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Larsen, Mathew telling unreal stories, plus highlights of upcoming La Crosse Airfest



Dave Larsen (left) and Bruce Mathew with La Crosse's Deke Slayton Airfest in the WIZM studio for La Crosse Talk PM on May 21, 2024.

While Dave Larsen and Bruce Matthew stopped in studio to talk about the Deke Slayton Airfest, we did get one story about blowing up a Mercury Zephyrs with C4 at Fort McCoy, and another about nearly crashing a plane as a teen and possibly never telling mom. 

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

Larsen is the Airfest media director and spent 20 years in Wisconsin Army National Guard, retiring in 1999, while Mathew is the Airfest air operations coordinator and has been a pilot since he was 14 years old. 

We spent most of the show talking about Airfest, which is happening June 13-14 and will feature the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s brand new F-22 Raptors. But we learn Apache helicopters are now part of the attraction — headed to town from Fort Campbell, Ken., as well as the Coast Guard’s “Dolphin,” MH-65 chopper out of Detroit.

We did take an interlude (11:30) to get an incredibly hilarious story from Larsen about blowing up his old winter beater at Fort McCoy that set the woods on fire. 

In the second half of the show (18:20), we got back into Airfest talk and some of the highlights of shows present and past. Airfest has been going on since 1998.

We discussed how the F22 Hornets show this year will compare to the Blue Angels and the brand new, trillion-dollar F-35 that was here back in 2021.

Then we got into a quick story from Mathew (31:20) about nearly crashing his plane as a teenage pilot, and apparently he never told his parents about it.

Lastly (34:30), we discussed the Freedom Honor Flight, that takes area veterans to Washington DC to see the memorials. The next one comes up Sept. 21. Any veteran can sign up

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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