Mike Stewart Air Show Excellence

Large Formation Flying with Team RV




Atlanta, GA – Twelve aircraft fill the sky with a nonstop display of close formation shapes, graceful aerobatics, opposing passes, smoke trails, and the growl of engines as they maneuver through show center. This is Team RV – the world’s largest air show team – in action.

Based in Atlanta, GA, Team RV is a group of southeastern pilots from a variety of backgrounds who are committed to developing and maintaining the personal and team skills necessary to safely fly close formation and thrill crowds at air shows across the South. “Our routines require intense concentration, highly developed stick and rudder fundamentals, and complete trust in fellow wingmen,” said Mike “Kahuna” Stewart, Team RV Flight Lead and Founder. “The reward of carrying out an action-packed performance with multiple aircraft can only be attained as a result of the passion and dedication of all team pilots,” he said. Pilots seek out the team, the team does not recruit.

Each member of Team RV holds certifications required by the FAA and ICAS (International Council of Air Shows) and meets additional strict team standards for safety and performance. Often, less than three feet separates the planes during the 18 minute performance. (See Pilot Bios here.)

The RV series experimental kitplanes flown by Team RV are low-wing monoplanes capable of attaining speeds in excess of 200 mph and are stressed for 6 g’s. Most members built their planes in their own hangar or garage, and no two planes are exactly alike. Every different paint scheme creates a colorful palette for spectators.

According to Stewart, the RV aircraft is the perfect platform for the team to achieve its reputation as one of the most audience-pleasing air show acts today. The plane’s fuel-sipping economy coupled with speed and aerobatic capabilities, plus the pilots’ abilities to maintain their own aircraft, make flying in large formation affordable and therefore possible.

While warbirds and certified airplanes have their own special place among air show performers, Team RV is unique. As eight airplanes create recognizable shapes such as the arrow, airplane, and diamond, another group of four performs loops, Cuban eights, hammerheads and more, creating constant action for viewers. Back on the ground, all ships salute the audience with a formation pivot turn and full smoke. The only time pilots are not focused on their wingmen is after the planes are safely chocked, and they disperse through the crowd to sign autographs and answer questions. Now it is evident that these ordinary guys


who decided to fuel their passion for flying by pursuing formation excellence, have achieved the extraordinary.

“Some of our team members have thousands of hours of flight time. Collectively, we have flown well over 100 different types of aircraft, from Piper Cubs to fighter jets. And yet every one of us will tell you that flying with Team RV, from practice to air shows to the off-time camaraderie, is the most rewarding flying experience we have had” said Stewart.

Stewart started Team RV in 2002 after a brief exposure to formation flying with just one fellow team member Bob “Subob” Goodman. Since then, the team has evolved to a 10-to-13 man group that now performs in national military and civilian air shows, local ceremonies, and missing man formations. This team has opened for the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds, and the Snowbirds, and has flown in the largest air shows in the world: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun. Team RV members also took part in the 2007 and 2009 World Record flights for the largest civilian formation ever recorded, both at Oshkosh.

For information on having Team RV fly for you contact:

Kari Morris

Mike Stewart  



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