Midland, Texas 79705
Tips for Pyro
First: Plan ahead! The Blastards are a group of volunteers. We donate our time and expertise to bring special effects to an airshow. Any profit we generate above the cost of materials and travel is a donation back to the Commemorative Air Force. So, since pyro is not our livelihood, many of our volunteers take vacation time to support airshows. Therefore, time is needed to arrange for “time-off” etc. Also, the majority of our airshow schedule for any given year begins being booked at ICAS in the month of December for the next year’s airshow season. You should consider contacting a pyro contractor first in planning an airshow.
For Civilian Airshows:
Plan ahead! Check local ordinances for using explosives and open flame in your area. Contact your local Fire Marshall for advice and get answers. Contact your pyro contractor well in advance of your planned show. A six month head start on pyro is not too soon. Many airshow promoters arrange their aircraft first and then search for pyro to match the planned aircraft demos. This is backwards. The more time in advance you make contact for pyro, the better your chances are for finding a pyro contractor that has your dates open and can make their way through the maze of local and state laws, locate an ordnance manufacturer in your area and arrange for explosive storage and coordinate the movement of the volunteer pyro personnel. Don’t worry about the exact planes you may have at your show. Our SIC’s are not only trained professionals in handling high explosives, but are very talented when it comes to matching explosives to any given aircraft for the desired effect to the crowd. We can shoot anything from an “L Bird” simulating a marker shot, to a full 64 shot cluster bomb demo delivered by the B-1B Lancer. As a civilian airshow promoter, if you are planning on having modern military aircraft at your show and desire pyro for those planes, you must have an ACC qualified shooter. For Military Airshows:
Plan ahead! Contact your Base’s weapons safety officer and discuss your plans for pyro. Confirm that civilian ordnance can be brought onto the Base. Confirm there is (or is not) magazine storage available for the ordnance. Clearly identify a single POC (point of contact) to communicate with the pyro contractor. We have had many instances where there are 3 or 4 people at the same Base making contact with us desiring a bid/paper work etc. Contact your pyro contractor at least 120 days in advance of the planned airshow. Please check the ACC website, there are only 14 people in the United States and Canada approved to shoot ordnance in support of the A-10 and F-15 Strike Eagle demos. These 14 individuals can get “booked-up” early in the year. The Blastards have a military contractor ID and can be paid by wire transfer following a show. Some of the military Bases we have worked with in providing pyro are: