The Flying Circus Air Show

Thursday July 15, 2010
By

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Last Sunday, we made a date to meet up with old friends and check out the Flying Circus Air Show in Bealetown, VA.  Since our group is scattered across Northern Va, Fredericksburg and Culpeper, the aerodrome, which is 14 miles south of Warrenton, was the perfect location for a rendez-vous.  It took us a little over an hour to get there from Annandale, VA.

Prices are quite reasonable – $10/adult, $3/kid (3-12), and under 3 is free.  If you visit their website, you can also get a coupon for $2 off the adult admission, so that saved us even more.  They only accept cash at the gate, so be prepared for that.

We were the first to arrive, nearly two hours before the 2:30 show started, so we had plenty of time to snag our seats and check the place out.   There’s no such thing as a bad seat — it’s all bench seating and wasn’t crowded the day we went.  However, the only shade provided is from the select umbrellas that set up along the back row, so we made sure to snag one.  We also set up a sunshade over our back row seats, which came in handy as it was a hot and sunny day.

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The kids were immediately awed by the presence of the planes, especially the two-year old.   I was pleased that it  never got too loud, as he is noise sensitive.

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Some planes were in the field in front of the bench seating, and some were in the air, as you can purchase rides before and after the show.  We did not spend the extra money on this (ranging from $40 to $130 for an 8-15 minute ride), which left my kids bummed, but they got over it.

I was looking forward to enjoying the picnic lunch I had carefully packed, but when we got there, I asked Mike where he put the cooler.  He looked at me and said, “Where did *you* put the cooler?”  Doh, apparently I put it on the floor of the kitchen and that is where it stayed.

Fortunately, they have a small snack bar with reasonably priced food.  The kids got hot dogs for $2.50 each and Mike & I had a cheeseburger and pork BBQ sandwich for $3.50 each.

While waiting for the show to begin, we enjoyed the old timey music piped through the speakers.  Frisbees and wiffle balls from home, plus a birthday celebration, and just catching up with old friends made the time pass quickly.

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Finally, it was time for the show to begin!  The announcer introduced the pilots as they were brought out and provided a running commentary.

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Additionally, there was a Baron von Somebody who played the bad guy and added some comic relief to the show.

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The show, of course, featured the bi-planes and the announcer provided a lot of context and history, explaining ways the planes were used originally, with the pilots demonstrating a variety of maneuvers.

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Everyone was captivated, at first.

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However, as time wore on, some of the little people lost interest.  The tricks were interesting, but many were high in the sky and were impressive only if you were old enough to understand and appreciate them.    For example, at one point, a plane (the piper cub, maybe?) got way high in the sky — I think the announcer said he was 4,000′.  To simulate what to do if your engine gailed, he cut his and performed a series of controlled glides and turns to bring his plane all the way to a safe landing in front announcer without every turning the power back on.  It was incredible to think of the skill it took to perform such a maneuver, but it wasn’t flashy, so it didn’t really impress my kids (I was impressed).  I pointed it out to my 5 year old and asked him what he thought.  He just looked at me nonchalantly and said, “Mom, he’s just pressing B.”

Huh?  Oh yeah, in Wii Sports Resort, there is a flying game and if you “press B” your can cut your engine and freefall.  So to Sam, this was no big whoop, something he’s done plenty of times. LOL

Even with wavering attention, it was an excellent show and a great way to pass the afternoon.

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After the show, the planes taxied to the fence and the public was allowed to check them out up close.

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Everyone is very friendly and willing to pose, answer questions, and sign autographs.

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I peeked in one cockpit and laughed when I saw his:

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The kids loved checking out the planes.  We learned the planes are very delicate and are covered with fabric, like a drum.

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We had a great time and were so glad to get together with these friends.   We were in a couple Bible Study together about ten years ago when we were all newlyweds.  Look how richly God has blessed our families!

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The Flying Circus performs on Sundays from May through October.  Check out their schedule page, they frequently have special events, like a Hot Air Balloon Festival the weekend of 8/21-8/22.  It’s a great way to get out and enjoy your day!

The Flying Circus
5114 Ritchie Rd.
Bealeton, VA 22728
(540) 439-8661
http://www.flyingcircusairshow.com

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One Response to The Flying Circus Air Show

  1. 1
    Renee says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. We hope to go sometime. Too bad about the picnic. I have done it before it also.

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