2 pilots to fly over hometowns for Sun N’ Fun Aerospace Expo

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hundreds of pilots travel across the country to fly at the Sun N’ Fun Aerospace Expo, but two pilots are returning home to fly for the first time.

Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson has been a pilot in the United states Air Force for 14 years. This year is the first time he’s flying over his hometown.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Josh Gunderson takes over as the new F-22 Demonstration Team pilot and commander, Jan. 21, 2020, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. Gunderson, who goes by the callsign “Cabo,” will lead the 14-member demo team for both the 2020 and 2021 show seasons.

“My family is going to see my fly, some for the very first time, my grandmother will see my fly for the first time,” Gunderson said.

Gunderson was born and raised in Brandon. He graduated from Bloomingdale High School in 2004. After getting his diploma he immediately went to the Airforce Academy, and he has been flying planes since.

He currently flies F-22 Raptors and serves as his team’s commander.

8 On Your Side got a sneak peak into some of the tricks and flips Gunderson and his team will perform for this year’s Sun N’ Fun, but Gunderson says he’s hoping to show children in his hometown that they can achieve their dreams.

“If we can make that connection with one little kid in the audience and have them realize their dreams are attainable, then we’ve done our job,” he said. “It has nothing to do with flying, has nothing to do with any of that, it’s about connecting with the people in the local communities and explain through hard work, dedication, not letting people or things or obstacles get in the way, that’s one of the most important things.”

Also, a C-17 Pilot from Tampa will be flying this Sun N’ Fun as well. The hometown pilots fly Friday through Sunday.

A schedule is available on the event’s website.

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