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gpang788
07-19-2004, 11:41 AM
Just curious, how do airshow pilots make their $$. How much do they make per show on average?

Pilots like Patty Wagstaff or Sean D Tucker, are they rich ( as in multi-millionaires?) from doing airshows?

gpang788
07-19-2004, 11:41 AM
Just curious, how do airshow pilots make their $$. How much do they make per show on average?

Pilots like Patty Wagstaff or Sean D Tucker, are they rich ( as in multi-millionaires?) from doing airshows?

VF-17_Jolly
07-19-2004, 11:53 AM
The only way to make a lot of money out of a warbird is to sell it, You generaly need a lot of money in the first place or buy one a long time ago they are horrendosly expencive to buy and even more to run a few make a business out of it but mostly its for the love of the machine lots rely on donations and can bearly afford to keep the plane let alone run it you wont get rich showing a warbird....

http://www.skyknights.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/jolly.jpg

lindyman
07-19-2004, 12:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gpang788:
Just curious, how do airshow pilots make their $$. How much do they make per show on average?

Pilots like Patty Wagstaff or Sean D Tucker, are they rich ( as in multi-millionaires?) from doing airshows?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There's only one way to make a minor fortune in aviation, and that's to start with a big one.
_
/Bjorn.

Chuck_Older
07-19-2004, 12:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gpang788:
Just curious, how do airshow pilots make their $$. How much do they make per show on average?

Pilots like Patty Wagstaff or Sean D Tucker, are they rich ( as in multi-millionaires?) from doing airshows?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you'll find that airshow pilots mostly do other things than fly at airshows. By which I mean: airshow pilot is not their primary occupation

*****************************
Killers in America work seven days a week
~ Clash

TD_Klondike
07-19-2004, 12:44 PM
Oshkosh airshow is coming up real soon, you should check it out if you can. I know a couple of them (which is to say probably most of them) have very comfortable jobs as airline pilots, and do airshows because flying is a labor of love to them.

http://www.airventure.org/2004/performers/

Everything you wanted to know about the Airventure performers. Or at least a short bio about them.

[This message was edited by TD_Klondike on Mon July 19 2004 at 11:53 AM.]

ELEM
07-19-2004, 01:35 PM
A show a/c owner will normally just recieve expenses for the flight.

I wouldn't join any club that would have ME as member!

http://img35.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Elem_Klimov/I-16_desktop.jpg http://img35.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Elem_Klimov/dhm_787_small.jpg

TX-EcoDragon
07-19-2004, 02:39 PM
Only a very small number really make the big bucks after costs. Much of this funding is from his/her sponsor, as well as the airshow itself. The reason I say that is becasue an airshow pilot's cost to operate is fairly high, so in order for them to make a profit requires that they must put out to maintain and ferry their aircraft and equipment and then have a nice bit of cash left over. Many perfomers have sponsors who pay only a bit more than the cost of operating the aircraft to keep their pilot flying, and then the money the pilot does get in excess of that amount is usually from the show itself, and while it is good pay for a few days time, it doesn't pay the bills over a year. Also keep in mind that there is a reasonably long off-season, where the shows dont pay. If you look at this number on papaer though, you will still see pretty large numbers, simply becasue the direct costs of these aircraft, storage/airport facilities, insurance, maintainance, safety equipment, fuel and oil all end up costing rather large amounts. Not to mention that the pilots must maintain top form by flying their routines often, so for every hour they fly in a show there are many many more spent in practice.

Also, the cost to get good enough, and unique enough to land a big sponsor is a large amount as well, typically these pilots are putting most of their money right into their planes, competing at IAC contests, and making a name forthemselves at smaller shows more or less out of pocket.

You will find many airshow pilots are Airline pilots, (that pays!), Flight Instructors, ACE evaluators (airshow competency evaluators), coaches for the up and coming airshow pilots, crop dusters, or whatever during the off season. Many continue to be judges and/or competitors in the IAC.

To fly at the top level, they have to have a real passion for flying, and desire and ability to master a spectrum of challenges with everything new they try, and the discipline to keep sharp on the basics tehy already have in the bag, and that passion is usually the real reason pilots become aerobatics pilots, and a big reason why airshow performers do it.

S!
TX-EcoDragon
Black 1
TX Squadron XO
http://www.txsquadron.com

Member-Team Raven
http://www.waynehandley.com

Northern California Aerobatic Club
http://www.iac38.org/

First Slot Pilot Aircraft #4 of the Virtual Haute-Voltige Team
http://www.vhvt.com/

http://www.attitudeaviation.com/

http://www.txsquadron.com/uploaded/TX-EcoDragon/ravenvert.jpg

[This message was edited by TX-EcoDragon on Mon July 19 2004 at 01:49 PM.]

DHC2Pilot
07-19-2004, 09:13 PM
Virtually all performers today are sponsored by major corporations which help fund the cost of maintaining and ferrying the aircraft to and from shows. This money is divided among the team to help cover personal costs related to travel, etc. In return the corporations gain advertising exposure by having their logo displayed. For the most part the performers don't make much money doing it, it is done out of a love for the sport. The actual amount depends on the number of shows the teams perform in and the average size of the crowds attending the shows. By the way, Patty Wagstaff is HOT - I'd drink her bathwater!!!

gpang788
07-20-2004, 02:15 AM
"By the way, Patty Wagstaff is HOT - I'd drink her bathwater!!!"

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif me too!!

Wonder if she plays AEP? Patty u here?

Salfordian
07-20-2004, 02:24 AM
I guess the high cost is why quite a few of the warbird owners, particularly spits I've read, convert them into 2 seaters. Iknow I'd re-mortgage the house, if the missus would let us, to fly in the back of a spit or p51.

tfu_iain1
07-20-2004, 04:28 AM
Warbirds and aviation adventures are more of a thing to do once you are right, rather than a thing that makes you rich. look at paul allen- i know he's helped fund an ansari x-prize attempt, isnt he working on a bf109 e -series also? i know he also has a collection of warbirds.

UK_Scooby
07-20-2004, 04:37 AM
EcoDragon was spot on with his post.
Airshows do pay pilots for their performance, but in reallity it only covers the costs of transporting the aircraft to the show and to cover accomodation expenses. As EcoDragon stated, most pro aerobatic pilots hold a "day job" in order to pay their mortgages and to gain the hours required for insurance company requirements.

Here's a quick indictaion of some of the hidden costs to operate a Spitfire for a year (prices in UK pounds):-

1. Insurance: approx 24,000 per year. (assuming full ATPL license and 250 hours on type)

2. Maintenance and Oils: Approx 22,000 per year.

3. Cost to purchase: approx 1.5 million assuming a recently restored example.

Ok, can we afford to fly a Spitfire?
1. Let's assume that we fly two 15 minute shows each weekend for 16 weeks (8 hours total). 2. 2. Let's also assume that you fly for one hour to position the aircraft between each weekend show event (16 hours).

Total Hours = 24.
General Costs = 46,000
Cost per hour = 1916.66

Of course, this assumes you don't prang the thing!

This info from BBMF in 2002 so expect the prices to have increased a little by now.

Hope this helps.
Scoob.

BinaryFalcon
07-20-2004, 07:00 AM
Since the main question has already been answered, I'll just throw in this little bit:

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to have seen a 2 day show that included most of the big names in the airshow business, including Sean Tucker and Patty Wagstaff. I felt sorry for Sean though, as both days he had to cut his performance short due to bird strikes. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif At least I managed to see his full routine the day before the show began, as he was out over the beach practicing (as were the Thunderbirds, at a different time of course).

Anyway, back to my point:

They've all got their own style, and there's no mistaking it when you see it. They're extremely precise and accurate in what they do. Watching Sean Tucker push his plane right to the edge and hold it there was amazing.

But Patty's style was different, completely. She pushed just as hard and was just as precise as all the others, but she made it all flow in a way that none of the other performers I have seen were able to do. At the risk of this coming across improperly, maybe it was the whole "woman's touch" thing. Sean and all of the other male pilots were snapping violently between manuevers, which gave their performances a very "hard" look.

Patty's was much "softer", and she rarely made moves that appeared sudden and violent. Now I know what her routine looks like from inside the cockpit, and what kind of Gs she pulls doing it, but the way she makes it appear from outside you'd never imagine she's pushing and pulling as much as she is.

I remember that making a big impression on me at the time. Technically she was doing most of the same things as all the others, but she definitely made it hers. It was almost like she took the "utility" of the aerobatic maneuvers and dressed them up to make them beautiful as well as functional.