Randy W. Ball / MiG Pilot is a sixth generation Texan
who spent his early years in rural Texas, the same as most of his
ancestors, graduating from high school with a class of only 29. All
of Randy’s time, however, wasn’t spent on the ‘ranch’. His father
took him flying and he spent countless hours with one of his
heroes, his Great Uncle Gilbert Ball, who flew 56 missions over
Europe flying the B-17 Flying Fortress. Randy would ask questions
and listen to his uncle’s stories by the hour.
Even before college, Randy knew he wanted to fly. By the time
he was 13 years old, he had already taken off and landed a plane
with his father and soloed at the age of 18. Randy volunteered to work in his first air show in 1982 and flew in his first airshow more than 25 years ago. He performs throughout North America, From Canada to Mexico. He has flown more than 1,000 performances, making him one of the most internationally recognized jet aerobatic pilots ever. In fact, Randy is the only pilot in all of North America- (Civilian, or Military) to hold an FAA Unlimited Aerobatic rating for both Day and Night, in Jet Fighters.
- Over 30 years as a pilot, today an airline captain
- Over 25 years of air show experience
- Over 1,000 performances (Most of any US Jet Demo Pilot)
- Over 1,000 hours in Russian Jet Fighters- (Highest of any Western Pilot)
- Over 14,000 hours total flying time
- Flown over 40 different types of aircraft manufactured in 9 different countries
- Level I (unlimited) Jet Aerobatic Day and Nigh (The only Jet Pilot in North America)
- Only MiG-17 and pilot to fly as a “threat/aggressor” aircraft with the USAF F-4 Phantom while flying in Air Shows and on Film
- Functional test pilot on a number of MIG Fighter aircraft, including Russia's first all-weather interceptor, theMiG-17PF and is still the only pilot in North American to have ever flown this MIG variant.
- Founder and Director of Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Airshow.
- Current ICAS Safety Board member and on the Historical Aviation Memorial Museum Board of Directors in Tyler, TX
Randy Occasionally flies as the enemy aircraft with the USAF F-4. His solo demo is design to resemble the tactical demo of the F-16 Falcon, the first fighter that could out-turn the Vietnam era MiG-17. During his demo in the MiG-17F, he routinely pulls 8gs and reaches speeds approaching 700 mph all while sometimes flying less than 100 feet off the ground.
He likes to spend time with Civil Air Patrol Cadets and the Boy Scouts, and when asked what is his
favorite maneuver, he says “the vertical A/B roll”. When asked what his favorite air show is, he says “It’s the one
where I can have access to the fans, especially the kids. It is the kids who make all the work worth it. They are
the next generation, and the one hope I have is to inspire them in a positive way…to fly.”
RANDY BALL HAS PERFORMED JET AEROBATICS
IN MORE AIR SHOWS IN NORTH AMERICA
THAN ANY OTHER CIVILIAN JET PILOT
2015 MARKS RANDY’S 25TH YEAR AS A FEATURED AIR SHOW PERFORMER
PICTURED BELOW are students from the Grayson
County College Summer Institute of Science
&Technology who were treated
to a hands-on tour at Randy's MiG-I7F home
base. They loved the arm patch they each received
as a souvenirs: