Air Museum Network – Connecting You with Aviation History

New Garden Airport Hosts The 46th Annual Festival Of Flight

Toughkenamon, PA – Just an hour’s drive west of Philadelphia, along country roads and rolling hills, you’ll find a small airport nestled away in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. The New Garden Airport has a flight school, an EAA Chapter and every August is host to the annual car and air show known as the Festival of Flight.  This event is a local favorite since it brings home town feel and excellent performers to the stage.

Jason Flood And Skydivers Discuss Safety

Jason Flood and skydivers discuss safety – Photo By Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Air Museum Network arrived at the event as the army of volunteers finished setting up, and the performers were adding fuel to the aircraft for the day’s show.  We had the opportunity to speak with some of the performers who were ecstatic to be at the show and excited to perform.  Some highlighted performers included Jason Flood, Scott Francis, Dan Marcotte, Paul Dougherty, the B-25 Mitchell (“Briefing Time”) from the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, and a Corsair from the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, VA. Sunday morning would start with a 5K charity run down the newly paved runway.

And They Are Off!

And they’re off! – Photo by Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

Covering this event is challenging to say the least. Air Museum Network joined other media representatives in the photo pit located inside the air show box. This is an incredibly unique perspective as one actually gets to feel the speed of these aircraft and witness up close the amount of maneuvering it takes to perform at an air show!

Dan Marotte Performing Extreme Maneuvers

Dan Marotte performing extreme maneuvers in his Ultimate 10-200 Biplane – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation

The event opened with local jumpers parachuting to the ground as Jason Flood circled them during the playing of the National Anthem. The Stars and Stripes unfurled with the beautiful blue sky as the backdrop. Jason would open the flying sequences with his incredible routine! With crisp maneuvers, this young performer showed the crowd what his modified Pitt Special aircraft can do! The crowd would be treated to the sound of three radial engines of SNJs/Texans.

These warbirds would fly a number of passes and showcase the beauty of the aircraft as they flew in formation.  On every pass, the aircraft belt out the sound of propeller tips traveling at supersonic speeds! Kevin Russo, in his beautiful SNJ, would break off to perform his solo routine. The maneuvers performed are similar to those the pilots of WWII would fly in training in this same type of aircraft.

The SNJ/Texan Formation Pass

The SNJ/Texan formation pass – Photo by Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

The Coast Guard sent an MH-65 Dauphin out of Atlantic City. Besides being on static display, this helo and crew performed a search and rescue demonstration.  It is an incredible experience to see a helicopter, just feet away, dropping a rescue swimmer with the use of a hoist cable.  After hovering for a matter of minutes, the helo would give a series of passes and fly back to base as it was only about a 20-30 minute flight.  Saturday spectators were treated to a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter. The Black Hawk was on static display and on departure, did a few passes to the delight of the crowd.

USCG Search And Rescue Demo

USCG Search and Rescue demo – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation

Dan Marcotte would take to the skies to show off his flying skills and give the audience his version of “pushing it to the limit” in his Ultimate 10-200 Biplane. Paul Dougherty was up next. Relatively new to the air show circuit, Paul gave a fantastic routine with the stock Christen Eagle. Scott Francis, a Virginia native, took off in his gorgeous blue MXS. His performance truly tests the skills of the most seasoned photographer. The speed of the aircraft coupled with the violent rolls the aircraft can perform, it is hard to keep the aircraft within the confines of the lens. Torque rolls, hammerheads, loops, four-point rolls were just a few maneuvers Scott flew in his heart-pounding performance.

Scott Francis Shreds The Pennsylvania Sky

Scott Francis shreds the Pennsylvania sky – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation

After Scott landed, the sound of radial filled the air again as the mighty Corsair (bent wing bird) took to the sky. Imagine the thought process of young Marines fighting in the Pacific, during WWII, when they heard the sound of a Corsair flying overhead. The bent wing bird would be joined by the B-25 “Briefing Time”.  The two aircraft performed multiple passes showing the top and bottom of the aircraft. During one pass, “Briefing Time” opened the bomb bay doors just as it would if it were flying 30 seconds over Tokyo.  The pair of aircraft would close the show with a photo pass. This popular pass brings aircraft close for the crowd to get a detailed look at the top side of the gorgeous warbirds.

"Briefing Time" Flying As If It Were Over Tokyo

“Briefing Time” flying as if it were over Tokyo – Photo By Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

As the veteran aircraft parked, the curtain fell on the 46th edition of the Festival of Flight. This event has grown with each passing year. While some major shows have been declining in popularity, New Garden has consistently been able to improve and guaranteeing return spectators. If you’re looking for a great show that has that hometown feel, you definitely MUST put this annual event on your list.

Jason Gives The Thumbs Up

Jason gives the thumbs up – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation

Air Museum Network is truly grateful to all the volunteers that ensured that the Media was fed and hydrated on this very hot day. To the entire New Garden team and Mr. Jon Martin, thank you for putting together a fantastic event.

Jason Greets The Media

Jason greets the media – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Jason Flood WOWS The Crowd

Jason Flood WOWS the crowd – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Jason Flood With Smoke On

Jason Flood with smoke on – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


"L" Bird Takes Flight

“L” Bird takes flight – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Jason Flood's Pitts

Jason Flood’s Pitt Special- Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


UH-64 Black Hawk

UH-64 Black Hawk – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


The Black Hawk Pass

The Black Hawk pass – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


"Briefing Time" Up Close And Personal

B-25 “Briefing Time” up close and personal – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


The Military Aviation Museum's Corsair

The Military Aviation Museum’s Corsair takes off – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


The Bent Wing Bird Takes Off

The Bent Wing Bird performs a pass – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Paul Dougherty Takes Flight

Paul Dougherty takes flight – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Kevin Russo's SNJ Returns From His Performance

Kevin Russo in his SNJ returns from his performance – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Kevin Russo Performs Climbs In His SNJ

Kevin Russo Climbs fast and furious in his SNJ – Photo by Ryan Kelly, Ryguyaviation


Car Show Participants Lined Up

Car Show participants lined up – Photo by Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography


A Veteran And His Family Do It The Army Way

A veteran and his family do it the Army Way – Photo By Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography


The 5K Participants Give It Their All

The 5K participants give it their all – Photo By Richard Souza, Zulu X-Ray Photography

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