring the Flag down in a jump from 6500 feet overhead,” Forster said. “Their precision with those chutes will bring them down about 30 yards from the crowd!”
Also on hand at with a tent ready to talk about airwarfare will be Randall Harold Cunningham. Randall Harold Cunningham (born December 8, 1941), usually known as Randy or Duke, is a United States Navy veteran and former Republican member of the United States House of Representativesfrom California’s 50th Congressional District from 1991 to 2005.
Prior to his political career, Cunningham was an officer and pilot in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. Cunningham and Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) William P. “Irish” Driscoll, working as a flight crew, became the only navy flying aces of the Vietnam War. He was one of the most highly decorated United States Navy pilots in the Vietnam War, receiving the Navy Cross once, the Silver Star twice, the Air Medal 15 times, and the Purple Heart.
Following the war, Cunningham became an instructor at the U.S. Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, better known as TOPGUN, and commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 126 (VF-126), a shore-based adversary squadron at NAS Miramar, California.