For the second year in a row, the San Juan Squadron, Pagosa Springs’ own formation-flying team, will open the Boom Days Parade.
The lead aircraft, a red-and-silver Van RV-8, will be flown by Craig Taylor of Pagosa Springs.
Taylor joined the Navy in 1966 and attended the Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. He earned Navy Wings in February 1968, and was assigned to Attack Squadron 25 flying the A-7 Corsair II aircraft. He flew over 100 combat missions in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga (CVA-14).
After Vietnam, Taylor spent three years as an instructor pilot for naval aviators transitioning to the A-7E aircraft, and 20 years as a corporate pilot.To date Taylor has flown over 10,000 hours, with 1600 hours in the RV-8.
Skip Thomas will be flying a Van RV-4 in the flyover. Thomas began formation training with the San Juan Squadron three years ago and has attended a formal training program at Fredericksburg, Texas. In addition to flying fixed-wing aircraft, he is an accomplished helicopter pilot. His RV-4 is painted white with red trim
Tim Gallagher flies a Van RV-4 painted white with blue trim. Gallagher has been flying with the Pagosa Springs San Juan Squadron for eight years. He first flew his Piper Comanche in formation, then opted to rebuild and restore a damaged RV-4 for formation and acrobatic flying.
Gallagher was previously a farmer and farm equipment dealer in Alamosa, and now splits his time between Pagosa Springs and Alamosa.
Travis Reese, from Grand Junction, is the newest member of the San Juan Squadron. He flies a black and silver RV-4.
Reese has received formal formation-flying training through programs at Havasu Lake and Madera, California. He is an accomplished competitor in acrobatic flying.