Enjoy the Flight: Aviation Day is Cleared for Takeoff
By Holly Houser, Ocean Reef Press Manager
The third annual Aviation Day on Friday & Saturday, March 26 & 27 has a great new lineup of activities for all ages to enjoy in-person at the Ocean Reef Airport and from the comfort of home.
“Each year, Aviation Day gives our Airport Team the opportunity to share our passion for aeronautics with the Ocean Reef community,” said Ryan Doty, Airport Operations Manager. “This year in particular, we are exceptionally delighted to introduce attendees to some new and compelling attractions that are sure to excite whether you’re new to the aviation world or a longtime enthusiast.”
The major highlight of Aviation Day 2021 is that of three intriguing guest speakers who will host live virtual presentations via Zoom – Richard McSpadden, a familiar face at Aviation Day, Frank Boring (don’t let the name fool you, he’s anything but!) and Ret. Colonel Rich Graham.
Richard McSpadden & the USAF Thunderbirds
Richard McSpadden will kick off Aviation Day with his 6 p.m. virtual presentation on Friday, March 26. The Executive Director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute and former Commander and Flight Leader of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds is no stranger to Aviation Day. In his third year, he will impress viewers with breathtaking videos from within the cockpit of the Thunderbirds’ F-16s as they perform spectacular aerobatic demonstrations.
The next two speakers will offer back-to-back Zoom presentations beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 27:
Frank Boring Presents the Flying Tigers
Frank Boring grew up in China knowing several members of the legendary Flying Tigers – a group of individuals who, in 1941, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, became part of a secret air force recruited to take on the Japanese military at the front lines using P-40 Warhawks. Those who attended Vintage Weekend 2019 may remember seeing one of these shark-mouthed Warhawks piloted by Thom Richards.
Frank is the leading source for information on these secretive Flying Tigers and will share the little-known story of the honorable volunteers during his live Zoom presentation. Preview a teaser at oceanreef.com/AviationDay.
Rich Graham & the SR-71 Blackbird
Immediately following Frank, Ret. Colonel Rich Graham will take to Members’ screens to speak about his 15 years of experience flying the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” – the world’s fastest and highestflying aircraft. The Blackbird, a long-range, high-altitude, special reconnaissance aircraft travels more than three times the speed of sound – roughly 2100 mph depending on air density. For many years, Graham worked with this top-secret aircraft performing missions around the world. The information and experiences that Rich can reveal from this once highly classified program will leave spectators in awe.
For those who wish to witness a true piece of history, a small section of an actual SR-71 Blackbird will be available to view in the Ocean Reef Airport’s terminal building for a week following Aviation Day.
In addition to the weekend’s presentations, Saturday will feature a full schedule of familyfriendly activities, including a Top Gun Super Cycle class on the tarmac! The full Aviation Day schedule can be found at oceanreef.com/AviationDay.