Classic jets fly into Griffiss for aerobatics, formation training

Published Jun 19, 2018 at 4:01pm

Keep your eyes to the skies over Griffiss International Airport this week for aerobatic and formation flight training by the Classic Jet Aircraft Association.

The private club will be at Griffiss from today through Sunday, from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., training in the airspace above Griffiss, according to Lisa DeFrees Lovett, associate publisher of FLYING magazine.

The club is comprised of private jet owners from across the country who fly together as hobbyists, DeFrees explained.

“They fly them as enthusiasts, but a number of them fly in air shows,” said DeFrees, a Rome native, who introduced the club to the Griffiss Airport as a viable flying space.

“They enjoy flying former military fighter jets of various makes and models,” DeFrees added.

The CJAA members will be flying surplus ex-military aircraft, including the MIG series, L-29s, L-39s, T-33s, Jet Provost and F 86 Sabres.

Many of the jets have competed in the Reno Air Races, she noted.

“We are pleased that the Classic Jet Aircraft Association chose Griffiss International Airport as the place to conduct this training event and hope that all of those participating enjoy everything Oneida County has to offer,” said County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. in a release.

The training sessions are not open to the public inside the airport, authorities said, but the planes and their training sessions will be visible from outside the fence.

DeFrees said that the private owners often decorate their jets in bright colors to show them off.

“The owners take incredible pride” in their aircraft, DeFrees said.