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Last updated on 3/16/17

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Silver Eagles


The Silver Eagles were the Armies precision rotary aviation flight team
Image courtesy of "Rocket" Rochat


Since we supported the Army’s recruiting efforts, the Army hired a professional photographer to come to Ft Rucker to shoot a bunch of publicity photos, many of which turned out to be quite good I think. Since photographers prefer the “spectacular” shots, much of our flying for him was at dawn & dusk, which made for some long days! When I returned to Rucker in 1977 for my 2d tour there, the Eagles had just been disbanded a few months prior & one of the team’s last pilots gave me an original copy of those photos & some 16mm film for safe keeping

Photo taken of the wedge formation @ approx ˝ rotor disc separation flying west from Ft Rucker into the sun until it turned dark one Fri or Sat nite (don’t remember which one – but I do remember some of the flight instructors asking me what we were doing flying in formation so late at nite on a weekend).

Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Trail formation flying down the Chattahoochee River.
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


The opening Starburst maneuver (from the viewing stand perspective)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


The opening Starburst maneuver (from the photographer’s perspective directly under the formation)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Solo “Climb & Dive” (from the photographer’s point of view)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Solo “Climb & Dive” (from the spectator’s perspective)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Solo Spiral Climb, Split S, & Dive (spectator’s viewpoint)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Solo Spiral Climb, Split S, & Dive (photographer’s view from altitude)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Solo Spiral Climb, Split S, & Dive (photographer’s view from ground)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Bozo announcing his presence
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Bozo with his giant yo yo (spectator’s view)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Bozo & his yo yo (photographer’s view)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Echelon formation (photographer’s aerial view)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Echelon formation (as seen by spectators with MAJ Bill Bowling (Narrator & Team XO) & LTC Don Galla (Team Commander) in foreground as the formation makes its final pass in front of the crowd
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Echelon formation (as seen by spectators with aircraft breaking the formation to begin the landing pattern)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Yours truly preflighting the aircraft prior to the show
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Me meeting GEN Westmoreland after the Beaufort, SC show
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Me with my helmet – didn’t even know that sneaky photographer took the photo until later!
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


MSG Bill Pethel & the aircraft crew chiefs saluting as we depart the parking area to begin the show
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Posing with air show sponsor representatives at an evening reception following the air show
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Me with SP4 Jason Beechwood, my crew chief who did a great job keeping my aircraft in great shape & was rewarded by having to endure listening to country music on the ADF enroute between air show sites!
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


My mom & dad (who had come to Duluth, MN to see the show)
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


To the best of my knowledge, only once during the 1973 air show season were any families able to attend any of our shows. I was the lucky one & this is me with my 2 sisters & brother-in-law following the Duluth, MN airshow
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


Nationally known air show announcer Bill Bordeleau announcing the Silver Eagle pilots to the crowd following one of the air shows
Image courtesy of Jim Kluender – Solo


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