Dan Buchanan is a master showman who has won many awards over his years as an airshow performer. Beyond that, Dan is a very inspirational man. Dan was a New York & Connecticut home builder and flat-track motorcycle racer who then moved to Lake Tahoe where he enjoyed the thrill of flying off mountain tops. While working on getting his private pilots license. However, in 1981, Dan was involved in a serious sporting accident. This accident lead to a spinal injury leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Losing his ability to walk, he returned to college to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. Despite his new handicap, Dan returned to flying within 6 months and amassed numerous hours in hang gliders & sailplanes. He was able to complete his Private & Commercial Pilot training as a wheelchair user and goes on motor-less recreational flights often. These flights usually last 3-6 hours and he sometimes flies as high as 18,000 feet over the western desert & mountains.
Since his first airshow performance in 1989, Dan has performed over 1260 times, has won THREE Distinguished Honors from Airshow Organizations including the Art Scholl Showmanship Award, the Bill Barber Showmanship Award & the ICAS Special Achievement Award. Dan serves as an inspiration to many people who want to live their dreams but feel there is something in the way. He is living his dream. When asked why he flies, his usual response is said with a smile: "I have to fly, you see, I can't walk".
Dan's Hang Glider was designed by NorthWing of Wenatchee, Washington and is registered as an Experimental Aircraft with N numbers under the FAA. Dan gets to altitude during his act via a custom winch system on the back of a truck. Dan eventually climbs to 1200-1800 feet in altitude while he "stair-steps up" via challenging aerial water ski-turns as the tow vehicle makes U-Turns on the runway to ensure that he stays in sight the entire time. When he gets to the altitude and it's time for the show to begin, the tow-line is released and a small ram air parachute is automatically deployed. The line is rapidly rewound electrically back onto the winch without the line ever falling to the ground. That in itself is amazing. During the course of Dan's performance, the colorful hang glider will perform many maneuvers, all with colorful smoke and colorful streamers hanging from the aircraft. One can't help but feel super patriotic as the craft is also flown with a giant American flag on top of it. When his airspeed runs out, Dan lands the glider and his wheelchair is delivered to him by OTTO the Helicopter.
Don't miss Dan Buchanan in his wonderful, graceful, beautiful & inspirational performance at this year's Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival, July 6th-7th.
Jack and Rob will indeed push the limits as they perform their Dynamic Duo Show! Full of energy and excitement for all to enjoy. Jack Knutson flies the ever-popular Extra 300S while Rob Holland flies the advanced MX-2. What results is one of the BEST Formation & XTreme aerobatic teams in the country…the Firebirds XTreme. The team has performed here the last two years in a row and are excited to bring one of the BEST acts in the airshow world back to Battle Creek in 2013.
The team will perform a series of hardcore, gyroscopic aerobatic maneuvers all while staying in your sight the entire time. The show is filled with numerous low passes, XTreme head on passes and graceful formation maneuvers. The show is accompanied with professionally choreographed music and cockpit narration. Don't miss the "Firebirds XTreme"!
The Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show will be bringing back Rob Holland again in 2013..
Check out this video here!
Rob Holland has been on a tear. First, he won the gold medal in the 4-minute freestyle at the World Aerobatic Championships in Foligno, Italy. Soon after, he took the top spot after three flights at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in Denison, Texas. That was in 2011. Just this year, 2012, Rob Holland placed FIRST at the U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Championships and made the 2012 US Aerobatic Team, meaning he will represent the US in the World's next year.
"I had the honor of watching Rob fly at Nationals, and all I can say is that his craft has become breathtaking. His precision is awe-inspiring and must be witnessed to be believed. IAC members should look for an upcoming feature on Rob in Sport Aerobatics magazine. Until then, enjoy this video. [excerpt from the International Aerobatics Club - October 2011 newsletter "In the Loop".
In 2008, Rob was also voted Airshowbuzz.com's person of the year! Rob will perform his hardcore solo show in the "VeteranHomeLoans.com" MX-2 (the most advanced aerobatic aircraft on the airshow circuit). Rob is known as one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world. You definitely don't want to miss this aerobatic superstar at this year's Field of Flight.
Get ready for the Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team, one of the most exciting and well-known air show teams of the modern day, as they return to Battle Creek for the first time since 2010.
The team consists of pilots Bill Gordon & Billy Segalla. Bill Gordon (Lead Pilot) is from Copake, New York. He has been performing airshows for over 20 years. He started out in competition flying before beginning to fly airshows. After building his own Christen Eagle, Gordon met up with Billy Segalla, another Eagle owner, to begin formation aerobatic flying. Gordon serves as the teams mechanic as well, as he is an A&P genius. Over the years, any modifications made to his or Billy's aircraft, have been performed by him.
Billy Segalla (Wing Pilot), flies #2 and is from Canaan, Connecticut. He began flying airshows at the age of 16 in 1978. Beginning in 1985, Segalla began flying for Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York with his father. Billy has flown over 1000 air shows to date, with some 11,000 hours of flight time.
The two pilots fly in two amazing Super Christen Eagle I biplanes, aircraft built and modified by Bill Gordon specifically for airshow flying by the Eagle Team. The team flies a dynamic and challenging performance, complete with opposing maneuvers and challenging formations. The team will have spectators on the edge of their seat from the beginning with their trademarked "Crossfire" takeoff, which features both aircraft in an opposing pass on takeoff roll. Their show is certainly one of the most challenging, dynamic, exciting & best aerial displays in the world today.
Don't miss the Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team with their AMAZING & FAMOUS Announcer Alan Lanco at this year's Field of Flight on July 6th & 7th.
