014 – On the second day of Sun ‘n Fun, the RPA gave to me…

Sun ‘n Fun 2018 officially began on Tuesday, April 10, but that coincided with the arrival of a cold front that brought heavy rain, on and off, all day. A few arrivals managed to sneak in but the air show was canceled. Fortunately, the 11th dawned clear and cool, and flying began in earnest. The hours before the actual air show began were punctuated by arrivals by the dozens, including a large contingent of RPA aircraft, primarily from the Southeast Region.

I was a volunteer photographer for Sun ‘n Fun, and was standing on Runway 5/23, which gave me an excellent vantage point for watching arrivals coming off of Runway 09. One by one, the RPA planes came taxiing by.

Rich Langer

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Jim “Pappy” Goolsby, Flight Lead

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Mike “Pod” Foster

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Ahmed “Med” Ragheb

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Jon “Saber” Blake, Southeast Region Director, RPA

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I was on the 32’ tower reserved for authorized Sun ‘n Fun photographers, and had a great view of the RPA planes taxying out to the runway

Pappy

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Matt

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Rich “Mongoose” Hess

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Hank “Hoot” Gibson

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Bill “Pirate” Mills

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Jimmy Burke in his Yak-52TW

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Rich “Smiley” Langer

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The tower was a great spot to view the element takeoffs

(L-R) Saber, Matt, and Pappy

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Med, in the tan Nanchang, and Mongoose

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(L-R) Pod, Pirate, and Hoot

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Once airborne, the RPA pilots performed several fly-bys

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The RPA presented a painting of a Nanchang CJ-6 to EAA Warbirds of America.

(L-R) Jon “Saber” Blake, Southeast Regional Director of the RPA; Jim “Zack” Olzacki, President FL Warbirds, EAA Warbird Squadron 24; Bill Fischer, Warbirds Executive Director; Ahmed “Med” Ragheb; and Hank “Hoot” Gibson, RPA Secretary.

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Med’s tan camo CJ-6 has been adorned with a shark’s mouth for years. Over the winter, Saber decided that his green ‘Chang was ready for a bit of a facelift. Sun ‘n Fun was the first public unveiling of Saber’s new look, and it seemed natural to go up for some air-to-air photos of the pair of sharks.

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No air-to-air photo shoot would be complete without some “hero shots” of the pilots:

Med

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Saber and his trusty GIB, Aubie

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Closeup of the shark’s mouth

2 thoughts on “014 – On the second day of Sun ‘n Fun, the RPA gave to me…

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