Turbine truck to speed down runway at OCIA Air Show

A Ford F-450 with three jet engines will throttle up at this year’s Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) Open House & Air Show on Sunday, Aug. 27. Homewrecker, a jet semi performance by McCart Jet Motorsports, is the newest act that will blow the hair off air show spectators.

“Homewrecker is expected to draw both aircraft and automotive enthusiasts alike as it speeds down the runway with the roar of its jet engines,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Of course, our aerial acts will continue to dazzle the crowd with some death-defying aerobatics, thanks to the many sponsors that support this family-friendly event.”

The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee gave fans more of what they love by extending the air show from an hour to an hour-and-a-half last year. This year’s airshow will again run from 2-3:30 p.m. because of last year’s success.

Michael Vaknin of Dacy Airshows will have spectators on the edge of their seats with gyroscopic and high-g maneuvers in his Extra 300 airplane. Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys combine comedy with aviation antics culminating in the landing of a Piper Cub on top of a moving pick-up truck.

Kevin Copeland of KC Aerosports in Traverse City was set to return this year, but he died in a tragic motorcycle accident last month. Copeland was a big part of the air show family who will be missed by many. The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee sent condolences to his family.

Two World War II-era planes from Liberty Aviation Museum of Port Clinton, Ohio will make their first appearances at the open house – a B-25 bomber named “Georgie’s Gal,” a fresh B-25 restoration, and a Lake Erie Warbirds TBM Avenger, a dive bomber. They will join over 50 aircraft on the ground with which open house attendees can interact such as the Tuskegee motor gliders, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office helicopter and hovercraft, and University of Michigan Survival Flight helicopter.

“We love hosting a variety of warbirds at our annual open house and air show,” said J. David Vanderveen, Oakland County director of central services who oversees the airport. “There is just something about these restored planes once flown by the Greatest Generation that captures the imagination.”

Individuals can take-off in a helicopter for $35 or an airplane for $25 per adult, $20 for kids under 12, and $55 for one adult and two kids.

For children there will be a play area equipped with bounce houses and a rock wall. Bill Crell, “The NASA Guy,” will show off his latest experiments and demonstrations. Plus, there will be a health and safety fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. including the Michigan Child ID Program, which informs families about abduction prevention and provides fingerprinting for children.

Attendees also may tour the nation’s first LEED-Gold certified general aviation terminal. Open since 2011, the eco-friendly terminal features solar panels and wind turbines, solar hot water heater, and a geothermal field all designed to reduce energy consumption. Today, the terminal has reduced its energy consumption by 44 percent.

“Whether you’re an aviation buff or just a kid deep down inside, the Open House & Air Show has something for everyone,” said Louis Martin, chair of the OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee. “This truly is an event the whole family can enjoy.”

OCIA’s 32nd annual open house hours will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. General admission is free. There is a $5 fee per vehicle for parking. For more information, go to www.OakGov.com/aviation or go to OCIA’s Facebook page at OakGovAirport and click on events. The airport is located at 6500 Patterson Parkway in Waterford.

The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee would like to thank its sponsors: Suburban Ford, Page Toyota, ABC Harley Davidson, Aviation Station, Magnum Helicopters, Oscar W. Larson, Corrigan Oil, Encompass Management Group, and LL Johns & Associates.