Eyes will be on the skies this weekend

Rich Perkin’s Firecat soars through the sky above the crowd at last year’s Kingman Air and Auto Show. (Photo: JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Rich Perkin’s Firecat soars through the sky above the crowd at last year’s Kingman Air and Auto Show. (Photo: JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - Residents looking for fast, high-flying fun won't have to go far this weekend. The Kingman Air and Auto Show starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the airport. The ticket gates open at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 11:35 a.m. Saturday.

New this year is a special presentation by the Kingman Modelers with special guest Darcy Wingo. The Modelers and Wingo will be showing a number of fantastic maneuvers that can only be done by remote control aircraft.

"They're definitely worth seeing," said Don Greenwald, president of the Air and Auto Show.

Wingo has a radio-controlled 16.5 horsepower airplane with a 150 cc gas engine created by Desert Aircraft in Tucson.

The aircraft will be performing around 10:10 and 11:50 a.m. both days, depending on wind and weather.

A number of events are returning to this year's show, Greenwald said.

The "Wall of Fire" will be back. Bob Grondzik is sure to thrill the crowd with his aerial pyrotechnic displays. Grondzik will be performing around 2:20 p.m.

Another aerial act returning this year is stunt pilot Gene Soucy and wing walker Teresa Stokes. Stokes has been wing walking with Soucy since 1988.

She will be performing with Soucy at 1:35 p.m. on a modified Grumman Ag Cat. The Ag Cat is a crop duster bi-plane.

Soucy will also be performing a solo aerobatic act with his Extra 300. He is a three time U.S. National Aerobatic and a three time Canadian National Champion. He began performing in 1968 and has performed in over 3,000 air shows across the world. Soucy will be performing his solo act at 12:10 p.m.

Greenwald said Herb and Ditto will also be returning to the Air and Auto Show this year. "They're always a crowd-pleaser," Greenwald said.

Herb and his plane Ditto, a T-28 Trojan, are well known for their lingering smoke ring act. Herb had the plane outfitted with a special system that creates smoke rings that hold their shape long enough for a pilot to fly through them. Herb and Ditto will be performing at 12:30 p.m.

The world's only self-launching glider will perform again this year. Bob Carlton will be performing a number of aerial acrobatics set to classical music with the "Silent J." The "Silent-J" is a glider equipped with small twin jets that allow it to take off without a tow plane. Carlton and "Silent-J" will be performing at 11:10 a.m.

Capt. Eddie Firefly Skyraider and his P-51 Mustang will also be performing at the air show.

The Diamond Skydiving Team will have performances at 10 and 11:25 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. The husband, wife and son team have been part of the Air and Auto Show for the past 10 years. This year they will be honoring American troops by jumping with the American Flag during the opening ceremonies at 11:35 a.m.

This year's show also features flybys of a T-28 Trojan, a T-34 Mentor, a CJ6 Nanchang Chinese Trainer, a Stearman bi-plane and a L-19 Bird-dog. A number of other vintage planes will be displayed on the ground. Plane rides will also be available. Prices depend on the pilot and plane offering the rides. The Air Museum also will be open.

The air show will run until 4 p.m. and close each night with a special aerial show. Greenwald declined to say exactly what the event was but hinted that it would be spectacular.

For those residents who like their excitement closer to the ground, the drag racing demo starts at 10:40 a.m. and lasts throughout the day. All are welcome to enter for a nominal fee of $10.

The Show and Shine Auto Show also starts at 10 a.m. and runs through the entire day. There are no awards and no classes in the show. All makes, models and types of vehicles, including motorcycles, are welcome to enter the show.

All entrants to Show and Shine will receive a goodie bag, a dash plaque and a two-day pass to the Air and Auto show. The entry fee is $15. "We always have a wide variety of vehicles. Everything from the 1920s to 2006," said Bonnie Steele, one of the organizers of the auto show.

Registration for both the drag racing and auto show starts at 7 a.m. at the south gate of the airport. The drag racing will end around 6 p.m. Saturday.

Other auto events include Bob Vance and his jet car and Jeff Dickenson and his "Wheel Stander."

Greenwald expressed his thanks to the 125 different sponsors and over 100 volunteers for this year's show.

Tickets to the event are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 18 and $15 for a two-day adult pass. The two-day pass is new this year. Children under five are admitted for free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate adjacent to the Airport Authority Building.

Events are subject to change due to the weather.