Henry Nelson's visit |
Flying the REAL F-100F
at Sun-n-Fun April 2013
Dave Dollerhide, Bob Violett, and Larry
Sun-n-Fun is an annual gathering of
aviation enthusiasts in Lakeland, Florida. Hundreds of
display and airshow airplanes attract thousands of
spectators from around the world. This was my first
visit to Sun-n-Fun even though it’s only a 1-1/2 hour
drive from BVM. Previously, we have always been too
busy preparing and practice flying our model jets for
the “Top Gun Scale Invitational” that is scheduled in
late April / early May.
When I read in the Skyhawk Association Journal that
the “Skyhawk Ventures” A-4C was going to be there, we
made time to attend. It was a very rewarding experience
just to get next to a Skyhawk again. It has been 45
years since I last climbed out of the cockpit on 26
As a young Naval Aviator, I logged just over 1100
hours in the A-4B, A-4C, A-4E, A-4F, and the TA-4F with
378 carrier landings and 76 green ink log book entries.
The two other guys in the photo, Dave Dollarhide and
Larry Elmore are luckier than I, they are still flying
this perfectly restored A-4C. It belongs to Dan Carr,
also a former "Skooter" pilot from the 60’s, and
the aircraft is
based and maintained at Sanford, Florida Airport and is
being campaigned at multiple airshows.
These privately funded military jets are more
important now that the “Sequestration” process has
deprived American Citizens the privilege of viewing our
aviation armed forces in action.
Skyhawks have a pair of 20mm cannons
for strafing targets at low level in a 15° dive.
Bob flew this Skymaster 1/5th
scale A-4 at the "First in Flight" event in Wilson,
North Carolina May 2011.
"The Smith Boys"
A WWII Hero In Our Midst
Dean Bartmess: WWII Bronze Star
Combat Infantry Badge
The Bronze Star
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