No more takeoffs for Red Baron Pizza Squadron

After 28 years of air show performances, Schwan Food Co.’s Red Baron Pizza Squadron is retiring.

A “refocusing” in marketing strategy at the company led to the squadron’s grounding, according to Bill McCormack, executive vice president.

“The Red Baron Squadron has been an incredible asset to our company,” he said. “The retail grocery industry has experienced considerable change over the past few years. As a result, we have decided to refocus our Red Baron marketing program and to discontinue the Red Baron Squadron.”

The current Red Baron pilots were “very proud to have been a part of such a legendary program,” said Jayson Wilson, director of flight operations and left wing pilot. “We can all say we were a part of something really special. The air show community and our fans have been great. We’ll miss all of them.”

During its 28 years, 42 pilots have been part of the Red Baron Squadron. Those pilots flew more than 2,000 formation aerobatic air show performances, traveled more than 6 million miles and flew more than 80,000 passengers. The Squadron flew Stearman biplanes built between 1941 and 1942.

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