Skip Stewart will be bringing his specially made bi-plne, Prometheus, to this year’s AirFair to perform aerobatic stunts that seem impossible in a plane. This will be his thrid time to come to Liberal. Photos courtesy www.skipstewartairshows.com
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
Few people are born knowing what they want to do with their lives.
Skip Stewart is one of them.
His early fascination with aviation was inspired by riding with his grandfather, a crop duster, as well as building several model planes as a youngster.
“My grandfather was a crop duster, and I grew up flying with him riding on his lap. Then I starting building and flying remote-control airplanes when I was a teenager, and then that sort of led into everything,” Stewart said. “With model airplanes, you're always doing aerobatics and so when I got older and old enough to get a pilot's license, I already had the idea in my head planes were meant to fly aerobatics and so I just pursued my childhood passion with real airplanes.”
Stewart and his hand-built, modified biplane, Prometheus, will be one of the performing acts at the Liberal AirFair this year and will be performing many aerobatic feats many people believe shouldn’t be attempted by airplanes. His stunt work is so legendary, in fact, more people know him as ‘piloto loco’ as opposed to his name.
However, it wasn’t until he was 18 and at his first air show when he realized he had already chosen his future career with his work with his model planes.
“For some reason, I just didn't put the two together until I went to an air show and saw people flying airplanes like the models I had with the maneuvering and keeping close to the crowd and it was a very inspirational moment for me to see and it connected the dots as something I could do,” Stewart said. “I could take the passion I had for model aerobatics as a kid, pursue it as an adult and at the same time, fly the way I'd been inspired by my grandfather and that air show.”
This will be the third time Stewart has performed at Liberal’s AirFair and he said he has enjoyed the times he has performed in Liberal. He expects it to be another successful performance.
“It's really a venue where I like to fly because it's more of an intimate setting – there's not 100,000 people there so it's much more likely I'll be able to interact with most if not all of the crowd who comes out and I was an air show fan first so when I go flying I try to fly a show I would like to watch and I try to be as personable with as many people as I can and share the passion I have for the industry with as many people as I can,” Stewart said.
Citizens are highly encouraged to come out to the Liberal AirFair and see this year’s performers.
“I think air shows are probably the best family entertainment value you can have today,” Stewart said. “It's good, old-fashioned family entertainment. It doesn't cost much money, you can spend the whole day and you get to see planes, talk to pilots and watch a lot of crazy things in the sky. I would tell them to come on out, they don't want to miss it.”