Another disappointing air show

As an "old" United States Air Force veteran, I was disappointed in this year's Air & Auto Show. I'm in the process of finding out who chairs this committee so that I may make personal inquiries to them.

I'm not going to complain about the $10 admission fee, as I know the price of jet fuel, etc., is deplorable nowadays, but having my elderly parents pay full price when they are on a fixed income for a lackluster performance such as this really chaps my hide. There was only one aircraft - a DC-3 converted to a Vietnam-vintage AC-47 gunship - that was available for people to get close to. Why wasn't there an available static area for other non-performing aircraft? I know insurance liabilities have gone sky high, but I've been to other nearby air shows where aircraft that have finished performing were wheeled into a static area so that veterans and children could have access and pictures taken with the aircraft.

Come on! It only takes five minutes for the announcer to tell people to back away from the stanchions, and with a handful of your air show "volunteers," an airplane could be towed into a display area. Don't just cite me "increased terrorist threats and such." Once again, old guys and gals who are in their '70s and '80s and little kids who want to see the planes Grandpa and Dad flew are not the current threat profile.

I noticed that there was a schedule online with available acts, but when I checked it a couple days before the show, it said, "due to nonpayment of services rendered for design of the Kingman Air & Auto Show website, logo, poster and various printed materials, this website is disabled."

Shame on you air show committee! Things like that get around the air show community! That will lead to performers wondering if they'll get paid or fuel provided for their birds. The down time between acts was terrible. The announcers constantly jibber-jabbing about the food and drink stands and tributes to air show committee members and donors was aggravating. I've been to rock concerts and bars that were quieter than the non-stop droning of two guys just making talk about nothing.

In short, the air show was poorly organized, too many delays and no access to static aircraft. During a time of increased patriotism, many old war vets want to see their old aircraft again, and maybe talk to the other pilots. How frustrating it must feel to spend 20 to 40 dollars a person only to eyeball their favorite aircraft from over 50 yards away!

You gotta think about the people, air show committee, not just get wrapped up in free advertising and soliciting donations. Most air shows never make a profit, that's just the fact. You can do a lot more with a volunteer than having them park cars and hand out programs.

Thomas E. Dyer II

U.S. Air Force, 1982-1988