30+ pilots take part in 20th Lone Star Aerobatic Championship

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DENISON, TX-Dozens of pilots from Texas and Oklahoma took off in Denison Friday, doing loops, barrel rolls and spins up in the sky for the 20th annual Lone Star Aerobatics Championship.

Derek Crews was driving home when he and his grandson, Nolan, saw several planes twisting in Denison's skies,so they decided to stop by the North Texas Regional Airport to check it out.

"Plane!" Said Nolan.

"That's the red plane. He said he likes to point out the colors of the plane, it's the first chance he's ever had that he's actually walked all the way to a plane and look in the cockpit," said Crews.

NTRA Director Mike Shahan said they've hosted the annual Lone Star Aerobatic Championship for 20 years and he said the event not only brings an airborne spectacle over Grayson county, but it also helps business take off.

"It's good for the local economy. They're staying in the hotels, eating at the restaurants, it's good for our businesses at the airport, maintenance sometimes, there's definitely fuel sales, it helps our traffic count," he said.

Shanan said the pilots in town that weekend are the best of the best.

"There are several top performers in air shows that compete every year at Lone Star and the U.S. Nationals, so you will see the best aerobatic pilots in the country here," he said.

There are 38 pilots in the competition and one of them is Julia Wood, who owns one of the planes.

Wood has been competing at NTRA in the Lone Star and U.S. National Championships since 1996 and she is one of only a handful of women taking part in the sport.

"This is just so much fun. You don't have to be big obviously, you don't need to be strong, you just got to have the mindset to want to do it and come out and enjoy. I always tell people that this is so easy even the guys can do it," she said.

The aerobatic competition continues through Saturday night and it's free to the public.

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