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Chester County Press

Daredevil thrills and historic aircraft

08/12/2016 10:17AM ● By J. Chambless

Kevin Russo, seen here flying over Reading, Pa., will perform on Aug. 20 and 21.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

There's going to be so much to see at the Festival of Flight Air and Car Show at the New Garden Flying Field that you might not know what to do first.

The 45th annual show will be held Aug. 20 and 21, filling the sky with daredevil flying demonstrations, and the ground with historic aircraft displays, vintage cars, food and craft vendors, and runners who will be going where no runners have gone before – the airport runway.

The excitement begins Saturday, Aug. 20, at 9 a.m., when the gates open. There will be vintage cars on display, a variety of food and beverage vendors, and displays by local crafters. The public air show begins just before noon, with four Cessnas piloted by flyers from the New Garden Flight School. The stars include fly-overs by vintage warplanes, and feats of aerobatics by Kevin Russo, Jason Flood Pitts, Dan Marcette, Greg Shelton and others. Dan Marcette will also demonstrate his jet car at 1:00, and Greg Koontz will land a plane atop a truck speeding along the runway at 1:10 p.m. Radio-controlled planes will provide smaller scale thrills at 1:45 p.m., and the show wraps up around 3:20 p.m. with the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's restored B-25, “Briefing Time.”

 The plane was built at North American's Kansas City plant. It was delivered to the 489th Bomb Squadron, 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bomb Group of the 12th Air Force, and served in the Italian campaign during World War II. The North American B-25 "Mitchell" Bomber was one of the most versatile and widely used aircraft and considered the best medium bomber of the war. More than 11,000 were produced, with a wide number of variations and armament configurations.

The same air show schedule will be repeated on Sunday at the Flying Field.

On Sunday morning, runners will gather early for the Rock N Roll the Runway 5K. A kiddie race begins at 7:45 a.m., the 5K steps off at 8 a.m., and there's a one-mile Fun Wak immediately following. The course will let participants run along the runway, then enjoy a free pancake breakfast and live music by Half Past Seven. Registration includes one free entry pass to the Festival of Flight, and the breakfast. T-shirts and breakfast are guaranteed to all pre-registered 5K and Family Fun Walk participants. Additional T-shirts and breakfast for family and friends will be available for purchase on the day of the race.

Top 5K winners will get an introductory flight, courtesy of New Garden Flight Connection. There will also be age group awards.

5K registration is $32.50 for adults ($22.50 for ages 17 and younger). Registration for the one-mile Walk the Runway is also $32.50 for adults and $22.50 for ages 17 and younger. The kiddie run is free for ages 7 and younger. Fees increase to $40 for adults and $30 for ages 17 and younger on race day. All of the proceeds benefit youth programs through the Kennett Area Park and Recreation Board and New Garden Youth Organizations.

Adult admission to the Festival of Flight is $17 for adults (free for children under 5), and $7 for ages 6 to 12, good either day. A family pass, good for two adults and two children either Saturday or Sunday, is $45.

If you're inspired to take flight yourself, helicopter rides will be available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $35.

The New Garden Flying Field is at 1235 Newark Road in Toughkenamon. For more information, call 610-268-2619 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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