Grayson County News Archives - Texoma Connect

Texoma Host U.S. National Aerobatic Championships

US Nationals Aerobatics Championship

US National Aerobatic ChampionshipsTexoma Host U.S. National Aerobatic Championships at North Texas Regional Airport Perrin Field

The U.S. National Aerobatic Championships got off to a great start at the North Texas Regional Airport Perrin Field on Saturday, September 24th.  Currently in the top three; after the Free Known – Goody Thomas, Rob Holland and Mark Nowosielski.  The event is sponsored by the International Aerobatic Club, the world’s largest aerobatic club, with the main purpose of promoting and enhancing the safety and enjoyment of aerobatics.  Sunday’s flights were cancelled due to weather.  Sportsman/Primary Power/Glider and Advanced Power/Glider flights scheduled for Sunday will be flown on Monday, September 26th.  The Nationals will continue thru Friday, September 30th.

At this year’s U. S. National Aerobatic Championships, three teams will be selected for participation in next year’s World Championships in various categories. Pilots will try out for slots on the Unlimited Power Team and the Advanced and Unlimited Glider Teams. The final results of the Nationals will determine who goes to world competition next year in South Africa and Europe.

Team selection is governed by the IAC Official Contest Rules but also specific policies written for the Nationals and which are contained in IAC’s Policy & Procedures manual. This year, IAC will be trying something new by utilizing a “Free Known” sequence in team selection categories for the first time. This new sequence was implemented this year at world and continental championships by CIVA, the FAI’s aerobatics commission and governing body for international competitions. Since pilots will be flying Free Knowns next year at these championships, it was decided by the IAC Board of Directors that team aspirants should be exposed to this flight program at Nationals. The Free Known substitutes for the traditional Known program. Free Programs, which are usually the second sequence flown, are deleted from the schedule. Pilots will also fly “Free Unknowns” this year as they have during the past few Nationals.

The IAC is quick to point out that Aerobatic is not stunt flying.  It is precision flying.  It is about the pure freedom of flight in all forms.  The routes and maneuvers the pilots take are carefully choreographed and awards are given in a number of categories in both Power and Glider divisions.  This competition isn’t about speed or breath taking stunt flying.  It is all about gentle, relaxed maneuvers that combine technical skills and art, where both the analytical and intuitive sides of the brain are used.

Pilots must stay within an “Aerobatic Box”.  It is a block of air 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) long by 1,000 meters wide.  The upper and lower limits of the box are set based on the category a competitor is flying in.  The competitor has to stay within the lateral limits of the box and within the height limits. The lower limits of the box are, for safety reasons, strictly enforced. During competition there are boundary judges in place that determine when a competitor leaves the box. Boundary infringement penalties are subtracted from the pilot’s overall score.

If you are driving on Hwy 289 this week you will notice an open field on the west side of the highway across from the North Texas Regional Airport.  You may even see spectators in lawn chairs grouped together in the field.  They are in perfect position to watch the action in the “Aerobatic Box.”  If you get a chance, head on out to the NTRA and watch these magnificent men and women flying bold and beautiful flying machines.




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The Sherman Museum faces possible budget cuts

Sherman Museum
Sherman Museum Geology of the Texoma Area
Sherman Museum

Sherman City Council to deside the fate of The Sherman Museum

Sherman Museum | August 12, 2016

After a summer of happy families filling the museum to see DINO DAYS, The Sherman Museum is facing the unthinkable – possible closure.

The Sherman Museum houses approximately 50,000 artifacts in two historic downtown Sherman buildings and provides exhibitions and programming year-round. In an economy where many museums are struggling and failing, The Sherman Museum is experiencing just the opposite – a rise in attendance and participation. During June and July of this year, nearly 3,000 visitors – many being millennials with their children – enjoyed the museum’s blockbuster summer dinosaur exhibition. The museum’s Texoma Time Traveler exhibit, added in 2015, has also proven to be a significant draw for museum visitors. However, despite the museum’s attracting nearly twice as many people as in the past and its growing popularity, the City of Sherman has now proposed, yet again, to cut the museum’s yearly support – this time down to $50,000.

