Hi all! The first weekend of October was certainly an eventful one. It was time for OctoberWest once again! Each year, our Prescott campus has a celebration of the anniversary of Embry-Riddle’s founding. We call this “homecoming” week OctoberWest, and this year we celebrated 90 years of Embry-Riddle legacy!
One of the main events of OctoberWest is the Wings Out West Airshow, held on Saturday Oct. 3rd at our own flight line. Each year from 10am to 12pm, the Prescott airport is shut down and reserved for the airshow, a private show for Embry-Riddle students, faculty and their families (just another benefit of being an Eagle!).
This year the airshow was kicked off by a parachute jump executed by Rex Pemberton, a very well-known and young parachutist with hundreds of successful jumps under his belt. As he descended back down to the surface, Melissa Pemberton, a champion aerobatic pilot, circled around him in her Edge 540
aerobatic airplane as the National Anthem played. After both were back on the ground, Patty Wagstaff, veteran member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team and three time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, performed a breathtaking aerobatic routine that had all eyes turned skyward. Also performing amazing aerobatic routines were award-winning aerobatic and airline pilot Matt Chapman, as well as seasoned aerobatic pilot Bill Stein. Melissa Pemberton also performed and awe-inducing routine that included cutting a ribbon strung above runway 21L while inverted!
As part of the Flight Team, my teammates and I helped out with crowd control throughout the event. Victor and Ian (our Captain and Chief Pilot) also performed in the airshow in one of our 1965 Cessna 150s. They demonstrated two of our flying events: message drop and a power-on landing. Spread out on the Riddle ramp were several general aviation airplanes, helicopters, and even an Embraer ERJ-175 commercial airliner flown in by Skywest Airlines! These aircraft were on display throughout the airshow, each one unique in its own way.
This year’s OctoberWest was without a doubt very entertaining and action-packed. I had a great time, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s OctoberWest/Wings Out West Airshow will bring!