I love airshows. I would not love to be a passenger in one of the planes that participate in them. Those loops, dives and stalls excite me when I’m safely on the ground but the thought of experiencing them first-hand causes my stomach to churn.
Those feelings were further driven home by Discovery’s latest series, Airshow, debuting tonight. To put it bluntly, I just don’t have the stuff to get behind the stick—or climb along the wing—that these folks do. But I’m more than happy to sit back and watch. Produced by Great Pacific TV, the same folks behind Highway Thru Hell, Airshow is stunning to watch on an HD TV. Bright paint, blue sky, black asphalt and multicoloured flight outfits pop as these folks explain not only their reasoning behind making a career out of performing in airshows but the inherent danger—and touch of crazy—involved.
Things don’t start all that promisingly. The awful footage of wing walker Jane Wicker and her pilot Charlie Schwenker, crashing and dying in an Ohio airshow in 2013 is shown before introducing viewers to former bush pilot and airline owner “Super Dave” Mathieson who admits to being bitten by the airplane bug when he was a youngster. Wing walker Carol Pilon is up next, describing the feeling of having the wind whip by her as she stands outside of her own airplane. Additional featured storylines in Episode 1 include rookie Stefan Trischuck and his Pitts Special and airbus Donna Flynn, who runs airshows.
Offsetting the interviews and airshow footage from the ground is stunning in-air stuff showcasing Dave performing in his MX-2 and Carol on her Stearman Bi-plane with veteran Marcus Paine at the controls; future episodes boast reel of The Patriots, Pete McLeod, Jon Melby and Sean Tucker taking to the skies.
If you’ve wanted to know what it’s like to fly in one of these planes alongside industry veterans, strap in and catch Airshow.
Airshow airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery.