Former Marine Jim LeRoy's flying is often referred to as "seriously extreme" and after watching his low altitude maneuvers, I can tell you that is no exaggeration. Here Jim can be seen taking his highly modified Pitts model S2S (named the "Bulldog") down on the deck (way down).

After another low pass, Jim corkscrews the Bulldog into the sky... it's a wild ride which leaves even veteran air shows watchers in awe.

Ian Groom's FedEx Sukhoi SU-31 is capable of a roll rate of 400 degrees per second. Here he performs his signature corkscrew maneuver, trying to break his 2001 world record (set at last year's show) of 40 consecutive snap rolls.

A fourth generation native of Key West, FL, Fred Cabanas has been flying since the age of 13. Fred makes a living offering tours, acrobatic rides/instruction, towing banners and running "bombing missions" for the Conch Republic in his vintage (1941) WACO Biplane.

Sean Tucker has been performing at air shows since the mid-70's and tries to fly every day to keep his G-tolerance levels high. He has been a top finisher in acrobatic competition and the first person ever to win the two most prestigious airshow industry awards in the same year. Here he can be seen high above the crowd performing his "hover" maneuver in his one-of-a-kind Team Oracle Challenger II biplane. Sean is also known for his signature "Centrifuge" maneuver, a grueling series of eight to ten end-over-end tumbles pulling between +11 and -7.5 Gs.

The arrival of Fat Albert means the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team is not far behind as millions of people head for the beach and A1A for the best view. This year's air show is expected to surpass last year's attendance record of 4.1 million people for the two day event.

The pride of naval aviation, the Blue Angels take center stage in their sleek F/A-18 Hornets.

In a tight diamond formation, the distance from wing-tip to canopy is as little as 18 inches. All eyes and ears are on flight leader Commander Rob Ffield as he guides the formation past show center. Cmd. Ffield can be heard using a scanner radio as he issues instructions to the other aviators to "pullllllllllll."

All six Angels group over show center during the breath taking high speed arial performance. Good weather permitted them to fly their "high show" on both days.

Three MH-47 Chinook helicopters patrol overhead as Marines stage a mock assault down on Ft. Lauderdale beach.

Another demonstration of a pararescue operation using US Air Force Pavehawk helicopters while A-10 Thunderbolt IIs (affectionately called "Warthogs" by their pilots) provide close air support.

Divers repel from a hovering Pavehawk during the pararescue mission. The divers then swam to shore and talked with the crowd while still in the water.

A few of the happy airshow attendees... from left to right: Dana, Oscar, Dave and Tom.

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2003 Ft. Lauderdale Air & Sea Show Photos

2001 Ft. Lauderdale Air & Sea Show Photos

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2002 Ft. Lauderdale Air and Sea Show Photos
Copyright © 2002 by Thomas R. Pasawicz. All rights reserved.