Aerobatic teams to fill the skies at OCIA Open House & Air Show

The Phillips 66 Aerostars will roar into the Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) Open House & Air Show at 250 mph as the team of aerobatic pilots fly their Extra 300L aircraft side-by-side. Also zooming over the Aug. 12 event will be the Hooligans, a Michigan-based aerobatic team who pilot Beechcraft T-34 Mentor airplanes. Admission to the OCIA Open House & Air Show is free thanks to the generosity of Oakland County Credit Union, the presenting sponsor. There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle.

"It's a day of fun for the entire family," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "This year's OCIA Open House & Air Show features a full spectrum of aviation entertainment and exhibits such as championship aerobatic teams, individual performers, World War II aircraft, and a variety of military, commercial and civilian aircraft and vehicles on display."

Homewrecker, the McCart Jet Motorsports' jet truck, will again throttle up during this year's air show. The Ford F-450 with three jet engines returns to race an airplane down the runway. Rounding out the airshow will be David Scott who will dazzle the crowd with death-defying aerobatics in his Pitts S1S and Mike Schiffer who will thrill onlookers with his nerves of steel in his Vought F4U-5 Corsair.

Enthusiasts will encounter three World War II bombers on the airport terminal's ramp area, thanks to ramp sponsor Suburban Ford of Waterford: A B-25 Bomber named "Georgie's Gal" from the Liberty Aviation Museum of Port Clinton, Ohio and a B-17 Flying Fortress called the "Yankee Lady" from the Yankee Air Museum in Belleville, Mich. In addition, warbirds such as a Lake Erie Warbirds TBM Avenger, a T-6 Texan, and the Tuskegee Motor Gliders will be on display alongside World War II military vehicles.

"Warbirds really bring out the kid in all of us," said J. David VanderVeen, Oakland County's director of central services who oversees the airport. "There's a romance we all have with vintage World War II aircraft because they fire our imaginations about what it was like to fly in that era."

Attendees will experience vintage jets as well as the Oakland County Sheriff's Office helicopter and hovercraft at the OCIA Open House & Air Show. Plus, individuals can take-off in a helicopter or an airplane for a fee.

For children, there will be a play area equipped with bounce houses and a rock wall. Plus, the Michigan Mason's Child ID Program, which informs families about abduction prevention and provides fingerprinting for children, will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Attendees also may tour the nation's first LEED-Gold certified general aviation terminal. Open since 2011, the eco-friendly terminal features solar panels and wind turbines, solar hot water heater, and a geothermal field all designed to reduce energy consumption. Today, the terminal has reduced its energy consumption by 44 percent.

OCIA's 33rd annual open house hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 90-minute airshow begins at 2 p.m. For additional information, go to and click on the OCIA Open House & Air Show banner. Look it up on Facebook page at @OakGovAirport. The airport is located at 6500 Patterson Parkway in Waterford.

The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee would like to thank its sponsors: Presenting sponsor Oakland County Credit Union; platinum sponsor Suburban Ford of Waterford; gold sponsors, LL Johns & Associates, Oakland Air, Oakland Air Maintenance & Corporate Air Travel; and bronze sponsors Midfield Management, Oscar W. Larson, Powers Financial Benefits, Magnum Helicopter, and G-H Group & Encompass Management.

"It takes a whole team of dedicated individuals to put this event on every year," said Louis Martin, chair of the OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee. "This event, however, would never get off the ground without our sponsors. We'd like to acknowledge they are the reason over 20,000 people don't pay admission that day."

Published: Wed, Aug 08, 2018