Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival
By: Wes Wallace
Cape Girardeau, MO - With rows of planes and hundreds of people packing the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, it can only mean it's time for the Regional Air Festival. This year's theme is Heroes and Legends. This reporter got a chance to get a preview of one of the shows before all the fun got started.
"This parachute, it's just a technicality," says Alan Henley, as he helps strap me into the two seater T-6 plane. Jokes aside, I'm not a frequent flyer, so the nerves hit me as we hit the runway and prepare for takeoff. This time though, there's not a flight attendant offering peanuts or a cold drink. Nope, just Henley asking if I'm ready to go. And we're off! Once in the air, everything was smooth sailing, as I took a minute to look around.
Never mind the other planes who seem to be inches away, wing tip to wing tip. Of course it's much more than that, but when it looks like I could reach out and touch the next on over, it gives me a pretty incredible feeling.
"We don't necessarily practice that often, but we do fly 3-4 days a week during the summer, so there's not a need to practice," explains Henley. He's part of a quartet called the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team; three members are from Alabama, the fourth from Daytona Beach, Florida.
After some photo shots with a photographer up in the air with us, the group shows a little of their stunts. First a loop, which puts my stomach down around my toes, then a barrel roll, which again puts the ground where the sky should be and vice versa.