Page 8 - World Airshow News Spring 2023
P. 8

It’s All about

                  Greg Koontz: From the ACE                                                                                         entertaining


                                   It’s a Tough Business                                                                               Audience!

                               I   n my way of thinking, If you’re   ICAS Convention and went there to learn. And learn I did. The
                                   not doing  something you are
                                                                 cost of a Super Decathlon was just the entrance fee. I had no sug-
                                   wasting your life. The idea of re-
                               tiring doesn’t set well with me. I can’t   ar daddy, so this was only going to work if I ran it as a business.
                                                                   Twenty years prior, when I worked my fanny off to learn to fly,
                               imagine sitting on the back porch   I also learned what a work ethic could get you. I have no toler-
                               staring at my land in some kind of ex-  ance for heavy debt. I was raised by parents who suffered through
                               pected harmony. Nope. I’ve got to be   the Great Depression. To them, debt was sin. So, staying in the
                               doing! I have no ambition to keep the   black was the only option. And I did. I was entering the business
                               pace I used to, but then again, I have   at a time when airline pilots and the like were involved in com-
                               no intention of voluntarily giving up   petition aerobatics, and they had found doing airshows would
                               anything I can still do. I only have   fund their hobby. They didn’t need to balance the books. They   SPONSORED BY:
                               one life. I’m going to live it flying.  just wanted some extra income to justify their hobby.
                                  Flying airshows was my set goal   Today, I am watching young people trying to break into this
                               since I was seven years old. When   business. Some are well funded, but many have a budget like I
                               I was that age, I had no concept of   had. They have the talent, and they have the motivation, but to
          making money. My mom and dad did that. I just wanted to fly.   compete, some of them are going to need a break. I’m not talking
          When I got old enough to pursue my dream, I never let the lack   about a Go-Fund-Me account or a charity. They know the sacri-
          of money slow me down. I would just work one job all year (flip-  fice they are going to have to make to succeed. But all their hard
          ping burgers six nights a week) and add to it a 40 hour-per-week   work might never pay off without some opportunity. Jim Moser
          day job during the summers. I didn’t know how much money   and his dad, Ernie Moser, needed help to run their school. They
          I needed, but I knew how hard I could work, so I just did that.   found me and they recognized a person willing to work hard.
          Economics is a course I learned from doing. I want to share with   Running the flight school would get me the opportunity to fly   OVER 450 AIRSHOWS PERFORMED         BILL BARBER SHOWMANSHIP AWARD
          anyone out there on that up-hill battle, never give up! Fate is the   in airshows, and it changed my life with the opportunity to live
          art of circumstance.                                   a dream.
            I first flew airshows as an employee of AeroSport, Inc., an FBO   Hire an up-and-coming performer to fly in your airshow. Ev-  GREAT VALUE FOR YOUR SHOW!
          in St. Augustine, Florida. The job was to run their flight school   ery airshow needs to leave a slot for this. Give that person a little
          and do the things I do in their little airshow troupe called “Col.   time in your show so they can get the experience and log it. Pay   Super Decathlon Aerobatic Performance
          Moser’s Flying Circus.” (Jim & Ernie Moser have since been in-  them all you can so they can pay their bills. Help the industry
          ducted in the Air Show Hall of Fame.) I got paid what they decid-  grow by giving a little back to the industry. If we don’t, somebody   Alabama Boys Cub Comedy Act
          ed to pay me, and with great gratitude, I accepted. I was living the   is going to figure out how to turn the airshow industry into a CGI
          dream. I guess if they told me I was going to have to pay them, I   special effect show and we will all be the losers. Heaven Forbid!  Package Pricing if we bring both
          probably would have. (If I had had any money.) Flying airshows
          is so incredibly exciting, it’s surely like being addicted to a drug. I   Greg Koontz is a full-time airshow performer and teaches basic   Show Sponsorships available
          was flying shows with the best people in the business. I was doing   aerobatics at his Flight School/Bed & Breakfast called Sky Country
          comedy and car-top-landings, solo acro, and even was part of a   Lodge. Greg is a former chairman of the ICAS ACE Committee,
          three-ship formation act. I wouldn’t let anyone pinch me for the   holds an unlimited aerobatic waiver, and has been designated a   37 YEARS OF DEPENDABLE AIRSHOW EXPERIENCE
          dire fear that I would wake up!                        Master Certified Flight Instructor-Aerobatics by the National Asso-
            But reality eventually did hit, and I moved on to pursue a cor-  ciation of Flight Instructors. Please send your comments/questions
          porate flying career so I could get the traditional house payment,   to
          a dog in the yard, and babies on the way. It took twelve years be-
          fore I finagled a way to get back into airshows. This time, I wasn’t
          just having the fun as someone else’s employee. This time I had
          to pay the bills and make ends meet myself. I signed up for the

                                      8  Spring 2023
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