North Texas Daily

Denton Airshow delivers high-flying fun

Denton Airshow delivers high-flying fun

June 17
12:43 2013

Josh Knopp / Staff Writer

Julia Wood turned her plane straight up and shut her engine off. Her momentum carried her further into the sky as she rotated the plane in the opposite direction of the propeller. Eventually she began to drop, and she let herself fall for a few seconds before recovering to various “oo’s” and “ah’s” from the crowd.

More than 12,000 air enthusiasts came and went from the 2013 Denton Airshow to enjoy funnel cake, aerobatics and restored airplanes Saturday. It was a record-setting day for the event’s attendance.

Army and Air Force veteran J.D. Daniel has been performing in air shows for 30 years. He is a member of the Texas Twisters, a six-flier group that performs formations.

“It’s for the precision of flying. It helps pay for our hobby, but we don’t do it for the money,” he said. “We need to motivate people to get into aviation, because it is a long struggle and the entry level pay isn’t very good.”

Daniel also said keeping the planes in use was important.

“If we didn’t do this, these airplanes would be in a junk yard somewhere,” he said.

On the ground, more than 20 aircraft were on display for attendees. The Commemorative Air Force was there with Ready 4 Duty, a 1944 transport aircraft, and two WWII-era training planes. Air Force veteran and curator Jim Breitenstine said these trainers were to make sure pilots could fly before they were invested in further.

Pilots would take their first flights in primary trainers to see if their stomachs could handle flight.

“It’s cheaper, easier and simpler to get somebody in a little airplane to see if they could fly.” Breitenstine said that around half of prospective pilots couldn’t handle the primary trainer.

UNT students, such as chemistry doctoral student Casey Thurber, were part of the turnout.

Thurber brought his wife and two sons out to enjoy the day.

“My older son really likes airplanes so I figured he’d like coming out here and seeing the airplanes and sitting in the cockpit and things like that,” Thurber said. “My son really liked that [first aerobatics flyer Andrew Wright]. Food’s good.”

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