Aerobatic Performers Support Wounded Veterans

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Airshow season is in full swing, and one new act on the circuit aims not just to entertain but also to raise awareness about injured veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. Team Vandy-1, based in Maryland, operates a black L-39 aerobatic jet that now is branded with the Wounded Warrior logo on its tail. The Wounded Warrior Project, based in Jacksonville, Fla., began as a group of veterans and friends who would visit wounded soldiers recovering in the hospital. The nonprofit organization now provides support and advocacy for transitioning vets, from providing counseling and mentoring to organizing bicycle tours and rock-climbing treks. The Vandy-1 team will promote the Project at airshows around the country, raise money and awareness, and also take veterans up for a flight.

Other aerobatic teams working with the Wounded Warrior Project include Warbirds Over Long Island, which will join the Vandy-1 jet at some airshows with its P-51D Mustang; and Team MS760, a pair of vintage Paris jets flown by veteran pilots Capt. Dale "Snort" Snodgrass (USN-ret.) and Lt. Col. Jerry "Jive" Kerby (USAF-ret.). Capt. Snodgrass took an AVweb camera along in his Paris jet in this video from Sun 'n Fun, and talked about the jet in this video interview.

Recently, AVweb's Mary Grady caught up with the Vandy-1 team at the Rhode Island National Guard airshow, click here for that podcast interview, new this week.


This L-39 aerobatic jet, operated by the Vandy-1 airshow team based in Maryland, was recently branded with the Wounded Warrior Project logo on its tail.
U.S. Army veteran Christopher Yates, of Providence, RI, checks out the L-39 prior to going for a flight from Quonset State Airport after the Thunderbirds and the other airshow performers are done.
Yates flew loops and rolls for the first time in his life and had an "awesome!" experience.