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Friday, August 28, 2020

AIRSHOW OVER THE CANYON: JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING:


The day is sunny, and it feels sooo good to get out of the house.  You head on over to the Grand Canyon, reveling in the solitude of the most majestic region on the entire grid. There you are, communing with nature…
Suddenly and without warning, you are almost knocked off your mule by an ear-splitting roar! You look up just in time to see, disappearing over the lip of the canyon, a high-performance jet aircraft screaming through the sky!
Yes folks, you have stumbled into – (cue the timpani drums) – AN AIRSHOW!
Grand Canyon SL recently hosted a good old-fashioned Air Show, complete with wing walkers, bi-planes, people in sharp looking flight suits, and over a dozen high performance jet aircraft.
After the last roar of engines had rolled off down the canyon. After the show was over and the last planes had departed for their home field.  After the bleachers were clear of spectators with only empty popcorn boxes and soda cups to show they were ever there….I was able to catch up to an exhausted Lis (lisisme.dubrovna), owner of Grand Canyon SL,  and 5(johnnynumberfive), lead for the Hawks Aerobatic Team. They graciously agreed to chat with me.


Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) JB:    Let’s start with you, Johnny. How did you first get interested in Air Shows?

5 (johnnynumberfive) J5: As a young kid around 6 years I got a ride in an old Papua New Guinea mission plane the 'Andrew Stuart' which incidentally is now in a museum.  From early years I remember cutting out planes from the back of 'Corn Flakes' packets and later upscaling them and building them from balsa.  Later in my 20's, I, along with a bunch of work mates took up hang gliding, which later progressed to a job as a hang-gliding instructor.  So, for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with planes.
However, in 1991 I attended the 70th Anniversary Richmond Air Base Show and for the first time saw real fighter jets up close and was inspired by our own Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes Aerobatics team. 

In SL I naturally gravitated toward aviation and joined the USNSL Blue Angels.  So in early 2017 when a combat friend of mine mentioned starting our own team it was a 'no brainer' :) 



JB:  Tell me Lis. How did you come up with the idea of hosting an Air Show?

Lis (lisisme.dubrovna) LD:  Johnny was looking for a venue and contacted me and at first it was only supposed to be The Hawks but word got around and then other teams wanted to fly at the Grand Canyon. It's a scenic place for an airshow. They were all absolutely amazing.

JB:  How extensive were your preparations for this event? I understand you had to move mountains, literally, to pull this off. 

LD:  I contacted LL to take down my Mt Everest sim which is north of the Grand Canyon, so that the skies would be clear. I had great cooperation from an agent at Linden Labs. It is unusual for them to take down a sim for a day but he went there and saw that Mt Everest would obstruct the view of the planes in the sky. I am only sad they did not do more to promote such a magnificent and skilled event.
I removed some high prim items from 3 sims to help with lag. I opened 3 sims and many parcels for rent so that they could rez their planes. I did a sim restart before and after each team. I video filmed the entire event and I'll soon edit and put it on YouTube. I'll send out the URL in Grand Canyon Group notices.



JB:  How long did it take to build the runway and the bleachers for the fans?

LD:  At first, I created a black megaprim for the runway but then Johnnynumberfive had a runway and bleachers in inventory. I had to clear the land below and join all pilots to my Grand Canyon group as Entertainers. I was "Ground Control" lol.

JB:  How many people does it take to put on an airshow?

J5:  Wow the million-dollar question!  How long is a half-stretched rubber band? :)  Most teams consist of 6 pilots - 4 in the diamond team and 2 in the solo team.  But if you include those that do stuff for the teams to keep them flying...Lukeflywalker Fittinger EmCee's, Jimi Xi provides helmets, plane manufacturers like Shana and TBM, photographers, and then show hosts all play an integral part, but it’s our fans that do the most just by providing the motivation

JB:  Can you share a few words about each of the groups that performed?

J5:  There are many other teams in SL and all present a quality and unique experience for their audience.  Anemone Wing Walkers hark back to early circus style barn storming, Team Phoenix is an older team and presents a strictly choreographed and tidy formation display.  The USNSL Blue Angels strive for excellence in discipline, much like the RL USN Blue Angels, and the Hawks, although not the newest kid now are still testing the boundaries in maneuvers, themes, light and sound.



JB:    Do these four teams fly together often?

J5:  SL attracts a wide variety of people and from time zones all over the world so it's challenging to get everyone together.  However, the common love of aviation is a compelling reason to get out of bed at crazy times of the night for these shows.  Typically, its only once or twice a year for larger events involving 4 or more teams but smaller 1 or 2 team events more often.

JB:  How much practice goes into an airshow?

J5:  I can't speak for the other teams but generally once or twice a week for official practices of about 2 hours, and then informal practices when time permits.  It generally takes about 3-6 months to perfect a new maneuver to show worthy quality, depending on its complexity.

JB:  What was your favorite part of this year’s Air Show?

J5:  Being back on the runway after a successful show was nice, I have to say.  It was rough up there with the lag, but I have to say the best thing by far is seeing all the teams do great and seeing the audience enjoy the show.


LD:  They were all utterly amazing but I have to admit I was stunned by "The Mirror" performed by the Hawks solo team at the end of the show.




JB:  I can hardly wait to see this again.  When is your next Airshow?

LD:  I hope we can do a big one like this twice a year so maybe we can look forward to a January 2021 Show.

J5:  The next one for the Hawks is September 20 at Jamaica for a much more "Jamaican' style casual show - right in my wheelhouse :D

JB:  Lis and Johnny, I’d like to thanks you for agreeing to chat with me this afternoon. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

LD:  Please come to the Grand Canyon and join the group so that I can inform you with notices of live singers and air shows and contests and events and additions I make to the sims. I have just added 'Experience' which is nothing more than a fast teleport (it does not take over control of your avi like many think). You will be amazed by the Love Tunnels. There is also a new Cuddle Cloud Tour (PG).


J5:  Ah so may 'ism's I could share here but I say just do it... give it your best shot...whatever it is...and if not, go support those that do.  We as humans are more skilled and experienced at pulling others down, albeit most often in good humor, but it’s so nice to see the support these teams give each other and the blessing they are to the wider community.



So there you have it, folks.  Just when you think you have seen everything, someone throws an Air Show at you, and you have to rethink what you believed was possible in this wonderful world of SecondLife.

Grand Canyon SURL:

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1 comments:

  1. It seems Patrouille de France is missing... so weird!!!

    ReplyDelete

 
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