The voice behind the Owensboro Air Show

September 15, 2018 | 4:04 am

Updated September 17, 2018 | 11:23 am

Rob Reider will be announcing the Owensboro Air Show on Saturday and Sunday. | Photo by Marlys Mason

Rob Reider, the voice of the Owensboro Air Show, is a national air show announcer, but announcing airshows was not where he began his career.

Reider grew up in a musical family. He was in orchestral shows and his musical theatre background and ease with a microphone put him on the path to graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in broadcast journalism.

He continued to work behind the microphone with radio and television and was on a live talk and variety program 90 minutes a day, five days a week. During his 13-year broadcast career, he won five Emmy awards.

“I am at home behind the microphone — I know I have to keep [the show] going,” Reider said.

Reider attended the Dayton Air Show and in 1978, announced his first air show and in 1995, he joined the International Council of Airshows, the professional association whose mission “is dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry.”

In 2006, Reider left the church where he was working and made announcing air shows his full-time job. He is an independent contractor for air shows and books rather quickly. In fact, he is already booked for all of next season.

Reider announces 20 or more shows a year and has more than a basic knowledge of aviation. He is also a pilot and owns a Van’s RV 7A experimental plane; his wife is currently pursuing a private pilot’s license.

Reider is familiar with the performers, often providing information for the spectators about each aircraft or pilot during the performance. His excitement and aviation experience are easily communicated to the audience.

“They [the shows] are scripted, but I know them [the pilots and planes] very well,” Reider said. “Some have word-for-word scripts and some are bullet point guys letting me announce ‘It’s time for the 8-point-roll or here comes the photo pass.’”

The pilots and Reider are friends, often spending time together at the air show locations and going out for dinner to catch up and talk about their families, among other topics.

Rob Holland, one of the aerobatic performers at the Owensboro Air Show wanted Reider to officiate his wedding ceremony. Reider is also an Honorary Blue Angel, only one of 52 who have been given this honor.

“My heroes are now my friends. It is a very humbling experience to be around such aviation stars but so gratifying to be treated as an equal,” Reider said.

September 15, 2018 | 4:04 am

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