Tacoma Freedom Fair Airshow

Tacoma Freedom Fair Airshow

Airshow Co-Sponsored by Click! Network and Northwest Ford

Our Sponsors

If you are looking for spectacular air show entertainment, great food, live music, classic cars, and let's face it, the biggest and best all-day family event of the year… Tacoma's annual Fourth of July Freedom Fair on Ruston Way promises to deliver again. Between 1:30 and 3:30 PM the Tacoma Freedom Fair Airshow will take to the skies over Commencement Bay with some of the best aviation acts in the country.

Support your Tacoma Freedom Fair and Air Show so the tradition can continue. Please donate at the entry gate. Suggested admission donations:

$2 Fan - $5 Friend - $10 LEADER - $15 PATRIOT

Souvenir pins and stickers are available on a first come first served basis for those who contribute the suggested amount or more. Pins and stickers are good for discounts with participating Freedom Fair vendors – look for the signs that display the Freedom Fair logo.

For a prime location to view the air show go to Marine Park between the Lobster Shop and Katie Downs. Spectators will have a superior view of the show and soft grass to sit on. Come early and get a good spot! KLAY 1180 AM will broadcast the air show live, so bring your radio and tune into an aerial display that epitomizes a combination of power, skill, and courage.

Don't miss the Wings & Wheels event happening on Sunday, July 5th, 2015 at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. It's an aviation event with a car and motorcycle show. Read more about Wings & Wheels.

Below: Air Show participants for 2014 - click photos to view larger

Ace Maker T-33 Shooting Star

A native Californian, Gregory "Wired" Colyer took his first flight at age 7 in a Cessna 172 with Dr. Lee Schaller out of the Schellville airport in Sonoma, California. Hooked ever since, Greg has been flying for almost 3 decades after earning his license in 1982 while serving in the US Army from 1982-1987.

Since leaving the service he has been employed by the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller at Oakland ARTCC. His passion for the cockpit never left him as he continued to fly as a hobby and an occasional airshow flying a Beech T-34 Mentor until he imported a Russian L-29 Delfin Jet in 2003

He holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi-engine ratings as well as being a Certified Flight Instructor. Type rated in Aero Vodochody's L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. A level I Aerobatic low level card and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 by lengthening the fuselage by slightly over three feet and adding a second seat, instrumentation and flight controls.

The P-80 became the first jet fighter to enter full squadron service in the United States Army Air Forces and as more advanced jets entered service, the F-80 took on another role—training jet pilots. The two-place T-33 jet was designed for training pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft. A total of 6,557 Shooting Stars were produced, 5,691 by Lockheed, 210 by Kawasaki and 656 by Canadair.

Read more on the Ace Maker T-33 web site.

Acemaker T-33

Jacquie B

Jacquie B Jacquie traces her love of flying her to her earliest days, when, as a newborn, her first outing was to the Los Angeles County Airport Air Show. Her father’s interest in airplanes and flying inspired Jacquie to want to ride the wind. Jacquie spent many years dreaming of flying but was unable to do much about it until years later after working and saving her money. By the time she was 32 years old, she decided she had waited long enough. She enrolled in ground school and the rest is history, as they say. She earned her Private Pilot certificate in 1986 and shortly thereafter was introduced to the world of aerobatics. A friend offered her a ride in a Pitts Special and she jumped at the chance to do a different kind of flying. With that first flight of loops, rolls, spins and a few other very scary maneuvers, she was instantly hooked on aerobatics.

“I was so bored with the time between take-offs and landings, I just knew there had to be something to do in between”.

Once she discovered aerobatics, there was no question in her mind she was destined to learn a new kind of flying. It took a few years longer to save enough money to take aerobatic lessons, but save she did and finally took her first “formal” aerobatic lesson in July 1997. She entered the International Aerobatic Club sanctioned competition in August 2000 and rapidly progressed to the advanced category.

