Organizers of Rotors ’n Ribs have announced the event’s schedule and speakers, which includes a pair of business executives, who are also helicopter pilots and enthusiasts, along with a renowned national advocate of helicopter safety. Attendees of the Rotors ‘n Ribs town hall receive free passes to the Rotors ‘n Ribs VIP chalet, which offers a runway-side view of America’s Freedom Fest air show and fireworks and a catered rib dinner.
Pilot and Sweet Helicopters founder Chuck Surack will make opening remarks, sharing his story about how he came to be so passionate about aviation in general and about helicopters in particular. Surack founded and owns Sweetwater Sound, the world’s largest online music instrument and technology retailer, along with several other businesses that form the Sweet Family of Companies based in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Following Surack will be David MacNeil, Founder/CEO of WeatherTech, a highly successful automotive accessories business based in Wisconsin. MacNeil, an ardent aviator and owner of multiple Airbus helicopters, will talk about his journey from passenger to pilot and how that applies to his professional and personal travels.
The final speaker will be Stan Rose, who after a distinguished career in the military, law enforcement, and medical aviation, and after serving in various safety roles for Helicopter Association International, founded Helicopter Safety Alliance (HSA) in 2017. According to HSA’s website, they offer small helicopter operators the opportunity to have “big-time” safety at an affordable price by offering free membership and safety-related content and seminars.
America’s Freedom Fest, one of the Midwest’s premier air shows, with a heritage and tradition dating back decades, draws more than 30,000 people from around northern Indiana and beyond and features daring aerial acts, fascinating static displays, mouthwatering food, a legendary fireworks display, and much more. This year’s show will host Rotors ’n Ribs, traditionally one of the nation’s largest helicopter fly-ins.
The Rotors ’n Ribs portion of America’s Freedom Fest will begin as helicopters fly into KGSH starting at 1PM EST. The schedule is as follows:
• 1–3PM — Helicopters are invited to fly into KGSH
• 3–4:30PM — Town hall presentation featuring speakers Chuck Surack, David MacNeil, and Stan Rose
• 5–6PM — Cocktail hour for networking and socializing
• 6–8PM — Rib dinner served in the Rotors ’n Ribs VIP chalet; America’s Freedom Fest air show and fireworks display
All who attend the town hall and their guests are invited to the Rotors ’n Ribs VIP chalet, where they will have a runway-side view of the air show and a fully catered dinner from Tony’s Restaurant of Findlay, Ohio, who will be serving their famously delicious barbecue ribs.
America’s Freedom Fest air show features some of the biggest acts in the country, including the US Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team and P-51 Heritage flight, Shockwave Jet Truck, Susan Dacy and “Big Red,” Kyle Franklin and Franklin’s Flying Circus, Randy Ball in a MiG-17, and the Army Heritage Aviation Foundation Sky Soldiers flying Hueys and Cobras, along with many others.
Rotors ’n Ribs, including the town hall meeting and VIP chalet, is free and open to all helicopter owners, pilots, and enthusiasts. Pilots flying in should monitor the Unicom frequency of 123.050 for landing instructions. There will be periodic breaks in the air show for helicopters to depart if they choose not to stay for the entire air show and fireworks.
Individuals and organizations are required to RSVP. Those seeking more information or wanting to RSVP should call Randy Sharkey at (260) 459-4354 or email him at [email protected]
Rotors ’n Ribs access to KGSH via motor vehicle will require a VIP parking pass, which will be emailed to attendees upon confirmation of their RSVP. Updates and more details are available at rotorsnribs.com. Rotors ’n Ribs 2019 is sponsored by Sweet Helicopters, WeatherTech, Aviation Specialty Insurance, Airbus, Sweet Aviation, SweetCars, and Longe Optical.
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