“Amazingly, we managed to absorb the reductions when the city chose to lower its yearly support to $70,000, but we simply can’t absorb any more funding cuts,” said Board of Trustees President Bea Harmon. “Though $50,000 is a lot of money, it’s not nearly enough to operate a professional museum. Truth be told, $70,000 isn’t enough, but we somehow did it, all the while increasing the museum’s popularity.” Museum staff and board members all agreed that if this proposed support amount of $50,000 is adopted, it will be a killer – a killer of jobs, programming, tourism, and, very possibly, the museum itself.

When we explained the seriousness of this issue to the city, it modified its offer, somewhat. If the museum agreed to accept the public library’s genealogy collection (which will be without a home as a result of the library’s well-deserved renovations), the city would increase its offer to $80,000. Museum board members and staff carefully considered this proposition and were forced to reject it. It was determined that taking on the library collection would ultimately cost the museum an additional $20,000 to $25,000 annually in subscription fees, salaries, equipment and supplies, thus doing nothing to alleviate the museum’s current financial needs. The adoption of the genealogy department – which takes up approximately 2,000 square feet – would cripple the museum’s mission further by requiring the entire downstairs area of the museum, thus eliminating all of the museum’s downstairs exhibits and its community room where special programming is held on a frequent basis. This would be catastrophic to the museum’s tourism efforts which, according to city leaders, must be the number one priority.

The Sherman Museum continues to serve the community as the city’s only tourism option with regular weekday and weekend retail hours. The museum is scheduled to be open 208 days in 2016, which is approximately 1,500 hours of being open to the public.

As far as the museum’s tourism efforts, in the past two months, visitors have come from 18 states – Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, the museum recorded guests from 25 locations in Oklahoma and 71 locations in Texas! Many of those visitors bought items from the museum store where they paid sales taxes that directly aid the city tax base. No doubt a lot of those guests shopped and dined locally, and a number stayed in hotels. All in all, the museum staff and board members are confident these museum guests made a sizeable contribution to the local economy.

Museum Director, Dan Steelman noted, “We are hoping to convince city officials to revise the museum’s support level to a more realistic amount – with no strings attached. We believe $80,000 is close enough to the traditional support level to guarantee a fully functioning museum. Our desire is that the city will find the genealogy department a good home, but not at the expense of the museum.”

The museum will voice its opinions at a hearing to discuss the matter on August 15, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. in council chambers. We encourage all friends of the museum, folks who enjoy innovative events and exhibitions like History Comes Alive, DINO DAYS, Evening of Texana, and Texoma Time Traveler to rise up with us and let the city know that extinction is not an option for our vibrant museum.

About The Sherman Museum

The Sherman Museum is a non-profit 501(c) (3) educational organization devoted to collecting, preserving and interpreting objects of historical significance for visitors and residents of Grayson County and the Greater North Texas Region. The museum was previously known as The Red River Historical Museum prior to a name change in March 2011. For more information about The Sherman Museum contact us at

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Wings of Freedom Tour

Wings of Freedom Tour 2016

Wings of Freedom Tour at Northtexas Regional Airport/Perrin Field

Four of the most famous WWII bomber and fighter aircraft will be flying into Denison Texas as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour 2016.

The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell and North American P-51 Mustang will be on display in Denison at North Texas Regional Airport/Perrin Field from March 28 to March 30.

During World War II, aviation firmly established itself as a critical component of modern warfare. Military investment during WWII accelerated aviation design considerably. The Collings Foundation has recovered and restored many of the true landmark aircraft that built the world aviation history.

In honor of our WWII Veterans  The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour Brings Extremely Rare Bomber and Fighter Aircraft for Local Living History Display as Part of 110-city Nationwide Tour.

Wings of Freedom TourWalk Through Tour Times (no reservations needed):
3/28/2016 – 12:00 PM till 4:30 PM
3/29/2016 – 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM
3/30/2016 – 9:00 AM till 12:00 PM
$12 Adults / $6 Children 12 and under.

Flights take place before and after tours.
30-minute flight on the B-17 or B-24 is $450 per person
30-minute flight on the B-25 is $400 per person
30-minute flight training on the P-51C is $2200
60-minute flight training on the P-51C is $3200

For reservations and information on flight experiences call  1-800-568-8924.

World War II Collection

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