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Oakland International Airport Plans 75th Anniversary Air Show Combining Civilian and Military History

Oakland International Airport Plans 75th Anniversary Air Show Combining Civilian and Military History

Press Releases
September 26th, 2002


OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland International Airport will hold a 75th anniversary air show, celebrating seven decades of flight, on Sept. 28-29 at the airport's historic north field.

"The show will be an educational and fun day for the entire family, offering plenty of hands-on activities for children and a chance to get close-up views of the aircraft that flew at Oakland in every decade, starting in 1927," said Steven Grossman, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland. "At the same time, the festivities will educate Bay Area residents on the airport’s role in history."

Displays about the aviation industry, with aircraft from each decade of Oakland’s military and civilian history, will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An air show, featuring cutting-edge military aircraft and leading aerobatic performers, will take place from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Highlights of the performance will include the following:

- Jim LeRoy, "The Bulldog," who has been taking the air show world by storm. He is billed as one of the most exciting and aggressive pilots in the country with a repertoire of stomach-lurching stunts. Leroy's motto is "Life is short, bite hard!"

- Eddie Andreini, piloting his highly modified 500-horsepower, 3,000-lb. "Super Stearman" biplane for a roaring and rolling low-level routine, reminiscent of the barnstorming 1930’s.

- Steve Stavrakakis, flying "The Wild Thing," a sleek Czechoslovakian-designed Zlin 50, built to fly in World aerobatic competition. Stavrakakis extracts an amazing performance from this aerobatic powerhouse.

- Dan Buchanan and his "Flying Colors." This talented performer is an inspiration to all who watch one of his stirring performances. A paraplegic since 1985 Buchanan says, "I have to fly, I can’t walk!"

- Gordon Bowman-Jones, "The Voice." Heard around the world for the past 30 years, announcer and narrator Gordon Bowman-Jones is a veteran of more than 3,000 performances.

The show also will include booths and exhibits from local groups ranging from World War II's Tuskegee Airmen to the Chabot Space & Science Center. A few original members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed group of African-American pilots who served in Europe during World War II, will be present.

In addition to civilian aircraft, there will be many examples of cutting-edge fixed and rotary winged aircraft flown by the U.S. military. Display aircraft such as the F-18, F-16, A-10 and others will be at the show, subject to operational availability. The following aircraft are just a few of the planes that will be on static display or participating in flybys:

- B-25 Mitchell "Sunday Punch." Restored by Aerocrafters of Santa Rosa, this aircraft is the type flown by the famous "Doolittle’s Raiders" in their World War II raid on Tokyo.

- C-46 Commando "China Doll." Restored and flown by the Commemorative Air Force, this is an original veteran of the Berlin Airlift and one of the aircraft that flew "the hump" between India and China during World War II.

- Lockheed 10A. The same type of aircraft flown by Amelia Earhart into one of the greatest aviation mysteries ever known, this aircraft is fully restored in every detail.

United Airlines will show an example of seats that fold down into beds on its Boeing 777's international flights, and members of the Military Vehicle Collectors of California will display painstakingly restored historic military vehicles.

Food booths will be staffed by local groups, who will receive a percentage of the proceeds.

Admission to the air show is $10 for adults, with free admission for children 12 and under when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available only at the gate.

Because parking space at the site is limited, free buses will transport spectators to the show from off-site locations. Specially marked buses will pick up attendees at BART’s Coliseum station or at free parking lots at Pardee Drive and Swan Way (located near the intersection of Hegenberger Road and Doolittle Drive) and 1701 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda.

No ice chests or backpacks, including backpack-type purses, will be permitted. Spectators are urged to limit their personal belongings, as security screening will be in force. Glass, knives of all kinds, and other items normally restricted at the airport also will be prohibited at the event.

Additional information and directions are available at www.oaklandairport.com or by calling 510-273-9083.

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