Tim Decker has logged over 6500 hours in both military and civilian aircraft. He gained most of his flying experience in the U-2, F-117, T-38, RV-4, Pitts S-2B, Bonanza A-36, and Cirrus SR-22.
2011 marked Tim Deckerâ€™s seventh season of air shows including a one-season break to serve in the Persian Gulf. Tim spent 12 months as a U-2 squadron commander; he and his squadron flew daily combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006â€“2007. Tim retired from the United States Air Force in 2009 after an incredible 20-year career flying some of the best jets in the world!
Decker carries an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate as well as Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor Instruments (CFII), and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) ratings. He also holds a Level 1, Unrestricted Solo Aerobatics Statement of Acrobatic Competency License.
John Collver has an aviation career spanning more than three decades and over 14,000 hours of flight time in over 50 types of aircraft.
War Dog was built in Texas in 1944. First stationed at MCAS El Toro, then six months later transferred to Miramar Air Station. Several years and numerous duty stations later, she was retired from the US Armed Forces. Her next duty assignment was with the Japanese Self-defense Force until 1974.
Due to be scrapped, War Dog was discovered and saved by Warbirds West in Compton, Calif. They sent her back to the states where she was completely rebuilt to its original condition.
War Dog has over 10,000 hours on her airframe and nine Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine replacements or overhauls by 1997. She will go the distance to perform an aerobatic routine that will leave spectators breathless.
Tim Weber discovered aviation at the age of 13. His aptitude for flying was evident early, and within a short time he began exploring aerobatics.
Weber has flown a variety of aircraft including Ultralights, WWII biplanes, the legendary Pitts Special, the Russian YAK 55M, Extra 300â€™s and several types of jets including the F-16.
His aggressive flying and natural ability have enabled him to become one of the top airshow performers in the United States today.
Weber is an ICAS ACE (aerobatic competency evaluator) and enjoys giving aerobatic rides and lessons in both gliders and powered aircraft. As a certified aircraft mechanic with an A&P/I.A. rating, he is able to maintain his own aircraft to the high level of standards that he feels is necessary for aerobatic flight.
The MXS was designed to set a new standard in unlimited performance aircraft. It is a single seat, carbon fiber aircraft utilizing advanced, state-of-the-art composite materials, sophisticated development tools, novel processes and world-class engineering skills.
Rob Harrison of Claremont, Calif., better known in airshow circles as â€œThe Tumbling Bear,â€ has been a marquee airshow attraction since 1993.
The rarely-seen tumbles and gyrations of his bright yellow Zlin 50LX are now his trademark in the sky. The maneuvers are best described as gyroscopic, created by the gyroscopic effect of the engine and propeller.
Harrison holds a certificate in flight test engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute and an FAA Statement of Aerobatic Competency, which allows him a waiver for unrestricted aerobatics.
He is also an Aerobatic Competency Examiner. This puts him in select company: â€œThere might be 100 active ACES who are allowed to license others to perform in airshows,â€ Harrison explains.
Harrison graduated from the Zlin Air Schoolâ€™s advanced aerobatics school, and ordered his own edition of the plane. Designed in the Czech Republic to compete in European and World Championship flying competitions, and aided by a U.S.-made engine, the Zlin repeatedly defeated all comers in the 1970s and 80s.
Jon Melby is an airshow pilot with over 35 years of flying experience. He is surface-level aerobatic qualified, formation aerobatic qualified, and holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating. He has flown dozens of aircraft types and currently performs in a highly modified Pitts S-1-11B bi-plane.
Flying â€œextremeâ€ freestyle aerobatics at airshows, Jon can encourage both adults and children to pursue their dreams.
â€œBeing an airshow pilot allows me to give back to aviation, something that I am truly passionate about,â€ says Melby. â€œAlso, it allows me the great opportunity to demonstrate what an airplane can do. Believe me, I too am amazed at what an airshow airplane can do. Iâ€™ve always been an airshow fan, so being real with and in front of the crowd is what makes this all so special.â€
â€œBold actions bring bold results!â€
A native Californian, Gregory â€œWiredâ€ Colyer has been flying for almost three decades after earning his license in 1982 while serving in the U.S. Army.
After flying with his friend Kay Eckhart, in one of her Lockheed T-33s in 2007, Colyer set his sights on an upgrade to the U.S. Air Forceâ€™s first operational jet â€” acquiring a T-33 in 2008 and naming it Ace Maker.
Colyer holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument, single and multi engine ratings as well as being a certified flight instructor. Type rated in Aero Vodochodyâ€™s L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star; a level I Aerobatic low level card and FAST lead formation card round out his qualifications.
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet advanced trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948. Despite itâ€™s age, the T-33 is still in use today. The â€œAce Makerâ€ is a Canadair CT-133 Silver Star.
Matt Chapman is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot who thrills millions of airshow fans each summer. He began flying aerobatics in 1984 and quickly worked his way up to the highest level of competition aerobatics â€“ the Unlimited category. Recognized for his skills, he won one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Menâ€™s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998.
At the 1998 World Aerobatic Championships, Chapman was the highest-ranking American pilot, finishing third with a bronze medal. He led the Menâ€™s team to a silver medal. Along with this impressive finish came the coveted Hilliard Trophy, awarded to the highest finishing U.S. pilot at the WAC. He also won the prestigious International Aerobatic Club Championships in 1994 and the Fond du Lac Cup in 1995.
Chapmanâ€™s exciting competition aerobatics led him to airshow performing. He is both a solo performer and flies formation in a thrilling show with fellow performer Mike Mancuso.
Chapman has flown in front of millions of fans at airshows all over, and is a respected airline captain with tens of thousands of flight hours. He is a respected voice in the airshow business, with a reputation for safety and diligence. Matt enjoys building and flying radio-controlled aircraft of all types.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is proud to sponsor Matt Chapman. He personifies the thrill of expanding the envelope in what is known about flight, the credentials and expertise to make that possible, and the passion for doing it right and doing it well.