Meet the Pilots

Barry Hancock

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Barry “Bdog” Hancock

Barry Hancock is an air show veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He started flying when he was 30 years old and hasn’t looked back!

At 31, four days before taking his private pilot check ride, Barry purchased his first warbird, a Nanchang CJ-6A Chinese military trainer. Since then, he has gone on to log over 2,000 hours in warbirds alone. Some of the warbirds he has flown include the P-51 Mustang, T-6, T-28, Stearman, Beech-18, Yak-52, L-29 and L-39. He currently has over 8,000 hours of total flight time in over 35 aircraft types. He holds type ratings in several different warbirds. Barry is also one of the few civilian pilots to fly in formation with the F/A-18 Hornets and has led a formation of 26 aircraft at Airventure Air Show in Oshkosh, WI.

When he’s not flying in air shows Barry is a pilot for a major airline flying the Airbus 320 series. He also works with the Commemorative Air Force as a formation instructor, aerobatic instructor, check airman, and is a Safety and Standards Committee member. Barry also flies in aerobatic competitions. In 2001, he entered the Barrego Ackrofest and won in his Nanchang CJ-6A. Then in 2017, he met Karl at an aerobatic competition, where they both flew Extra 300s in the Intermediate Category. That same year, Barry flew his Beech-18 over 3000 miles to participate in disaster relief efforts in Dominica after Hurricane Maria. He has also piloted a Citation X to 51,000 feet, where he was able to see the curve of the earth. Barry has also been published in aviation publications and speaks to youth and special interest groups about making come true through our unique gifts and talents.

Barry saw his first air show in 1976 at El Tora MCAS. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew in the show and have been his favorite military demo team ever since. As a kid, Barry wanted to be a fighter pilot, but was told he would not qualify after he was hit by a tennis ball that tore his retina (he later found out this was incorrect but had missed the cut-off for the Air National Guard). Instead, he went on to become a professional tennis player and held world rankings from 1987 to 1994. He was also a television sports broadcaster and radio talk show host in the 1990s.

Barry currently lives in Utah with his wife, Michelle and their six children.

Karl Gashler

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Karl “Gash” Gashler

Karl is a seasoned pilot, who served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force and began flying aerobatics at 16 years old. He currently has over 18,000 hours of flight time logged in 46 different aircraft, his favorite being the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Karl started flying at 15 years old in a Cessna 152. He flew his first aerobatics when he was 16 in a Christen Eagle. He later attended the U.S Air Force Academy, where as a cadet he was a glider instructor pilot. After graduating, Karl became a fighter pilot. He has flown every US version of the F-16 and two types of fighters flown by foreign allies. During his service, Karl also flew “Wild Weasel” missions and earned several Top Gun air-to-air combat and surface attack awards from fighter units around the world.

Outside of the air show world, Karl is a captain at Southwest Airlines and his favorite destination is Honolulu. He also competes in aerobatic competitions, builds experimental aircraft and is a volunteer pilot for the Flying Samaritans. He also continues to teach pilots how to fly aerobatics.

Karl has flown over every continent except Antarctica! His favorite flying is in a fighter jet at 500 feet off the ground, weaving through canyons at nearly the speed of sound.