Aerobatics is Jacquie’s passion, but her love of flying does not stop there. Jacquie competed in the 2001 Reno Air Races in the biplane class, finishing with an impressive sixth place in the Bronze class. The following year, she advanced to the Silver class and again finished sixth. Jacquie continued to race at Reno in 2003 and 2004, finishing in the middle of the Silver class. Her Reno results yielded features in several publications.

Jacquie has flown a variety of aircraft, including Cessnas, Stearmans, AT-6, T-28, Beechcraft Duke, Dutchess, King Air, Baron & Bonanza, Aeronca Champ, Citabria, Decathlon, Lancair, Sukhoi, Aircoupe, Baby Ace, Beaver on floats, C-172 on floats, Supercub on floats, Yak 52, Nanching CJ-6, Piper Arrow, Yak 52 and Extra 300. She holds a Commercial certificate in land-based aircraft as well as a seaplane rating and holds an unrestricted, Level 1 ACE card.

But no aircraft compares to her beautiful red Extra 300 with iridescent stars all over as if she just flew through the Milky Way! Her new Extra has 300+ horsepower, a composite MT propeller and two seats so she is now able to share her love of flying with others by giving rides.

Pitts S2-B
Pitts S2-B
Pitts S2-B

Vicky Benzing Aerosports

Born and raised in California, Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic competitor, and Reno racer. With over 6000 hours of flight time and over 1100 parachute jumps, Vicky has a passion for everything airborne.

Inspired by that flight at a very young age, Vicky was lucky enough to learn to fly while in college earning her pilot’s license in a family friend’s antique Taylorcraft in her hometown of Watsonville, California. Since then, her flying career has spanned over thirty years and today she holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.

In addition to her aerobatic pursuits Vicky earned a PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has had a successful career in the Silicon Valley high tech industry. Vicky feels that she has been fortunate to be able to fly and to do many of the things that she has been able to do in her life. She wants the young people in the audience to know that they can achieve any goal that they set for themselves through hard work and patience. “Go to school and study hard and you can do anything you set your mind to,” she says.

Read more on Vicky Benzing's website.

Stearman PT-17

Sukhoi SU-29

The Sukhoi SU-29 was built in Moscow Russia in 1995 and is considered to be the very best two place unlimited competition aircraft in the world today. It boasts a 360 HP, 9 cylinder radial engine that starts with compressed air.

Wingspan 27 FT, Length 24 FT - Empty weight 1738 pounds (Less than a fully loaded Cessna 150) - With pilot and fuel for a show flight, 2028 pounds. Roll rate is 360 Degrees per second.

Flown by Renny Price of Tualatin Oregon. A former airline Captain in both Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Renny has amassed 23500 hours total flight time. He is rated as an Airline Transport Pilot, Flight Engineer, Multi-Engine Instrument, Flight Instructor and is currently flying private corporate jets. He is also an FAA check pilot and is married with four children.

His first flight was in the summer of 1969 at Aurora State Airport. Renny and the Sukhoi are based at the Aurora state airport in Aurora Oregon. When Renny is not flying he spends his time fishing, hunting, playing the guitar and of course talking, teaching and learning about flying aerobatics.

Sukhoi SU-29

P-51 "Speedball Alice”

Dan Vance is the owner and operator of this beautiful North American P-51D Mustang "Speedball Alice", which is available for airshows, flybys, film and also for a 10-15 minute warbird aerobatic airshow routine. "Speedball Alice" is also a regular unlimited racer at the Reno National Championship Air Races.

The P-51 was designed and built by North American Aviation after the British government approached them to build P-40 Warhawks under license. North American believed they could design a better fighter, and the British government gave them 120 days to prove it. 102 days after the order was placed, the first Mustang was completed, flying for the first time on October 26, 1940. The prototype and subsequent P-51A utilized the Allison V-1710 liquid cooled engine. Lacking an effective engine supercharger, the Allison provided insufficient power for the high-altitude environment the P-51 was designed to operate in. By replacing the Allison engine with a Rolls-Royce V-1650 Merlin engine that had a two-stage supercharger, the necessary power and performance was gained. The Merlin engine, which was built in the U.S. under license by the Packard Motor Car Company, was installed in all further P-51 models from the “B” through the “H” versions.

