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Modifications include:  Upgrading avionics systems for navigation and communications, removing excess weight for better air show performance, addition of a 30 gallon computerized smoke oil system, striping the camouflage paint scheme and repainting in gloss black.

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From arrival in U.S. to air show ready; each aircraft requires approximately 3000 man-hours of labor.  The PATRIOTS Jet Demonstration Team is based at the Byron Airport in Northern California .
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The PATRIOTS practice throughout the off-season in preparation of the air show season, which typically begins in June and last through November.

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A Practice session for the PATRIOTS consist of a meticulous preflight by the Crew Chiefs (about 3 hours), a pre-brief with the pilots and coaches (about 3 hours), the flight lasting about 30 minutes, and a post brief (about 1 ½ hours).
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In the interest of safety, the PATRIOTS will practice only one time per day a maximum of six days in a row.
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During practice, each PATRIOT aircraft will be video taped for debrief.
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For safety, the minimum crew at a practice session is the coach, traffic watch person, several videographers and three Crew Chiefs.
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The PATRIOTS pilots have many years of air show and aerobatic competition in their backgrounds. Lead Pilot Dean “Wilber” Wright is currently a USAF Lt. Col. flying the F-117 Stealth fighter pilot out of Holloman AFB, NM and former lead solo pilot for the USAF “Thunderbirds” flying the F-16.  Left Wingman John Posson is a current Airline Captain and has competed in aerobatics for the past 12 years in the unlimited category. Right Wingman Vlady Chetverous has a Military fighter background and was the right wingman for the 9 Ship Soviet Union Jet Demonstration Team. Slot Pilot Paul “Sticky” Strickland is currently a USAF Colonel and is a former slot pilot for the USAF “Thunderbirds” flying the F-16. Announcer and Media pilot Jon “Jughead “ Counsell is currently a USAF Maj. Flying the F-15 Eagle out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, ID.
 
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Please see www.airshowsamerica.com for complete pilot bios and PATRIOTS air show schedule.
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The PATRIOTS Jet Demonstration Team is partially sponsored by FRY’S ELECTRONICS and would not be able to demonstrate the capabilities of these beautiful rare aircraft to the public without their support.
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The PATRIOTS are looking for another partial sponsorship that would complement the FRY’S ELECTRONICS sponsorship.
Special thanks must go to Randy Howell and Cliff George

Source: Patriots

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