The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Friday, August 21, 1998
Warbird settles in at Falcon Field

PTC readies for biggest ever airshow

Staff Writer

If the folks over at Falcon Field weren't already excited about the "Wings over Dixie" airshow coming up in September, they are now.

As of this week, the "pride and joy of the Dixie Wing of the Confederate Air Force," a Douglas Dauntless SBD-5, has officially moved in. The Dauntless, a dive bomber, is one of about 40 warbirds from different eras which will connect show-goers to the nation's aviation accomplishments, past and present.

The Dauntless began its journey to Falcon Field in the 1940s as one of Douglas Aircraft's designs for military planes. It served in the U.S. Navy and the Mexican Air Force and became a part of the Dixie Wing about seven years ago. It's been at Cedar Ridge Airport near Griffin, undergoing restoration by members of a volunteer team from Dixie Wing. The team is led by Mike Rettke and included Mark Baldwin, Bill Baldwin, Bill Johnson, Chuck Panzarella, Ramon Jones and others. Will Estes donated the high-quality aircraft paint from the plane's original time-frame, and a team from Delta Air Lines put it on,

The Dauntless came over land via flatbed truck from Griffin to Peachtree City this week, and now will have its wings reattached and systems checked. Dick Djubak of Fayetteville is one of the pilots. The plane will be on permanent display at Falcon Field, making its debut appearance at the air show.

The "Wings over Dixie" Air Show and Festival benefits both the Confederate Air Force, a group of people dedicated to restoring and preserving old planes, and the Fayette Youth Protection Home for abused and neglected children. Jim Friday, show coordinator for Dixie Wing, says "both are good causes," as the Confederate Air Force has come to be recognized for its "flying museum" of war planes that are featured attractions at airports and shows around the world.

Opening and closing the air show on both Saturday Sept. 12 and Sunday Sept. 13 are the U.S. Army's "Golden Knights," a precision parachute group out of Fort Bragg, N.C. The group got its start in 1959 as a "strategic army corps sport parachute team" of jumpers trained in "delayed fall" techniques for landing covert forces behind enemy lines.

Friday says there will be several aerobatics performances, including a jet aerobatic show, and "The Flying Farmer," a comedy act that uses a J-3 Cub aircraft. Fly-bys or static displays of numerous planes are planned, including a Navy F-18 Hornet; B-17 and B-25 World War II bombers; PBY Catalina "flying boat"; P-51 WWII fighter; F4U Corsair (Vietnam era); a Georgia National Guard C-130; the new B-1 bomber; F-16, F-15 and F-117; several helicopters and 25 to 30 unique planes of the Experimental Aviation Association.

"You'll get your money's worth," Friday says. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students, with children under age 6 free. Friday says the limited parking at Falcon Field will cost $10 per car, but parking at Starr's Mill High School is only $1. Air-conditioned shuttles will be available from Starr's Mill. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or local Boy Scouts.

He also asked that golf carts be driven "if at all possible, to save us the parking headaches." Carts will be accommodated free right on the field, he said.

What do you think of this story?
Click here to send a message to the editor. Click here to post an opinion on our Message Board, "The Citizen Forum"

Back to News Home Page | Back to the top of the page