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Florida air shows abound this fall

Jim Abbott on Florida Travel

Postcards from Florida

August 11, 2012

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One of my most treasured memories from many years of reporting was the chance to ride with the Blue Angels in the early 1990s.

An excursion in a fighter jet — even my truncated media flight — trumps any roller coaster ride on the planet. I'm proud to say that I didn't lose my lunch in flight, although to be fair, I was too nervous for a pre-flight meal.

It was thrilling, but I'm not sure I'd climb into another fighter jet now.

Likewise, I'm more selective when it comes to attending air shows.

Call me a wimp, but it's not worth enduring the brutal summer heat to stare skyward into an unforgiving sun as the sweat drips into my eyes.

Fortunately, air shows aren't a seasonal attraction in the Sunshine State. There still are plenty of opportunities to catch vintage aircraft and state-of-the-art fighters in the fall. Here's the lineup:

•Cocoa Beach Air Show, Sept. 22 and 23, Cocoa Beach: The theme is "year of extreme flight," a notion celebrated by performers such as the Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team and the Bell-Boeing B-22 Osprey above Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. (cocoabeachairshow.com)

•Wings and Waves Air Show, Oct. 13 and 14, Daytona Beach: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University sponsors this show, which features performances by the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Canadian Snowbirds and other aerobatic attractions over the World's Most Famous Beach. (wingsandwaves.com)

•Sea & Sky Spectacular, Oct. 19-21, Jacksonville Beach: The Navy's Blue Angels will be the featured attraction at this show in the skies above the beach between First Avenue North and Sixth Avenue North in Jacksonville Beach. (makeascenedowntown.com/events)

•Naval Air Station Pensacola Open House, Nov. 2 and 3, Pensacola: A homecoming show by the Blue Angels is the highlight of this show in the cradle of Naval aviation. The air station's museum is not to be missed. (naspairshow.com)

•Wings Over Homestead, Nov. 3 and 4, Homestead: The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Army's Golden Knights parachute team star at Homestead Air Reserve Base in South Florida. (wingsoverhomestead.com)

•Stuart Air Show, Nov. 10 and 11, Stuart: The Navy Leap Frogs parachute team is among the acts at Witham Field in Stuart. (stuartairshow.com)