Making their first appearance since Arctic Thunder 2010, the Association is thrilled to have the Blue Angels as the featured jet team for Arctic Thunder, 2016 at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The Blue Angels showcase demonstrate the Unites States Navy and Marine Corps’ commitment to professionalism, excellence and service through these world-class flight demonstrations and community outreach.
The Blue Angels are comprised of 16 officers fill the flying and support positions. Jet pilots have aircraft carrier qualifications and at least 1,250 tactical jet flight hours. Over 100 enlisted personnel support the demonstration squadron, with such specialties as airframes, avionics, aviation medicine, crew chiefs, logistics, among others.
The Blue Angels fly the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.
Gregory “Wired” Colyer took his first flight at age 7 in a Cessna 172 with Dr. Lee Schaller out of the Schellville airport in Sonoma, California. Hooked ever since, Greg has been flying for almost 3 decades after earning his license in 1982 while serving in the US Army from 1982-1987. His passion for the cockpit never left him as he continued to fly as a hobby and an occasional airshow. After flying with his friend Kay Eckhart, in one of his Lockheed T-33s in 2007, Greg set his sights on an upgrade to the U.S. Air Force’s first operational jet and a real piece of U.S. aviation history, acquiring a T-33 and naming it Ace Maker in 2008. Greg holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi engine ratings as well as being a Certified Flight Instructor. Type rated in Aero Vodochody’s L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. A level I Aerobatic low level card and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications.
Lockheed T-33/Canadair CT-33 Specifications:
Engine: Allison J-33/Rolls Royce Nene 10
Power: 5200/5400 lbs thrust
Max Speed: 505 kts/.80M
Ceiling: 45,000 ft
Range: 1350 nm
Length: 37′ 8″
Height: 11′ 8″
Wing Span: 42’5″ w/tip tanks
Max weight: 16,800 lbs
Max Fuel: 677 imp/810 U.S. gallons
Gary developed an interest in airplanes as an early teenager, soloed at age 16 in a Piper J-3 Cub and has been passionate about aviation ever since. After high school and a tour with the USAF as a jet engine mechanic, Gary graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He worked as a design engineer on the Cessna Citation for Cessna for about a year before “switching hats” to work in a family operated lumber manufacturing business.
Gary started flying airshows in 1998 in a Pitts S2-B and then flew airshows in the Giles 202 from 1999 through 2005. In 2006 he became the first pilot to fly airshows in the awesome and exciting new MX2, an all carbon fiber monoplane powered by a 6 cylinder Lycoming engine producing 350 HP.
Gary puts the MX2 through one of the most exciting performances you will ever see. The action starts on take off as Gary pulls steeply up and goes into a spectacular take off maneuver! The entire sequence is jam packed with breathtaking gyrations that range from zero speed hovers to dives in excess of 250 mph!
Engine Lycoming/LYCON IO540 350 HP+
Propeller 3 blade MT-Propeller
Empty Weight 1,307 lbs
Wing Span 24 ft
Length 21 ft 6 in
Cruise Speed 190 knots (218 mph)
Top speed level flight 210 knots (241 mph)
Max speed in dive 230 knots (264 mph)
Roll rate: Exceeds 400 degrees/second
Range 750 NM (862 miles)
Jason Newburg is an extreme aerobatic pilot who loves sharing his high energy performances nationwide and overseas with air show audiences. Jason’s first solo flight was at age 16 and he earned his pilot’s license at 17. Jason is committed to providing aviation leadership to young people who share his passion in aviation and aerobatics. He has served as Vice President for the Embry-Riddle Sport Aviation Club for numerous years.
Viper Pitts S2S Specifications:
Engine 400 HP
Propeller 3 blade MT-Propeller
Empty Weight 1,150 lbs
Wing Span 20 ft 6 in
Length 18 ft 6 in
Top speed level flight 300 mph
Roll rate: 400 degrees/second
Range 600 miles
Following in the footsteps of former Alaskan aviator legends, Marcus brings the thrill of aerobatic flight to his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years. Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is the founder and Chief Flight Instructor of Unusual Attitudes LLC, a flight school that teaches Unusual Attitude Recovery, Stall/Spin Awareness and aerobatic flight. Marc is a skilled instructor adept at teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principals of flight and mastering the airplane in every attitude. He is an FAA Safety Counselor, and a regular speaker on Stall/Spin Awareness at FAA Safety Seminars held throughout Alaska, and nationally at aviation events including Oshkosh and Sun N Fun. Marcus will be flying his 1941 Stearman for Arctic Thunder 2016.
Marcus was recently featured in Discovery Channel Canada’s Airshow! Television series, which documented the risks, dangers and lives of air show professional performers. The show provided a unique, behind the scenes look at those who regularly risk it all in performances throughout North and South America.
Empty Weight 1,931 lbs
Wing Span 32 ft 2 in
Length 24 ft 9 in
Wings of Freedom, founded by Mr. Chuck Miller, is dedicated to providing a collection of flyable warbirds that played a role in shaping Alaska’s aviation heritage. Housed in a WW-II era hangar at Merrill Field, Wings of Freedom will be providing a T-6 and L-13 at Arctic Thunder 2016. Wings of Freedom had previously been the home of one of the world’s last remaining Mitsubishi Zero, which flew in the 2012 Arcitc Thunder Air Show as well as in the 2013 Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration.
The AT-6 Texan is a single-engine, advanced trainer aircraft used during WWII. The prototype first flew in 1935, and the first models were put into production in 1937. More than 17,000 were built. The aircraft being flow at Arctic thunder was built in 1943, and is in the Aleutian colors of aircraft flying there in WWII.
The L-13A was manufactured by Consolidated Vultee, and first flown in 1945. It was used for observation, liaison, and air ambulance duties. Like the L-2, man were later converted for civilian use in the Alaska bush.
The Super Cub is one of the most popular aircraft in all of Alaska and is well suited for the variety of conditions and rugged terrain encountered in rural and remote areas of the State. The plane is known for its incredible short take-off and landing capabilities, and is the star of the Valdez Fly-in, held in May. For Arctic Thunder 2016, we are privileged to have Mr. Bob Breeden and Mr. Hank Swan. Bob Breeden is the record holder, landing his Super Cub in a world record 20 feet, and a take-off distance of 24 feet. Hank flies an experimental hot rod Super Cub called “Got Rocks” and is making his second appearance at Arctic Thunder. They will be joined by a 1941 L-1 aircraft and the L-13 for a joint civilian and military short field take-off and landing.
The Commemorative Air Force was founded in 1957 and chartered as a non-profit in 1961 to restore, preserve, operate and maintain WWII-era aircraft. The CAF also provides museums to protect and display aircraft, as well as to perpetuate their memory and heritage. The Alaska Wing is dedicated to preserving the military heritage of Alaskan aviation, and flies the bright yellow AT-6 Harvard Mk IV, the yellow and blue BT-13, and the L-2 Grasshopper. The Harvard MkIIB was built under license in Montreal for the Royal Canadian Air Force, the RAF and the USAAF, with a total of 2,557 built. The Harvard was known to fly to Annette Island in Alaska during WWII, where Canadian units were stationed, adding strength to the 11th Air Force. The BT-13 was first flown in 1939, and was the WWII-era basic trainer flown by most pilots. Pilots would graduate to the advanced trainer, the AT-6, prior to being assigned to their main fighter aircraft or bomber. The L-2 Grasshopper was manufactured by Taylorcraft beginning in 1941 and was used an observation aircraft during WW-II to spot enemy troops and supplies, as well as direct artillery fire. After WWII, many aircraft were converted to civilian use and flown around bush Alaska.