I had some fun this morning at the Downtown St. Louis Airport in Cahokia, IL. Stunt planes all over the tarmac walking around them and in some cases on them.
I had a blast on the wing of the Wingwalker (after the temporary pain of bumping my head on the top of it). I talked to the pilot Gene Soucy. But the person I really wanted to talk to was his partner Teresa Stokes. She was getting her beauty rest I guess at 6:30am. She is the star of their 15 minute show. While Gene's doing all sorts of aerobatics in the tiny cockpit, Teresa is on the wings doing headstands and all sorts of other stunts most of us wouldn't try on the ground.
I asked Gene if he's gone through lots of Teresa's over the years. He said no. Teresa is really good at what she does (as is he) and she's never gotten hurt. She's somehow tethered to the plane but still... amazing.
I also enjoyed talking to Buck Roetman who flies a Red Eagle. He flies it three to six feet from his partner in a similar plane as they do rolls and all sorts of wild maneuvers and somehow don't come in contact with one another.
Buck (his nickname almost since birth) says his time in the air is only half the thrill. What makes airshows so much fun is getting to visit with all sorts of people who come to watch him do his thing and sharing his love of stunt flying.
Enjoy the shows from the Arch grounds or the Riverfront. Saturday at noon. Sunday at 10:45am and 5:15pm.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.