St. George Jet Blast 2013
The phone rang Friday morning with details of the Classic Jet Aircraft Association’s Jet Blast fly-in that was happening in St. George, Uath that is just up the road from where I live. They have a yearly gathering in October at the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum (http://www.westernskywarbirds.org/) and it is hosted by Jack Hunter and Rich Grinell.
I was told to be there for the 8:30 pilot briefing and that flying would start promptly at 9 a.m. I arrived just in time to meet up with the pilots that were about to depart on this day. Almost a dozen aircraft (flying and static) and twice as many pilots, and the airport was buzzing with individual and group flights throughout the day. Situated far from LAS’ and SLC’s Class B airspace, St. George provides a perfect (and scenic) Jet Blast location. The airport in St. George (SGU) in about three years old and it has a 9300’ ft runway and is built on1203 acres. It is surround by miles of Class E and Class G Airpsace.
The purpose of the CJAA Jet Blast is FAST upgrades, daily safety briefings, and plenty of flight time. The museum had static displays set up. The museum was open for tours and they also had a great BBQ going. Volunteers were there to help the almost 400 locals that came out to witness Jet Blast. It seems to get bigger ever year.
This year’s attends that I met were Rene and his T-33 painted in Royal Canadian Air Force Markings (N99175). Carl Penner and his newly donated Mig-15 UTI (N15UT). Two L-39’s from Prescott, Arizona(N99GF). Albatross 01 owned by C W “Chuck” McCoyand (N139CM) and Mark Peterson with his very cool Alpha Jet (N120AU).
The Museum was flying their BAC Jet Provost (N4421B). Jack and Trevor Hunter took her up.
I also met John Stewart from Colorado. He was a Alpha Jet check airmen. Also showing up for some “Jet Time” was Reno Racer John K Bagley.
The coolest guy I meet was “Uncle Charlie”. Charles Largay or Charlie owns a T-37B Dragon Fly and he was there to gather info on a possible transfer of his jet from Florida out west to the Western Sky Museum. His jet is a T-37 in NVAF colors. Visit him at http://supertweet.org
We all went to dinner Saturday night and we met at Players. We had the usual table for 14 in the rear of the restaurant. Food was served and beer was plentiful. The best part of hanging out with pilot is of course all the stories that come out in the time spent relaxing. At the table we heard stories about Life Flight flying, we compared facts on flying single engine airframes compared to twins. Two pilots at the table has also spent considerable time flying against forests fires. Great listening to them compare notes and tactics. The best story was told about how a pilot in Vietnam defended the fact that HE was the first pilot shot down by a SAM. The story it seems was that this pilot (I’ll keep his name confidential) was shot down twice in one day. First in the sandy he was flying, then he was shot down in an Air America Huey that came in to rescue him. True heroics!!
Sunday morning..after seeing a few new friends off at the airport the remaining four of us decided that we would head to the local Black Bear Dinner for breakfast. It was a pleasure to sit and listen to Charlie talk about his aircraft. Seems he has had is for many years. There was a problem importing it t the U.S. There was some damage and he spent a lot of time and money making the repairs. To sit and listen to a guy that own and flies a Super Tweet was inspiring. Not to many left. His is original and not a convert t-37.
I hope that his Super tweet makes it out west to the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum. It would be a welcome addition to the museum and I’d like to see it make an appearance at West Coast Air Shows.
I’d like to thank everyone at the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum for the opportunity to come out. I’d like to thank the volunteers for their hard work and good food. Shout Out to Warbird Keith for keeping me in the loop. I enjoyed my time on the flight line. Nothing like Jet Whine in your eardrums!!!
Now I can’t wait til the next Jet Blast!!