Meet the Grunts

Behind the scenes, they make airshow stars shine.

Pilot Greg Koontz (standing) flies an act that depends on the help of his Alabama Boys, Fred Masterson, Jason Hankins, and Walter Harvey (left to right, atop their mobile runway with Koontz’s Piper J-3 Cub). (Caroline Sheen)
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As we watched the show, Little T said: “The aviation community was such a revelation to Big B and me. Law enforcement is such a thankless job and aviation is exactly the opposite. It is always uplifting. Think of how many lives you touch and inspire at airshows. How many people do you think we talked to who were excited about going to visit prison?”

We both laughed. Soucy flew. And one by one Rumchik’s fireworks ignited perfectly, showering fountains of silver and gold sparks behind Soucy’s wings like fiery feathers.

Debbie Gary is an aviation writer and veteran airshow pilot. She was inducted into the International Council of Airshows Hall of Fame last year for her achievements, including being the first woman in the world to fly the wing position on a formation aerobatic team.

Caroline Sheen is the photography and illustrations editor at Air & Space.

About Debbie Gary

Freelance writer Debbie Gary is a former Bede Jet Team pilot who still gets a thrill out of airshows.

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