The Great State of Maine Air Show, Labor Day Weekend 2015
What a great way to celebrate a long holiday weekend – with an air show! The Great State of Maine Air Show, presented by the Airshow Network, was a two-day celebration held during the Labor Day weekend of 2015. Blessed with beautiful weather and large crowds, the show drew vacationers and locals alike to the Brunswick Executive Airport during the traditional last weekend of summer vacation.
The Blue Angels were the headlining performers on a widely varied flight program, which included military, civilian and warbird entertainment. The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor Demo Team joined the Blue Angels as the U.S. military’s contribution to the flying display. Major John Cummings, in the F-22, flew a pair of performances back to back. After his muscular solo demonstration, he collaborated in a Heritage Flight with Tommy Williams in the P-51 Mustang “Fragile but Agile” completing his daily allotted time in the air. A Maine Air National Guard KC-135, an Air Force Reserve C-5 Galaxy from Massachusetts, and a Coast Guard MH-60 rounded out the military aircraft at the field.
Scott Yoak, in his P-51D “Quick Silver”, flew his spirited Mustang aerobatic routine for the crowd. Larry Kelley and crew flew their DAV-sponsored “Panchito” B-25 flight routine too, and attracted lots of interest on the ground at their booth. North American B-25s are no strangers to the state of Maine, as some of its airports were final U.S. jump off points for Atlantic crossings during World War II for ferrying new aircraft to the European war zone. The Air National Guard operated a few examples after the war too. A jet warbird aerobatic demonstration, flown by Larry Labriola in his Aero L-39C trainer, was the third warbird act on the handbill.
Civilian performers included one act that never left the ground… that being Bill Braack in the Smoke-N-Thunder jet car. It never ceases to amaze what a crush of fans run to a show’s fence line when a turbine-powered vehicle starts up, and Bill didn’t disappoint them. New England’s Dan Marcotte, in his Ultimate biplane, twisted and turned through the Midcoast Maine skies. Dan had a short flight to the show from his Vermont home base. Anna Serbinenko, in her sky dancing Super Decathalon, had a much longer flight to Brunswick from her home base in British Columbia! It took five stops to reach Maine from western North America, and that was with a tail wind. Compared to Dan’s fast-paced show, Anna provided a slower, more relaxed routine as a counterpoint. Last mentioned, but certainly not least, Kent Pietsch did three different routines in his Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet. His flying farmer act, complete with a loss of an aileron, drew gasps from the crowd. He again successfully landed on top of this camper truck, proving his excellent “short field” skills, and finally turned his yellow plane into a glider for his last aerobatic performance of the day.
Of course, the Blue Angels performed their almost one-hour long show as the finale. The C-130 and F/A-18 Hornets (only 5 flew during the weekend, not the full complement of 6) shone brightly in the clear blue Maine skies. Although the horizon around the former NAS Brunswick airport is flat, the team’s aircraft flew low enough to sneak up on the crowd from behind the trees a few times. Just over the horizon could be a rocky cove with a lobster boat or two tied to a dock, but no “nap of earth” flying occurred during the show!
The state of Maine is nicknamed “Vacationland”, and draws an international crowd of vacationers to its shores, lakes, and forests for both adventure and relaxation. Don’t forget about its seafood and other culinary delights too. There are a number of ways to enjoy the outdoors in Maine, and watching the Great State of Maine Air Show was an exciting end-of-the-Summer vacation treat – or for those lucky enough to live close by, it was another enjoyable day outside in their back yard.