By Norm DeWitt
With the conclusion of the 2004 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships held in Denison, Texas, the new members of the U.S. Aerobatic Team have been named. Members of the men’s team are Robert Armstrong, Kirby Chambliss, David Martin, Michael Racy, and Hubie Tolson. The women’s team members are Chandy Clanton, Vicki Cruse, Janet Fitzke, Allyson Parker-Lauck, and Debbie Rihn-Harvey. Seven team members have world competition experience.
Marta Meyer has been named the team manager. Marta has been with NASA for more than 27 years and is the civilian equivalent of a two-star general. She is a former Unlimited team member and has competed in two previous World Aerobatic Championships. Using her management and teamwork skills, Marta has managed as many as 180 professionals at NASA-Dryden. She is one of two women to have flown in the SR-71 and has been involved in building and flight-testing several aircraft, including the Phoenix and Giles 300. Marta is also an A&P mechanic with an IA.
The 2005 World Aerobatic Championships will be held June 22 through July 2 in Burgos, Spain. Up to 80 of the best competition pilots in the world will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals along with trophies for team and individual achievement. In recent WACs, the Russian and French teams have dominated the medals. This year’s U.S. team is strong, focused, and willing to work together to bring back the gold.
Our team can use your financial support to help achieve gold. In the past, the U.S. Air Force provided transportation for the team and their aircraft in a C-5A. With the current world situation, the C-5A is not available. Each member will have to raise money to train to a level of peak performance, transport themselves and their aircraft to and from Spain, and pay for the expenses of the team manager, team coach, and team mechanic. Depending on the method of aircraft shipment, the expenses will likely be $20,000 to $30,000 per member.
Accounts have been set up at the International Aerobatic Club on behalf of the team and each individual member. You may make a tax-deductible donation to the team and/or one or more members individually. Make checks out to the International Aerobatic Club and on the memo line write Unlimited Team or the individual’s name. You can mail your check to:
Attn: Lisa Popp
P.O. Box 3086
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Thank you in advance for your generous support. Go U.S. Aerobatic Team! Bring back the gold.