Battle Creek Field of Flight

June 29 - July 4 2017

Kent Pietsch "Jelly Belly" Interstate Cadet Deadstick Act

Don't miss Kent Pietsch in his "Jelly Belly" Interstate Cadet "power-off deadstick act".

Kent Pietsch Kent will climb to altitude in the Jelly Belly aircraft, ignite the beautiful wingtip smoke and then shut his engine off. The thing is, the Interstate Cadet's engine can only be restarted while on the ground (its a hand cranked starter). So once it's's off! Kent then begins flying a graceful aerobatic routine in his "plane turned glider". Once he runs out of airspeed, Kent will land the aircraft and, through energy management, place the spinner of his non-moving prop into the hand of an airshow volunteer at the very end as he comes to a complete stop! There is no other show like it!
Kent Pietsch has been performing in airshows since 1973, performing incredible routines in more than 400 shows in front of millions of people. One of the most sought after acts on the circuit today, Kent is the 2005 Recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, the 2007 Art Scholl Showmanship Award and and Honorary Member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Kent grew up in Minot, North Dakota and would find a way to the airport every day after school, doing whatever he could to get an airplane ride. It all started with him falling in love with flying at the age of four and he has not let up after over five decades. He truly is a showman!
Kent flies an 800-pound Interstate Cadet with a 37-foot wingspan. The plane's horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine can generate 90 horsepower and a G-force ranging from -3 to +5. Interstate Cadet's were produced between 1941 and 1942, with around 320 being produced total. The aircraft was designed as a utility and training aircraft. Kent takes it and, pun intended, puts a new "spin" on what it was built for.

Ironically, with our headliner this year being "TORA! TORA! TORA!", the Interstate Cadet rose to prominence as being the first United States aircraft to be shot at during the Pear Harbor attack on December 7th, 1941. 22 year old woman aviator Cornelia Fort was a flight instructor for Andrew's Flying Service in Honolulu, Hawaii. On that Sunday morning, she was out with a student when she saw a shadow of a another plane. As it began to pass her, she started to hear machine gun bursts. It was a Mitsibuishi A6M2 Zero taking part in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Cornelia took control of the Cadet and was able to land it, riddled with bullet holes. Both she and her student survived by running for cover. Just a bit of a history lesson for you.

Don't miss Kent Pietsch's "power-off deadstick act" at this year's Field of Flight.