Meet the 2005 Team

 

The 2005 United States Unlimited Aerobatic Team was chosen at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships held in Denison, Texas. The 23rd World Aerobatic Championships will be held June 22 through July 2 in Burgos, Spain.

 

Robert Armstrong

Profession: Airline pilot

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: ATP

Flight Time: 10,000 hours

Number of Contests Flown: Approximately 70

Aviation Background: Robert began washing airplanes in exchange for lessons at 16 and has flown everything from model airplanes to DC-8s.

Hobbies: Fishing.

Interesting Facts: Robert is an A&P mechanic and does all the work on the French-made CAP 231 that he flies.

 

Kirby Chambliss

Profession: Airline pilot

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: ATP, B737, CE500

Flight Time: 23,000 hours

Number of Contests Flown: Approximately 75

Aviation Background: Earned private pilot certificate at 17. Hired by Southwest Airlines at age 24—at the time he was its youngest pilot. Was also the youngest captain for Southwest when he was promoted in 1988.

Hobbies: Motorcycles, skydiving, and scuba diving.

Interesting Facts: Four-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, winner of seven medals at the World Aeroabtic Championships, 2002 World Freestyle Champion, captain of the 2005 U.S. Unlimited Team.

 

Chandy Clanton

Profession: Homemaker

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: Commercial, multi, instrument, Learjet, DC-3

Flight Time: 1,300 hours

Number of Contests Flown: 10 years’ worth in every category

Aviation Background: Dad taught me to fly the Basic sequence in our Eagle before I got my private. Dad still flies his One Design in Advanced. I have flown the Piper Cub, P-51 Mustang, Learjet, Beech King Air, numerous light twins, and countless highperformance, single-engine airplanes. I am an accomplished, well-rounded  aviator who earned a type rating in the Lear 24 with only 400 hours of flight time in my logbook. I have also flown the Christen Eagle, Extra 200 and 300L, One Design, Pitts Specials, G-202, and the Russian Sukhoi. My current  airplane is the awesome, state-of-the-art, 340-hp Zivko  Edge 540.

Hobbies: Air show flying. I was selected to be a member of the EAA Airventure “Stars Of Tomorrow,” performing before hundreds of thousands of spectators at Oshkosh. I was the only woman to be named to the “Stars” team and the only one to be invited back to fly at EAA AirVenture in 2004.

Interesting Facts: I am the youngest member of the 2003 and 2005 U.S. Unlimited Team. My son Harrison is 5-1/2 and Drew is 2-1/2, and they love to fly in the Cub and Papa’s helicopter. I fly air shows for the Nebraska Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 

Vicki Cruse

Profession: Investor

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: Private, instrument

Flight Time: 1,800 hours

Number of Contests Flown: 50 plus

Aviation Background: Private certificate in 1993; stopped flying until 1997 when introduced to aerobatics. Have raced at Reno in Sport Class.

Hobbies: Reading, fitness, aircraft maintenance.

Interesting Facts: I have a master’s degree in marine biology, and I am a certified personal trainer.

 

Janet Fitzke

Profession: Chemical engineer for ExxonMobil Corp.

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: Private Pilot Certificate, SEL and MEL

Flight Time: 1,500 hours

Number of Contests Flown: I’ve flown approximately 50 contests since I started flying contests 15 years ago.

Aviation Background: I got my private pilot’s certificate at age 33 and flew my first contest in a Pitts S-1S when I had 130 hours total time.

Hobbies: Flying aerobatics is my biggest hobby. I also enjoy music and gardening.

 

David Martin

Profession: Pilot, oil and gas investments

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: ATP, CFII, seaplane, commercial, glider

Total time: 11,000 hours

Contests Flown: 50

Aviation Background: David grew up in an aviation family where both his father and grandfather were airline pilots. He started flying with his father in the family’s Bonanza at age 12. His first aerobatics were in his grandfather’s 1941 Fleet biplane. His grandfather had been a  arnstormer in the 1930s and insisted that he learn aerobatics. David soloed at age 14, and that same year he started aerobatics with his grandfather in a Cessna Aerobat. David continued his aerobatic instruction with Duane Cole at age 18 and decided that he wanted to pursue  ompetition aerobatics. After graduating from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a degree in aviation, David flew corporate jets for several years until he joined the Texas Air National Guard. David graduated from Air Force Pilot Training, F-4 training, and F-16 training at the top of his classes.

