South Plains Air Show: history lands in Lubbock County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/5/09

South Plains Air Show: history lands in Lubbock County

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) It's a show in the skies not to be missed.

Saturday marks the 65th anniversary of a major turning point in World War II, D-Day. Organizers of the air show say some of the replica planes flying in the show helped win WWII for the Allied forces. While they expect to entertain, Saturday's event is a moving history lesson. "This is something seen in pictures or in history books. They get to touch it, feel it, and hear it. It makes a big difference because history comes alive," says Director of Texas Air Museum Malcolm Laing.

"We consider ourselves entertainers but it's a chance to see living history and that's the reason we keep flying," says Ron "Ice" Iberg who has been flying since 1954. He is part of the Commemorate Air Force Tora Tora Tora flight team. He took NewsChannel 11's Photojournalist John Berry and his camera up in a Japanese fighter plane. "Our history lesson is we shouldn't go to sleep and be attacked by surprise again," adds Iberg.

What marked the beginning of U.S. involvement in WWII, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor will be re-created by Tora Tora Tora. "There will be explosions and it will be reminiscent of combat," says Iberg of the show. But what's it really like up in the sky? Bill Sugarek, a pilot with Tora Tora Tora agreed to take me up in a P-64 replica.

"Before I get in the plane with you, how long have you been flying," I ask the pilot.

"A couple of days, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express," says Sugarek jokingly. He is here to entertain. Once buckled in, we were off in the skies. Sugarek has been flying for 39-years and there were only six P-64's made during WWII.

"The maneuvers we were doing in the sky we were pulling 4Gs, which is force equal to four times your weight," he says.

"Many young men gave their life in these aircrafts. It's a history lesson lest we forget. We don't ever want to forget," adds Sugarek.

The air show is at the Slaton Municipal Airport at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Saturday June 6. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children. Kids 5 and under are free.

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