Aeroshell Aerobatic Team brings a century of combined experience to Air & Water Show

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Air and Water Show week is in full swing and all week long ABC7 Eyewitness News is helping you get to know the pilots.

With more than 100 years of experience of flight time combined the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team is a sight to see.

Chief Meteorologist Jerry Taft spoke one of the men behind the wheel and took a look inside their World War II fighter style aircraft.

For the last 20 years the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team has been firing up their engines and taking flight in the Chicago Air and Water Show.

"We're a close formation aerobatic team. We do the same thing as the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels except we're doing it in propeller driven airplanes. WWII vintage airplanes, up close and personal. You can actually see us in the cockpit when we're inverted," said Steve Gustafson, Left Wing, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

Gustafson has been flying for 32 years and for him aviation is a family affair. He set his eyes on the skies from a very young age.

"Legally, I actually started when I was 12 but don't tell anybody. I did, I always wanted to but I grew up in an aviation family. My father flew everything and I just jumped in there and kind of followed along in his footsteps.

Gustafson and Team Aeroshell perform a 13 minute show of close formation loops and barrel rolls, all inside a piece of history.

"These air planes that you see in the background are actually WWII veterans. These airplanes were built in the 40s and actually served during WWII and trained pilots to fly fighters, bombers and everything. AT-6 stands for advance trainers," said Gustafson.

For most of the team, flying is a full-time job. Is there anything else they'd rather do?

"Gee that's a hard one. I'm the most blessed person you've ever met and I can't think of anything, I really can't," he said.

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Aeroshell Aerobatic Team brings a century of combined experience to the Chicago Air & Water Show.

ABC7 will feature many stories this week leading up to the Chicago Air & Water Show. For more information about watching the show, CLICK HERE.
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