Sun ‘n Fun unveils evening programs

This year’s line-up of evening programs at Sun ‘n Fun ranges from a panel of Navy pilots commemorating the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation and one of the most recognized names in general aviation for more than a half century  — Paul Poberezny — to a look into the future of aviation by the world’s most acclaimed futurist. This year’s fly-in takes place March 29–April 3 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla.

“This year’s Evening Programs are shaping up to be among the most thought provoking and far-reaching – literally and figuratively – that Sun ’n Fun has ever offered,” said President and Convention Chairman John Burton. “There’s something for everyone each night of the week. What better way to cap off an exciting day on the flightline, in the exhibits area or attending education activities than with an informative, entertaining and inspirational evening program. The subject matter being covered and those presenting it will stimulate a great deal of thinking and rejuvenate everyone’s aviation appetites. It’s truly a stellar line up!”

Evening programs are held in the Florida Air Museum’s outdoor Pavilion, which is located adjacent to the museum. Programs begin at 8 p.m.

Following is a breakdown of the week’s Evening Programs:

Tuesday, March 29: “100 Years of Naval Aviation”

Hosted by NASA Space Shuttle Commander and Naval Aviator Capt. Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, with a panel of other naval aviators, including Vice Admiral Gerald L. Hoewing, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education); Commander Ed Schneider who, following his active duty in the Navy from 1968 to 1983, served in various capacities with NASA, most recently as Chief Test Pilot and Deputy Director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, and then as Pilot and Instructor Pilot at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Houston; and Lt. Commander Chuck Scott, who followed his Navy career by serving as a captain with Southwest Airlines.

Wednesday, March 30: “Desert Storm: A 20-Year Retrospective”

Hosted by Air Force Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Kory Cornum and Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Rhonda Cornum. The Cornums (who are husband and wife) will offer their perspectives on the conflict from the Air Force (Kory) and Army (Rhonda) perspectives with additional information on the critical roles played by other branches of the military. Both served in Desert Storm: Kory as a Flight Surgeon with the Air Force’s 33rd Fighter Wing and Rhonda as a Flight Surgeon with the Army’s 2/229 Attack Helicopter Battalion. During the last week of February 1991, while performing a search and rescue mission for a downed Air Force F-16 pilot, Rhonda’s Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. Five of the eight-person crew were killed. The three survivors, including Gen. Cornum, were captured by Iraqi forces and held for eight days before being repatriated. Currently, Kory is the Commander, 81st Medical Group, at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. He is also the senior market manager for TRICARE’s Gulf Coast Multi-Service Market, which includes five military medical facilities stretching from Mobile, Alabama, to New Orleans, and he is a co-lead for the Biloxi Department of Defense/Veterans Administration joint venture centers of excellence initiative. Rhonda currently serves as Director of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program.

Thursday, March 31: EAA Founder Paul H. Poberezny

Poberezny leads a discussion of aviation issues and introduces new EAA President Rod Hightower to Sun ‘n Fun attendees.

Friday, April 1: Sun ‘n Fun’s traditional Night Air Show takes to the skies.

The U.S. Navy’s southeast contemporary musical group “Pride” performs its high-energy act in the Sunset Grill before the night air show!

Saturday, April 2: The Future of General Aviation

Professional futurist, pilot, and former naval aviator John L. Petersen will take us on a tour of the horizon of GA in 2020. Fresh from keynoting a NASA workshop on the future of aviation in the U.S., he will tell a story about the future of GA that will surprise and encourage you. Major trends are transforming propulsion, fuel and power, materials, avionics, air traffic control, and American attitudes and environmental concerns, all of which are converging to redefine what we fly, how we fly and where we fly. In this era of unprecedented, exponential change, this early look at what might be coming our way will certainly give SNF aviators an early peek into an extraordinary future.

Sun ’n Fun’s Evening Programs are traditionally followed by aviation-themed movies.

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