OCS travels to Tarkio for Wingnut Flying Circus

OCS cadets pose after a rewarding weekend at the Wingnuts Flying Circus.

For the second year in a row, Cadets and Seniors from the Omaha Composite Squadron were invited to participate in the Wingnuts Flying Circus air show at the Gould Peterson Municipal Airport in Tarkio, Missouri. The air show took place from July 10th to the 13th.  The four day trip exposed the cadets to all the logistics involved in putting together a 3 hour air show several days in advance.

Day one
13 OCS members departed early Thursday morning in two separate vehicles and arrived at Tarkio around noon.  Cadets were soon getting tasked with locating and flagging low spots on the taxiways which could pose a hazard to any aircraft which would be arriving for the air show.

Cadets survey the Taxiway for potholes and obstacles in preparation for the arrival of aircraft over the next couple of days.

Cadets and Seniors also helped deliver tables and several hundred folding chairs for the Dinners, Breakfasts and meetings which would be provided for performers and VIPs over the next couple of days.

Cadets flagged any potential hazards which would not have been obvious to a taxiing aircraft.

Cadets play basketball at the Tarkio High School Gym.

The sleeping / recreational quarters.

Following a half day of work, OCS members headed to the local High School, where the air conditioned Gym became the sleeping quarters for the remainder of the weekend.  Cadets were able to unwind and play some basketball during their free time.   Separate facilities were provided for Female and male cadets, as well as a 10 person tent for the females to enjoy some privacy during the evenings.

Day two Preparations
The Second day of the trip consisted in getting aircraft moved into position and helping airport ground crews setup barriers and crowd lines as well as performing a F.O.D. walk on the taxiways and tarmac.  Meals for OCS members were provided by the folks at the Gould Peterson Airport.  Due to the extremely high temperatures, cadets and seniors were also provided with free water and power drinks in order to stay hydrated.  Periods of rest were also set aside so cadets could work in shifts throughout the day.  That same evening, a few performers practiced their aerial routines and aerobatics which also gave the cadets a chance to practice crowd control and marshaling prior to the main event on Saturday.

Cadets help relocate an aircraft to make room for a town hall meeting in the hangar the following day.

Cadets perform a F.O.D. walk to pick up any debris on the tarmac which could damage an aircraft or injure spectators if blown by an aircraft.

Cadets huddle on Friday prior to the Practice run for Saturday’s main event.

Cadets assume their positions by the crowd line to proved a safety barrier for spectators.

Day 3 – MainEvent.
Day three began at 6am with a delicious pancake breakfast and preparation for arriving aircraft.  A quick safety briefing was followed by pairing up teams of cadets to work together marshaling and directing all arriving aircraft directly from the runway to their respective parking area.  FAA inspector, Mr. Marvin Moore, briefed the cadets on what items he was there to oversee and what safety precautions he would expect to be in place throughout the day.  The FAA also provided a couple of controllers to provide sequencing of aircraft, which began to arrive in a ready flow after 8am.  Well over 150 aircraft arrived before noon.

C/A1C Harkendorff marshals an aircraft off the runway.

C/CMSgt. Krueger directs another aircraft onto the taxiway.

C/TSgt. Pineda directs another aircraft to parking.

C/A1C Garrett marshaling one of the hundreds of aircraft that arrived in less than 4 hours.

Once the Airspace was closed, the Cadets transitioned to their positions for the Airshow.  The OCS Color Guard was invited to present the colors at the beginning of the air show.  The color guard performed flawlessly and proudly.

Cadets Sarvis, Krueger, Nelson and Harkendorff present the colors during the singing of the National Anthem.

Crowds enjoy the Wingnuts Flying Circus on Saturday.

After four grueling hours in the sun,  cadets helped marshal the very same aircraft that arrived in the morning, out to the runway for takeoff, putting an end to another successful annual event.

Day Four
Day four is the highlight of the Tarkio Air Show as far as the cadets are concerned.  As a reward for providing their invaluable time and energy for a successful weekend, the members of the wing nuts Flying Circus provide each of the cadets with a ride in a vintage WWII aircraft.  The cadets were able to fly aboard one of the T-6 Texans, PT-19 or BT-13 available on the field.  The following photos provide an insight into the amazing experiences available to the cadet of the omaha Compostie squadron.

T-6 Texan takes an OCS cadet for a 20 minute ride around Tarkio.

C/CMSgt. Krueger boards a German T-6 prior to takeoff.

C/A1C Garrett can’t wipe the smile off her face as she prepares to takeoff in the PT-19

C/SrA Nelson flies in the backseat of the T-6 as it banks over the airfield.

C/CMSgt. Sarvis gives a thumbs up after landing in the T-6.

An aerial photo of C/SMSgt. Pineda flying formation over Tarkio, MO, with Congressman Sam Graves piloting the aircraft.

C/A1C Johnson flies past the airfield in the back of the Vultee BT-13

C/Amn. Marquez prepares to takeoff for his flight.

As can be witnessed by the pictures and smiles, the Cadets of the Omaha Composite Squadron had en enjoyable and rewarding weekend at Tarkio.   None of this could have been made possible without the support and dedication of Senior members such as Lt. Col. Robert McCartney who volunteered to drive the squadron van and spend 24 hours a day for four days with the cadets and helping coordinate tasks with the folks from the Gould Peterson Airport.

The Omaha Composite Squadron would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the members of the Wingnuts Flying Circus, especially, Brooks Hurst, Chad Bosworth (line crews), Capt. Chris Goodrich, Gus, and all the pilots, who went above and beyond to provide our cadets with an unforgettable experience.

Tarkio Airshow 2014 photos

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