Read about the TF-51 Lady Jo here.

P-51 "Speedball Alice”
P-51 "Speedball Alice”Photo credit: Roger Cain P-51 "Speedball Alice”TF-51 Lady Jo

Bud Granley in the T-6 Texan

Flying has been a part of Bud’s life since he was 9 years old. He and his brothers were playing when they saw a Tiger Moth biplane glide to a landing on their uncle’s farm. They ran to see the plane, and were amazed to find that their Dad was the pilot. He had secretly earned his flying license. Bud and his two brothers were hooked on aviation after that.

Their father made a career of flying, and saw his three children begin their lives in aviation. Bud joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1956 after earning his wings with a Royal Canadian Air Cadet scholarship. He was awarded honor scrolls at basic, and advanced flying schools in the flying the T-6 and T-33. He served 3 years flying the F-86 Sabre in Baden-Baden, Germany. Bud lives in Bellevue Washington. He flew for United Airlines until retiring in 1997. He has six children; three of them served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Two flew with the Snowbird aerobatic team, and are now airline pilots.


T6 Texan

PV-2 "Harpoon"

The PV-2 Harpoon was the most specialized and successful of Lockheed’s World War II bombers. Whereas the Hudson and Ventura had been adapted from airliners in ways that impaired their operational effectiveness, the Harpoon — though still based on the Model 18 airliner — was redesigned to the specifications of a single customer, the U.S. Navy, with larger wings and tail surfaces, greater fuel capacity, and weapons capabilities optimized to the Navy’s needs. It first flew December 3, 1943, and 938 were built. Entry into service was delayed by structural issues that required redesign of the wings, and the aircraft saw operational service only in the final months of the war, from March to August 1945, primarily in the Aleutian Islands which by that time were no longer seriously contested. The Navy was sufficiently satisfied that it kept PV-2s in service in reserve units until 1948.

BuNo 37472 “Attu Warrior”

“Attu Warrior” is a flyable PV-2 restored to military configuration, although it does not have the full complement of ordnance. It is registered N7670C and is painted as a PV-2 serving in the Aleutian Islands campaign (Attu was a key strategic island among the Aleutians, being the largest island near the far end of the chain, closer to Tokyo than to Seattle). It is more accurately painted and marked than “Hot Stuff” although the “Attu Warrior” name and nose art are not authentic. “Attu Warrior” is owned by the Warbird Warriors Foundation in Heber City, Utah, and appears at airshows in the southwestern United States.

Visit the Warbird Warriors Foundation Facebook page here.

PV2Photo Credit Jeremy Hampton

Confirmed air show acts:

  Jacquie B Extra 300
  Vickey Benzing Stearman Aerobatics
  P-51 "Speedball Alice”
  Sukhoi SU-29 flown by Renny Price
  Greg Colyer T-33 "Ace Maker"

This is not a schedule. The order of the acts is subject to change.

Air Show Announcers

Airshow Announcers

Roy is the tall man with the big voice at air shows across Canada. His love of air shows and anything flying is obvious when he keys that microphone! He has worked in practically every aspect of aviation, from "flying 'em to paintin' em"!

Roy will share a few of his own personal and often humorous experiences and anecdotes with your crowd. Roy's easy going, informative patter complements any air show performance.

Roy's love of aviation started early. While still in elementary school Roy was an avid reader of aviation books and built countless model airplanes, some of which survive to this day. Roy made his first solo flight when he was just 16 and a year later he earned his private pilot’s licence.

Ken started his announcing career just four short years ago under the expert guidance of veteran airshow announcers, Roy Hafeli and Bob Singleton. Ken grew up around the Abbotsford International Airshow, and as a young boy, thrilled to the incredible displays flown by amazing pilots in their flying machines.

He thought those guys behind the microphones had a pretty cool job too and dreamed of one day being an announcer himself. A theatre producer, director and actor by profession, Ken is the Executive Artistic Director of Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts Society located in Abbotsford, B.C.

Air show will be broadcast live on
KLAY AM 1180