Vintage airplanes and Army parachutists set to thrill baseball fans
SHELBY, NC – MAY 23, 2022 – Pilots in three T-28 Trojan warbirds are scheduled to execute flyovers at Keeter Stadium during the first three days of the 2022 American Legion World Series.
Warbirds are vintage military aircraft now operated by civilian organizations or individuals. The T-28s headed for Shelby are retired military trainers now owned by The Museum of Flight in Rome, Ga.
The first flyover is planned as part of the Parade of Champions on Aug. 11, opening day of the tournament. All eight of the regional teams vying for the national title will line up on Veterans Field between the third and fourth games of the day. The pilots will execute another flyover of the stadium during the Friday evening games. The warbirds will be on display to the public at the Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport Saturday morning from 10:00 to noon; the pilots will execute a final flyover at the stadium Saturday afternoon as part of USAA Military Appreciation Day.
“It will be loud and lively,” says Robert Farrow, the ALWS volunteer who coordinated the warbirds appearance. Farrow, a U.S. Navy veteran and a retired air traffic controller, has produced and served as air boss for several air shows.
“These aircraft travel across the county raising awareness of aviation and the important role it has played in shaping our nation’s history,” Farrow says. “It’s a great way for us to remember and honor the sacrifice of veterans who have served in the past, as well as those currently serving on active duty.”
The Museum of Flight, established in 2010, has displays and a collection of flight and military memorabilia in addition to the warbirds, which are flown in air shows around the southeastern United States.
Here is brief information about the planes coming to Shelby: The T-28Alpha and T- 28Bravo served in Operation Farm Gate, code name for a mission in Vietnam. The T- 28Charlie is attributed as the first T-28 to land on an aircraft carrier, the USS Tarawa.
Museum of Flight Director Christine Lewis told the ALWS committee: “Thank you for the
opportunity to execute our mission, to increase the awareness of aviation through the
flight of historic aircraft while supporting the local children’s hospital (in Georgia). I’ve heard it said, ‘Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero’. What the ALWS does is just that.”
Farrow also coordinated another military group to awe the fans before the championship game on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, will perform before the 7:oo PM game.
The two Golden Knights demonstration teams travel the United States performing for public audiences at venues ranging from small civic events to nationally and internationally televised events, such as NFL games, NASCAR races, and international air shows. Team members are from a variety of backgrounds in one of the 150 jobs in the U.S. Army.
The parachutists perform to exacting standards but may tailor their performance for a specific venue. The Golden Knights have an unparalleled safety record in the professional parachuting arena.
The Golden Knights also have competition teams who have won national and international competitions. They hold the current military world record in both male and female four-way freefall formation and the world record in canopy piloting speed. The Golden Knights tandem section provides tandem parachute jumps to approved local and national celebrities, media personnel, and VIPs. It was a Golden Knights team that jumped with the late President George H.W. Bush in 2007, 2012, and 2014.
The Golden Knights are headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
“The Golden Knights are the premiere skydiving team in the world – the best of the best,” says Andrew Hopper, an Army veteran, Shelby City Councilman, and member of the ALWS committee. “As a former paratrooper, I am excited for the City of Shelby to have them perform here. I’m sure everyone, especially the American Legion officials here, will enjoy this. It’s going to be a fantastic day!”
The 2022 ALWS is scheduled for Aug. 11-16. General admission tickets are on sale now. For more information about the games and tickets, visit www.americanlegionworldseries.com or call 704-466-3103 – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM weekdays.