Pilot equipment and apparel provided by LIFT Aviation

Red Thunder Airshows

Red Thunder Airshows is the nation’s only 2-ship Yak-50 demo team! Barry Hancock and Karl Gashler are veteran pilots who know how to put all their skills and precision to the test in a way that captivates audiences across the country! Between the sound of the heart pounding radial engine and their thrilling maneuvers, the Red Thunder Airshows’ performance is unforgettable!

Barry Hancock

Thunder 1

Barry “Bdog” Hancock

Barry Hancock is Red Thunder 1. He is an air show veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He has over 8,000 hours of total flight time in over 35 aircraft types. READ MORE

Karl Gashler

Thunder 2

Karl “Gash” Gashler

Karl Gashler flies Red Thunder 2. He is a seasoned pilot, having served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force and flying aerobatics since he was 16 years old. He currently has over 18,000 hours of flight time logged in 48 different aircraft. READ MORE


This program is FREE, with no additional cost for the air show or schools.

Red Thunder Airshows inspires the next generation of aviators with their vast aviation knowledge. The Adopt-A-Pilot Program allows students to “adopt” the Red Thunder Airshows pilots for the weekend.

Together with the Air Show, Red Thunder Airshows selects a group of local students. Before the air show, students get a chance to meet the pilots over Zoom and ask questions about aviation.

Karl and Barry will give special STEM presentations at the air show and coordinate closely with air show organizer STEM programs.

About the Aircraft

The Yaks are the final iteration of several post-WWII designs by the legendary Sergei Yakovlev. The Yak-50 was in production from 1975 to 1986 with a total of just 314 built. There are less than 60 Yak-50s still flying today.