Look, up in the sky

| 24 May 2012 | 01:43

WEST MILFORD — If you looked up this past weekend, you saw more than the glorious blue sky that helped make the weekend just grand. Residents of West Milford around the Greenwood Lake Airport could look up and see some pretty amazing sights.

The Greenwood Lake International Aerobatic Club (IAC) Chapter 52 hosted it’s third Jersey Skylands Aerobatic Championship at Greenwood Lake Airport. It was a three-day event with the contest beginning Friday and concluding Sunday.

Eighteen pilots came to West Milford from throughout New Jersey, southeastern New York, western Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania to complete in the event.

John Fellenzer of Goshen, N.Y., was this year’s contest director. Fellenzer was very eager to talk about the many safety precautions put into place for this type of contest.

“We do our very best to make sure our pilots, the personnel on the ground, and the surrounding community are safe," said Fellenzer. "Some of the safety precautions are we are required by the FAA to receive a wavier for the airspace we are flying in.”

The air space in which the pilots fly their routines for the contest is called a “box,” Fellenzer explained.

“At no time is there more than one aircraft inside that box for safety reasons. We take all noise complaints seriously and do our best to minimize that impact on the surrounding community,” he added

“This is the first contest this year in the north east, and what a great weekend we have to fly," said Wes Liu of New Hampshire, one of the contest pilots. "We are blowing out our winter rust. After this we will be going to Wildwood, New Jersey for another aerobatic contest from June 29 to 30.”

“All the professional pilots you see flying at air shows who do this all the time started their professional air show careers in contests just like this contest,” said Ron Mann, another of the contest pilots.

Folks around the area will have that opportunity in August when the Greenwood Lake Airport presents its Air Show and World War II Showcase on Aug. 18 and 19. It's a great family event, with the opportunity to learn a little World War II history and meet some of the heroes of that era.

To learn more about the air show, go to www.greenwoodlakeairshow.com.

For more information about the IAC, go to www.iac52.org.

To see more photos from the show, go to westmilfordmessenger.com.