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Bandits to fly over stadium for HHS homecoming

The Bandit Flight Team will fly over Dietz Field at the start of Hendersonville High School's homecoming game on Oct. 1. The Bandit Flight Team will fly over Dietz Field at the start of Hendersonville High School's homecoming game on Oct. 1.

Jim Kilpatrick brought his Bandit team flyover to Main Street for the first time last year because of a local connection.


A 1964 graduate of Hendersonville High School, he was a classmate of Hall Waddell, the Triangle Stop owner.
“Hall Waddell covered the cost for us to come up here,” Kilpatrick said.
A graduate of Western Carolina University, Kilpatrick joined the Air Force and flew 257 missions in the F-100 Super Saber in Vietnam, earning two Distinguished Flying Cross Medals, 13 Air Medals and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He flew for American Airlines for 34 years in the U.S., South America, Europe and the Far East, retiring in 2006 from the cockpit of a Boeing 777. He and his wife, Beverly, have lived for more than 30 years in Cary, where they raised their four daughters.
The Bandit Flight Team, which Kilpatrick formed in 2009, makes about 40 flights a year over stadiums, festivals and charity events, including N.C. State’s home football games, NASCAR races, Raleigh’s Christmas parade and services honoring military veterans. The organization has grown to 10 planes and seven ground controllers.
Kilpatrick’s Hendersonville connection is resulting in a treat for the Bearcat nation.
“I’m being inducted into the Hendersonville High School Hall of Fame so I brought the Bandit Team with me,” Kilpatrick said.
The six pilots will take off from Asheville, reaching Dietz Field as the national anthem plays just before kickoff of the Bearcats’ homecoming game on Oct. 1.
“We give ourselves a 4-second window to hit ‘home of the brave,’” he said.