Hobbies: Antique aircraft restoration.

Interesting fact: After earning a place on the United States Aerobatic Team in 1997, David has attended four World Aerobatic Championships, winning an individual gold medal and three team bronze medals. In 2001, David won the United States National Championships. David  as been ranked in the top 10 pilots in the world for the last five years.

 

Allyson Parker-Lauck

Profession: Flight attendant for Southwest Airlines

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: PVT ASEL

Flight Time: 1,000 hours

Number of Contests Flown: 40 to 50. I have attended many more than that as a contest director and volunteer coordinator during the years I didn’t have an airplane.

Aviation Background: Received private pilot certificate at 18 in 1988. Learned aerobatics while taking primary training. Flew first competition only six months after receiving private with less than 100 hours total time. Have flown competition in a Super Decathlon, Pitts S-2A, Pitts S- B, Pitts S-1T, Zlin 50, and Panzl S-330. Began flying Unlimited in 2004 and made the team in fourth-ever Unlimited contest.

Hobbies: Flying, skiing, snowshoeing, art, and writing.

Interesting Facts: I took my private checkride in 1988 from fellow U.S. Aerobatic Team member Debbie Rihn-Harvey. Debbie and her husband, Doc Harvey, gave me my first job working in the office at their flight school when I was 16 years old and were huge influences and role  odels for me as I learned to fly and decided to pursue competition aerobatics. I married my husband, Terry, in 1993, and he has been incredibly supportive of my flying all these years. Terry is also a pilot, but has graciously allowed me to pursue my competition goals while putting  his  flying on the back burner. Earlier this year, we finally purchased an airplane he has wanted for some time—an Aviat Husky. We plan to start doing some backcountry flying next summer and at some point would like to add amphibious floats.

 

Michael Racy

Profession: Lobbyist, owner—Racy Associates Inc. (government relations firm)

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: Private, instrument

Flight Time: 3,000 plus

Number of Contests Flown: 30

Aviation Background: Flying for 20 years, competing for seven years.

Hobbies: Is there anything but aerobatics? Hiking and skiing. 

Interesting Facts: Only American to have competed in the Russian National Aerobatic Championships.

 

Debbie Rihn-Harvey

Profession: Airline pilot, owner/manager of Harvey & Rihn Aviation Inc.

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: ATP, airplane single- and multi-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, B-737.

Flight Time: 25,000 hours

Number of Contests Flown: Many—has been flying contests since 1980.

Aviation Background: This native Nebraskan is the third generation of aviators in her family. Her grandfather, Roy Furstenberg, had a barnstorming business as well as an aviation mechanic trade school. He also manufactured the Overland Sport Aircraft in Omaha in the 1920s.  Her father, Jack Furstenberg, began teaching her to fly in her teens in sailplanes and later the same year in an Aeronca Champ.

Hobbies: Swimming and golf.

Interesting Facts: Rihn-Harvey is the highest-ranked female aerobatics competitor in the United States. In September, she won the Women’s U.S. National Championship for the seventh year in a row. Rihn-Harvey also is the longest-standing member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatics Team, qualifying for the 12th time to represent the United States in World Aerobatic Championships. Building a replica of the Overland Sport, an aircraft manufactured in the 1920s by her grandfather Roy Furstenberg. Rihn-Harvey is an FAA Designated Flight Examiner and ICAS Designated AerobaticCompetency Evaluator.

 

Hubie Tolson

Profession: Commercial real estate development

Pilot Certificates and Ratings: Commercial, multi, instrument

Flight Time: 5,000 hours

Number of Contests Flown: Approximately 30

Aviation Background: Learned to fly at age 16. Has flown noncompetitive aerobatics for 31 years and competitive aerobatics for 12 years.

Hobbies: My children, ocean/beach/water stuff.

Interesting Facts: When I was 17 (only a few short years ago!) I ran away from home in my Citabria and ended up living with an air show legend, Bill Barber. I ferried planes for Jim Minning, Barber, and the others who were then part of Airshow America (Eddie Green, Ed Mahler, 

Bob Lyjak, and others).