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Look, up in the sky

Team RV preps for this weekend’s air shows at Nautical Festival

August 3, 2012
Jordan Travis - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ROGERS CITY - After revving up the engine on his two-seat plane to about 1,700 rpm to make sure everything was working properly, Bob "Subob" Goodman revved up the engine even further and took off from the Presque Isle County Airport Friday morning.

The member of Team RV was one of 10 giving rides to members of the media, ahead of the team's rehearsals later in the day. They were getting ready for the first air show to perform over the Nautical City Festival Saturday and Sunday. Having performed in much larger air shows, the team enjoys having more of a chance to interact with the public.

After taking off, Goodman and the rest of the team circled over Rogers City, flying in diamond formation. Passengers shot tape or took pictures of the view, as well as neighboring aircraft.

Article Photos

News Photo by Jordan Travis
Planes from Team RV flew the skies over Presque Isle County Friday in preparation for this weekend’s air shows during the Nautical Festival. The performances take place at 2:30 p.m. and today, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Low clouds hung over the city, but didn't obscure the view of the Calcite quarry or Lake Huron. After a few more circuits, the team headed west and kept in formation over M-72. Using the Goetz County Airport as a landmark, pilots made a turn over Onaway, leaving smoke trails on their way. At a speed of around 145 mph, it was a quick trip.

Goodman's plane gave a vantage point to get a glimpse of many things: a horse farm nestled in the woods, Rainy River twisting through the land, freighters upbound and downbound on Lake Huron, and on the horizon a distant land mass

A voice over the radio gave commands, audible through a bulky pair of headphones. Goodman explained a few: one means to spread out the formation and check your gauges. Two others needed no translation: "Team RV, smoke on," and "smoke off."

It's one of the sights spectators will see during the team's air show, Goodman said. The team will break up into three flights, each one doing a different set of tricks. For one formation, the team will experiment a little, and Nautical Fest goers will get to see something that no other crowd has before.

The team will perform at 2:30 p.m. today, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the festival schedule.

Back in the plane, a sign near the seat warns passengers the bird they're in doesn't meet Federal Aviation Administration standards. This is more of a formality, Goodman said. He should know; he built the plane himself.

"This is actually the second plane I built," he said.

While it's registered as an experimental aircraft, Goodman's plane might be better than factory-built ones, he said.

"You tend to be particular about the plane you build for yourself," he said.

After returning to Rogers City, the team performed a final maneuver called a break: a gut-wrenching, sharp turn to bring the plane around for a landing.

Back on the ground, team founder Mike Stewart said his team loves performing for "small-town America."

"One of the things we love is, we get to a lot of different air shows," he said. "We just came out of the world's largest air show. It was a half a million people, and it was chaos."

Rogers City has been considerably different, he said. Everyone they've met has been friendly, and they get a better chance to interact with the fans.

"We get to share our love of aviation with the public, and you don't get to do this at a big air show."

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.



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