Airshow Updates: Latest Scoop

Saturday, July 16, 2011

America has a NEW and VERY EXCITING jet formation team in 2011: Heavy Metal Jet Team

What do you do once you have served time as an Air Force Thunderbird, Navy Blue Angel, Top Gun jet fighter pilot or a world record holder for flying around the world? . . .You form a new jet formation team, of course!

Heavy Metal Jet Team is new and coming to PNC Air Show 2011. They are a five-ship aerobatic civilian-owned jet team that is fully sponsored by United Bank Card, Inc (UBC). This sponsorship enables the team to be a featured act for shows not hosting a military jet team. With four L-39's and one T-33 all in the Arctic camouflage paint scheme, Heavy Metal Jet Team promises to be an exciting and thrilling experience. PNC Air Show 2011 is proud to be one of the first shows on the team's schedule giving you a chance to see this demonstration team's extreme precision aerial maneuvers before most of America.

Heavy Metal Jet Team is dedicating its first season on the North American air show circuit in 2011 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The team's members and United Bank Card representatives will be working with local Make-A-Wish® chapters at the air shows and other venues where the team will be appearing to raise awareness of the organization's work and promote its efforts to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Don't Miss the Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car

On the taxiway you can hear the roar of the jet engine, the deafening booms of the afterburner shock, and the billowing clouds of smoke as Bill Braack, the driver, moves slowly past the crowd, he engages the after burner and 20 foot flames shoot out the back of the engine and you can feel the heat! At the end of the runway Bill throttles up the car, engages the afterburner and release the brakes and shoots down the runway approaching speeds of 370 mph, Bill experiences 4.5 G's on his run and when he pulls the chutes to stop a whopping 11 G's on his slow down. The crowd has just witnessed Bill Braack and his Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car and the performance that will blow you away!

PNC Air Show 2011 is a family-friendly/family affordable event packed with fun and excitement for everyone. There is plenty to see both in the air and on the ground, so make your plans to attend today!

Individual tickets and ticket packages are available for purchase online at and are also available at all central Illinois Kroger locations.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Black Daggers Dropping in on PNC Air Show 2011


The Black Daggers love to drop in on Peoria! And they are always a crowd pleaser! Many love to say “Why would I jump out of perfectly good airplane” … The Black Daggers may say, “’Cause I can!”

The Black Daggers are the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. Their mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army Special Operations community relations and recruiting. Comprised of volunteers from throughout Army Special Operations the Black Daggers have diverse backgrounds and are skilled in various military specialties including Special Forces, Rangers, civil affairs, psychological operations and signal and support. The team represents the professionalism and dedication of special operations forces.

Don’t miss this great team jump out of a perfectly airplane at PNC Air Show 2011 – Peoria, IL – July 23 and 24.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Click here and check out this article on Indy Transponder! Red Star and the Dragon are GREAT and they will be at PNC Air Show on July 23 & 24, 2011. Rumor has it they have something BIG they are unveiling at OUR show! Get your tickets now at or at Kroger locations in Central Illinois.


Visit for more information.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two if by air, one if by land

Well the hard work continues as we talk to potential sponsors and try to work out mutually beneficial arrangements. We are currently looking for partners, both in-kind and full sponsors, so please contact me if you have any ideas or leads. Prairie Air Show could not happen each year without our generous sponsors. 
The others items that were top on my ‘to do’ list this past week have been to continue talks with our jet team and we secured a jet car! The Smoke-n-Thunder action of Bill Braack will once again push our show over the top. We are really excited to get Bill back to Peoria­—it is always a tremendous addition to have a jet car at any air show.

Here’s a little snip-it of you might experience from Smoke-n-Thunder. During the show, out on the taxiway, you will hear the deafening roar of an engine and see billowing clouds of smoke and 20 foot flames. You can feel the reverberations of mini sonic booms. When you look up, you’re going to be surprised as you realize it’s not an aircraft! If front of you, ready to race, is a jet car.  Driver Bill Braack will take on any challenge – even by air. As his jet approaches speeds of 400 mph, he’ll pull up to five-and-a-half G’s! The 10,000 horsepower engine of the 26 foot long jet car will keep you wanting more from this amazing land-craft.

