MANASSAS, Va. — Organizers are calling this year’s Manassas Air Show the biggest and most successful since launching five years ago.
“We filled every lot we had,” said Ann Rychlik, co-chair of the air show. “We had 21,000 spaces and we were full.”
Saturday and Sunday’s shows featured stunt-prop planes, helicopters and the Brietling Jet Team, a civilian stunt team based in Switzerland.
WNEW’s Kris Ankarlo spent some time with the Warrior Flight Team. They are a part of Warrior Aviation, a charity aimed at training recent veterans for aviation careers.
“Our main mission is to scholarship wounded warriors,” said Frank Menditch, treasurer for Warrior Flight Team. “It could be anything from technician to a pilot.”
Throughout the summer, the group travels to air shows with their L-39 jet to raise money and awareness for their cause.
Mark “Crunchy” Burgess is a retired Naval aviator with three combat tours in the cockpit of an F-14 Tomcat under his belt, he’s also chair of Warrior Aviation.
“A lot of these guys have injuries that prevent them from getting in the cockpit or passing flight physical, but we’ve gotten through that,” Burgess said. “It can be done, the hardest part is finding the right guys.”
Finding the right candidates is part of the reason the group travels to air shows. Their next show will be May 23rd at the Cambridge Air Show on the Eastern Shore.
The Manassas Air Show also raised money for three charities: the Manassas Airport Freedom Museum, Virginia Airborne Search and Rescue Squad and the Civil Air Patrol.