Jack Knutson returns to Battle Creek to perform in his "Firebird" Extra 300S for his third year in a row. Jack Knutson performs an AMAZING & graceful aerobatic routine filled with numerous traditional and hardcore aerobatic maneuvers.
Jack flew for the“Firebirds Delta Team” for a number of years, a team that were regulars at the event. Jack will surely bring back memories as he puts his "Firebird" through its paces. Jack is one of the best and most experienced aerobatic pilots in the airshow industry today. You won't want to miss his performance.
Ladies, Gentlemen & Kids of All Ages will enjoy this act that has become a favorite of Battle Creek patrons. Roger Buis will be returning in the famous Helicopter Clown OTTO, their last appearance here was in 2010.
OTTO is a Schweizer 300C Helicopter and is the Mickey Mouse of the Airshow Industry. In Battle Creek, OTTO will fly faster than the speed of smell, demonstrate maneuverability & agility, mimic airplane aerobatics and perform the HARDEST maneuver in the airshow industry, the hover. If you think that's amazing, there is so much more in store. OTTO will also blow a bubble from bubble gum, play with a yo-yo and even race barrels like a horse. Kids and Adults alike will be amazed by this 15 minute performance by OTTO the Helicopter Clown. It all culminates with a great patriotic salute to our veterans and present defenders.
OTTO Pilot: Roger Buis has been flying since 1980 and has over 18,000 total flight hours. In addition, he has been nominated for Army Aviator of the Year in Helicopters. The first helicopter that Roger ever flew solo actually was the Hughes TH-55 Osage (which was the predecessor to the Schweizer 300C). Roger has flown all types of helicopters, but got his start just like any other pilot, in fixed wing aircraft. He even now has his seaplane rating. In helicopters, Roger has done pretty much all there is to do from firefighting to movie filming (yes, flight instruction too). In addition, he is one of the only helicopter pilots in the world to tow a sailplane/glider with a helicopter. He is one of the best and most respected pilots in the industry.
Don't miss Roger fly in OTTO the Helicopter at this year's Field of Flight Air Show July 6th-7th.
The world famous jet truck that was built and designed by Les Shockley is now owned by Darnell Racing Enterprises, Inc. This is the same team that owns the Flash Fire Jet Trucks that have appeared here in the past.
Neal & Chris Darnell will both take turns driving the amazing SHOCKWAVE at this years event.
Neal Darnell- Neal has been performing at air shows for more than 10 years. Neal had a long career producing motorsports events but eventually left in 1999. However, he soon returned, missing the adrenalin rush. This is when he decided to build "Flash Fire Jet Truck". After a brief Drag Racing stint, Neal decided to start performing at air shows. Since then, he and his racing team have become highly sought after on the air show circuit. Due to his numerous years (over 20) in the Show Promotion Business, producing over 400 major air shows, Neal knows all the hard work that goes into event production and promotion. This has made him one of the best showmen in the industry. For 2011 and 2012, Neal drove the "AIR GUARD Flash Fire Jet Truck" for the Air National Guard "MAX ADREANALINE" Team (appearing here in Battle Creek in 2011). In 2013, he will be driving here with son Chris Darnell in "SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck".
Chris Darnell- When you're Neal Darnell's son, we guess the jet fuel is just in your blood. Chris is the driver of the 2nd Flash Fire Jet Truck and shares driving duties of SHOCKWAVE with his father. Chris is an experienced driver that has literally "done it all". Chris has been around and involved with motorsports for all of his life. He has served as a promoter and driver, racing several different types of vehicles and events from drag racing to circle track. Chris graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing/Advertising and Promotions. In addition to driving the Flash Fire Truck as well as SHOCKWAVE, Chris owns a truck accessory company named 4 Wheel Customs.
SHOCKWAVE- SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck has been one of the most sought after Jet Vehicle on the air show circuit for decades. This year, it returns to Battle Creek. According to the Darnell's, it is the "Baddest/most impressive ground vehicle on the planet!!!!". SHOCKWAVE is powered not by one, but THREE J34-48 jet engines totaling 36,000 horsepower. That is THREE times the smoke, THREE times the fire, THREE times the noise and THREE times the horsepower. This is a showcase you will NOT want to miss. SHOCKWAVE is presently the Guinness Book World Record Holder for the FASTEST JET TRUCK IN THE WORLD at a speed of 376 miles per hour.
Don't miss SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck at this year's Field of Flight as it will make daily power runs and even race an aircraft on July 6th & 7th.
Magician Mario Manzini is a Guinness World Record Holding Escapologist that performs numerous "escape" magic tricks and illusions every year. This year, he'll perform during the air show and will be doing an AMAZING and THRILLING aerial escape.
The Magical Mario Manzini will be strapped into a strait-jacket and then will have rope tied around his feet. That rope will then be lit on FIRE as it is hoisted into the air via a lift device. Suspended upside-down high above the Earth from a burning rope, Mr. Manzini will channel the marvelous Houdini and escape from the strait-jacket with time to spare.
This is a daring and thrilling escape act that will surely leave everyone in awe. Mr. Manzini has perfected this escape over the years and cannot wait to perform it as part of the Air Show in Battle Creek on July 6th & 7th.
Also, don't miss Mario's "A Tribute to Houdini" on Center Stage where he will escape from several devices including strait-jackets, police hand cuffs, leg cuffs and locked chains.
- July 4th from 4 to 4:45 PM
- July 6th from 11 to 11:45 AM
- July 6th from 6:30 to 7:15 PM
- July 7th from 11 to 11:45 AM
- July 7th from 7 to 7:45 PM