Air Show - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/30/05 - Nacogdoches County

Air Show

by Chris Cato

The clouds and rain that stuck around early Saturday afternoon almost put a damper on this year's Nacogdoches County Air Show.

The planes couldn't take off until later in the afternoon when the skies began to part. People on the ground didn't seem to mind much, they were still able to check out the model planes doing their acrobatics and examine the larger planes on the ground.

Organizers say all the money raised during the air show will be pumped right back into the community.

Reed Gordon, the Coordinator of the Nacogdoches Air Show said, "the monies that we raise go to the local organizations, the VFW, the college, we have a book fund over there. Some of the other organizations in the area."

Gordon says there aren't as many planes as there normally are at the airshow because of the weather but it didn't seem to hurt attendance.

Some people traveled from all around Texas to get to the Nacogdoches Air Show, and everyone knows long trips can eat at your wallets when you get to the gas pump. But how are the high gas prices having an effect on the pilots in this weekend's air show?

Just like the cars we drive every day, the planes need something to keep them up in the air, and it's getting more expensive. Gas prices are rising as fast as an airplane leaving the runway and pilots we spoke with say it's starting to have it's effects.

Tim Cullum, a pilot said, "it's starting to gouge everybody. Gas prices are starting to go up and up and up. It's hurting the wallet."

Hurting might be an understatement. Gas prices for airplane fuel have gone up just about as much as car gas, about a one dollar since prices started to climb.

Tim said, "a lot of places running about $3 to $4 a gallon right now."

Tim has it easy with a smaller plane, he doesn't consume as much gas, but if you get into one of the larger planes at the show, they suck it up. That can mean less flying time if you're on a budget, which is bad news to some of these pilots.

Tim said, "I think it's a hobby for a lot of guys right now doing the air show and showing off the airplanes, you get a real thrill out of it."

But with gas prices rising, it's hard to say how long some of the pilots can afford to keep their hobby going.

The airshow will continue Sunday afternoon with an F-16 flyover and a special Heritage Flight from Galveston with a P-47 Thunderbolt.

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