12/16/05 — New air show team will start practices in upcoming weeks

View Archive

New air show team will start practices in upcoming weeks

By Turner Walston
Published in News on December 16, 2005 1:50 PM

Goldsboro residents may hear a little more jet noise over Seymour Johnson Air Force Base over the next several weeks. The 4th Fighter Wing's F-15E Strike Eagle Demonstration Team is practicing in preparation to wow air show crowds next year.

The demonstration team, the first ever to use the E-model fighter jet, will make its debut in March. The team's F-15E model will perform at air shows across the country, and possibly overseas.

The team consists of six officers and nine maintenance workers who handle logistics for the team as well as servicing the team's aircraft. Capt. Al Kennedy will be the pilot and Capt. Jack Stallworth will serve as the weapons systems officer on board.

Launching a demonstration team takes a lots of practice, Air Force officials said. Residents of Goldsboro and surrounding areas need to be aware of the increased flight activity as the team hones its skills, they said.

Practices are scheduled for Dec. 21-23, Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18, 19 and 26, and Feb. 1 and 22. The twice-daily flights are scheduled between 8 and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The schedule is subject to change, Air Force officials added.

The extra flights might annoy some people. But there is a side benefit. People who look to the skies when they hear the jet will catch a preview of the team's jaw-dropping aerial show.

"They would probably see us practicing our re-positioning performances and acrobatic maneuvers," said Tech Sgt. Mark Pindell, assistant maintenance team chief.

"What we practice is our standard show. We practice that same show on all of our practice days. That way we maintain our certification and proficiency," Pindell said.