PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The Florida International Air Show has landed in Charlotte County and is bringing high-flying family fun! For the past three decades, the air show has raised nearly three million dollars for local charities.
Wink News spoke to the talented pilots and performers who entertain from high above Punta Gorda.
"It's kinda up close and personal. When we are in a loop you can look up and see us in the cockpit," said pilot Steve Gustafson.
Fly in formation with Gustafson and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and you'll take take a trip through history.
Gustafson is just one of many world-class pilots performing at the 33rd Annual Florida International Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport.
"Through an evolution of time it's taken us where we can fly this close and this well together. Formation aerobatics is challenging so it never gets old," he stated.
But for wing-walker Jane Wicker, sitting in the cockpit isn't challenging enough.
"It's just me, it's the airplane, it's the sky and you really feel like you're stepping back through history," she said.
With no safety line or parachute, this daredevil climbs, walks and hangs on a Barnstorm-era plane she lovingly calls "Aurora."
"The common reaction is you're crazy why would you step out of a perfectly good airplane?" Wicker said.
Wicker says she comes from a long-line of fellow wing-walkers who helped bring spectators to the air show.
"They would put someone on the wing of an airplane and literally fly them down main street to grab everyone's attention to let them know they were in town," she said.
She says she hopes her presence will help draw big crowds this weekend.
"This is real, this is exciting stuff for people to come witness," Wicker said.
Air show officials tell WINK News only one airplane, the F-22 Raptor, was not able to make this year's event because of federal budget cuts.