Bill is coming to us sponsored by Air Show Network and is an outstanding organization. They have designed a collector coin commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11. All of the proceeds of the sale of the coin go to the USO and 9/11 Foundation. Look for these awesome coins to purchase at Prairie Air Show 2011!

It has been quite a week. Unfortunately, I have to close this week’s addition with a note of sadness. Earlier this week, “The Dragon,” a 1969 BAC 167-Strikemaster, which was slated to come to our show, went down in the Hudson River. The amazing vintage craft and its pilot lost their battle. Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Dr. Michael Faraldi. Blue Skies to you forever.

Blue Skies,

To learn more about Bill Braack and Smoke N Thunder, visit or to learn more about the other great acts attending Prairie Air Show 2011, visit


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Raptor Cometh

Last week was our first Special Operations Group meeting to start the ball rolling for planning of the 2011 show. The Special Operations Group is comprised of a dozen-plus people, each taking a responsibility for a different part of the show; for example: volunteers, performers, static displays, and the list goes on and on. We discussed our performer line-up and other pertinent details.

By far, the most exciting thing that happened last week was that I was contacted by Air Combat Command and received confirmation: Prairie Air Show 2011 will be hosting the East Coast Raptor Demo Team! That’s right. The pinnacle in air superiority fighter craft is coming to Peoria.

The Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team is based at Langley Air Force Base and performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft. 
“The F-22 Raptor is, and will remain, unprecedented in its total integration of stealth and advanced avionics. It quite simply is a revolutionary leap in lethality and survivability over any aircraft in production or design anywhere in the world.” (

Within a half an hour of getting that call I also received an email from Staff Sergeant John Lugo who will be our point of contact with the East Coast Raptor Demo Team. He said that he and the rest of the team are really stoked about coming to Peoria because they’ve not only heard of how great the air show is but also how great the performers’ stays are made through the efforts of the folks from the Peoria area.

So, things are really taking off and we are getting excited here in Central Illinois.

Blue Skies,

To learn more about the F-22 Raptor Team, visit Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team or to learn more about the other great acts attending Prairie Air Show 2011, visit Prairie Air Show.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Air Show 101: If you make the connections, they will come!

Believe it or not, the planning for Prairie Air Show 2011 began the week after Prairie Air Show 2010. It started at Oshkosh AirVenture 2010 – "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration".

Okay, so this is how the story goes…I met Jerry “Jive” Kerby (USAF pilot, ret.) at the Oshkosh air show. Oshkosh is one of the best places to find the coolest acts and get the skinny on what’s going on in the air show biz.

Jive and I talked about Prairie Air Show, and he kept saying how he knew about our show and how great a reputation the show has in the business. He went on to tell me how he and Dale “Snort” Snodgrass (USN pilot, ret.) both wanted to come and perform at our show sometime. He kept telling me he had something up his sleeve, but he wasn’t at liberty to discuss it.

The next I heard from Jive was in October 2010. He asked if we would be interested in hosting their newly formed team and explained the whole concept of his “Heavy Metal Jet Team;” but he swore me to secrecy because they had not made the existence of the team public yet.

The next contact I had was mid-November 2010 by the Heavy Metal Jet Team publicist, L.M. “Lunar” Sawyer.

It was a done deal. Not only would we be hosting the Heavy Metal Jet Team, but we were to be one of the first shows on their schedule!

Heavy Metal Jet Team is a five-ship, aerobatic, civilian-owned jet team and will be fully sponsored by United Bank Card, Inc (UBC) for its first year. The team will boast four L-39’s and one T-33 all in the Arctic camouflage paint scheme. Heavy Metal Jet Team will be dedicating its first season to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So, we welcome the newly formed team of Lt. Colonel Jerry “Jive” Kerby, Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, Jared “Rook” Isaacman, Doug “H-Dog” Demko, Major John “Slick” Baum, Major Sean “Stroker” Gustafson, and Commander Mike “Buick” Eberhardt, to Prairie Air Show 2011.

It’s always exciting to host a brand new act – you may never know what you’re going to get, but you know it’s going to be great!

Blue Skies,

To learn more about what other great acts are going to be at Prairie Air Show 2011, visit and to learn more about the Heavy Metal Jet Team, visit