Gary Rower will be making his Battle Creek debut in 2019. Gary is a former US Air Force F-16 instructor pilot and current airline captain. He has flown all over the world, accumulating over 21,000 hours in every type of aircraft imaginable. He began flying at the age of 16 from an apple orchard in Upstate New York and continues to fly to this day. While a cadet at the US Air Force Academy, Gary became a soaring instructor and the Captain of the USAF Academy Soaring Team. During his time as an F-16 pilot, he became an instructor and flight evaluator, participated in several Red Flags and was awarded Top Gun. In 1986, Gary left active duty and joined a major airline which he has now been flying with for 20 plus years. During the late 1980s, he continued flying the F-16 with the Air Force Reserve in Utah.
Gary Rower's Stearman began life as a basic flight trainer for the US Army Air Corps in 1942, one of nearly 10,000 of its kind. More pilots have trained in the Stearman than in any other aircraft in history. In 1973, the aircraft was completely reconstructed. At this time, the 220 horsepower seven-cylinder engine was replaced with a nine-cylinder 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior engine. It was also fitted with a fuel and oil system capable of sustained inverted flight, as well as a nine-foot propeller that is nearly supersonic throughout Gary's air show performance. The bone-rattling resonance of a modified Pratt & Whitney R985 radial engine, almost 1000 cubic inches of inimitable vintage character and 450 horsepower. The plane is also equipped with an incredible billowing smoke system! When this amazing bird takes to the skies over show center, you are guaranteed to see an unforgettable demonstration of skill and aerobatics in one of the most beautiful examples of this classic aircraft in the world!
The Stearman is large and loud, yet beautiful and graceful at the same time. Gary's performance in this beautiful bird is filled with giant barnstormer loops, hammerhead turns, slow rolls, a Cuban eight, inverted flight, snap roll and one of his favorite maneuvers, the Outside Humpty Bump.
Don't miss this amazing performance during our air shows in 2019!
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