2006 New Castle County Airshow

New Castle County Airport, Wilmington, Delaware

October 14, 2006

Airshow report uploaded on November 10, 2006.

Two airshows in Delaware in back-to-back weekends seems impossible, but in 2006, it was true.  Dover AFB had rescheduled their open house to the first weekend in October while New Castle had their the following Saturday.  This was the first airshow at New Castle in ten years - the last celebrating the Delaware National Guard's 50th Anniversary.  This year was the 60th Anniversary of the DE-NG and promised to have a unique lineup, and they got that.  The Air Force brought an A-10 Warthog demonstration, a B-2 Spirit for a flyover, an F-22 Raptor, as well as the Delaware ANG's C-130 Hercules.  Matt Chapman, Michael Mancuso, and John Klatt rounded out the aerobatic pilots in the airshow, while the stars of the show were the three airplanes that call New Castle County Airport home - an L-29 Delphi, a MiG-23 Fishbed, and a MiG-23 Flogger.  Several warbirds were also in attendance and included a P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, and a P-51D Mustang.

The gates opened at 8:00 am and featured a Hercules tug as the main event.  Apparently it is tradition for the 166th Airlift Wing to host a Hercules tug every year.  The show was not supposed to start until 12:00 pm, but by then, two C-130s had already gotten some time in, making flybys and holding in the pattern around the airport for a while.  One of the acts I was actually looking forward to seeing was the new formation act that Matt Chapman and Michael Mancuso put together.  Both pilots have very different flying styles and very different aircraft, but in formation, they fly one of the nicest formation performances I've ever seen.  I have seen Matt and Mike perform their solo acts many times in the last several years and this was the first time I had seen them fly the formation act and I hope I get a chance to see it again next year.

The one plane I came to see (besides the Raptor) was the MiG.  Originally, Joe Gano, who owns both the MiG-21 and MiG-23 that are at New Castle, was supposed to fly the MiG-21.  However, the schedule revealed that the MiG-23 would fly, and I was really looking forward to seeing that aircraft fly, since it's the only MiG-23 in America.  Joe didn't fly the MiG-23 since he wasn't qualified in it, but the pilot who took the Flogger up put on a decent display in the aircraft.  The three passes did not include any afterburner, but it was nice to see the aircraft in flight.  The takeoff was well worth it though - being an older design, you could see an actual flame coming out the back of the aircraft rather than afterburner shock diamonds.

The other reason to come to New Castle was to see the F-22 Raptor.  Major Paul "Max" Moga was scheduled to fly the Raptor in the Heritage Flight with Major Jeff "Roadie" Yost in the A-10 and Jim Beasley in the P-51, but a last minute change put Lt.Col. Michael "Dozer" Shower at the controls of the Raptor.  This was one of Dozer's last airshow performances, as Max is set to take over the Raptor Heritage Flight duties next year, while Dozer is heading out to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska to fly the Raptor.  Dozer's three-pass show was a lot different than in past shows, since he had a time and fuel restriction, as well as a show site restriction put into place.  Dozer and Roadie could not fly their demonstrations in front of the crowd, since there was no "given" 1,500 foot line for the jets (but there was a line for the aerobatic planes).  The airshow runway was 1/19, while Dozer and Roadie flew their shows along 9/27.  Dozer did fly the second and third passes (flat high speed pass and slow pass to vertical climb) along Runway 1/19.

It was definitely a good show, nonetheless.  I look forward to returning to New Castle County Airport for their next airshow, whenever that may be.

Static Display for the 2006 New Castle Airshow


Aircraft Squadron Home Base Registration Notes
Aeronca Champ     NC1986E  
Beech 18 MM Airshows Eastern Long Island N213SP Klein Tools tail
Bell 407 Delaware State Police   N97SP  
C-5B Galaxy 436th AW Dover AFB, DE 87-0043 Old tail flash
C-12 Huron     40415  
C-21A Learjet   Scott AFB, IL 84-0127  
C-38 Gulfstream 89th AW Andrews AFB, MD 41570  
C-130 Hercules 166th AW New Castle, DE 64-0206 Hercules tug
C-130 Hercules 166th AW New Castle, DE 64-0208 Open for tours
C-130 Hercules 166th AW New Castle, DE 64-0212 Hercules tug
C-130 Hercules 166th AW New Castle, DE   Parked in back part of static
Cessna 172     N2086Y  
Cessna 172 Civil Air Patrol   N358CP  
Gippsland GA-8 Civil Air Patrol   N608CP  
L-5     44-17543, N3706C  
MiG-21 Fishbed     N1165  
Piper Cherokee     N403DS  
SNJ-5 Texan     N117R  
T-37 Tweet   Columbus AFB, MS 64-13445 Appeared on static
display along with
59-0358 at Dover AFB
the previous weekend
UH-1 Huey   New Castle, DE 0-22097  
UH-60 Blackhawk   New Castle, DE 0-23749  
Yak-52     N669YK  


Military Demonstrations

  • A-10 Thunderbolt II East Coast Demo Team
  • B-2 Spirit Flyby
  • C-130 Hercules Flyby
  • F-22 Raptor Flybys
  • UH-1 Huey and UH-60 Blackhawk

Civillian Demonstrations

  • Joe Gano - MiG-23
  • Don Bailey - L-29
  • John Klatt
  • Michael Mancuso
  • Matt Chapman
  • Warbird Review - B-17, P-40, P-47, P-51

Participating Organizations

  • American Airpower Museum

Announcer: "Fast Eddie" Leuter and Col Jim Scott (Ret)

Gates Open: 8:00 AM

Showtime: 1:00 - 4:00 PM