Smith Center Airshow By Sharon Black

Smith Center Airshow plane
Smith Center Airshow plane
Smith Center Airshow sign

Smith Center Airshow sign

At the Gary Gardner Memorial Field at the Smith Center Municipal Airport on Sunday, September 17,
2023, was an airshow/practice for two stunt pilots. Craig Gifford and a female stunt pilot, Britt Lincoln.

On the bright yellow plane were three pilots’ names, but one pilot had been killed in an airshow a few
years earlier. Mark “Novo” Nowosielski was also a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

Gary Gardner learned to fly before he drove. Flying was his passion and a part of his business and life.
He bought Center Glass Company in Smith Center, Kansas in the 1970s, and organized a flying club
with local people. These local people and he owned a Beechcraft Bonanza. Gary flew spray planes.
From 1981 to 2001, Gary served Smith Center as the mayor. He improved the airport with state and
federal grants.

Gary passed away in 2008.

Craig Gifford was stunt flying the Extra 330SC. His 2017 US Unlimited Aerobatic Team won Bronze
in South Africa, and was a three-time member of the US Advanced team, having won numerous team
and flight medals, placing in the top 10 worldwide twice.

Britt Lincoln is undefeated in her last 5 competitions. In her first two years of aerobatic competition,
she won 8 of the 10 contests, Primary, Sportsman, and Intermediate categories.

Sharon Black has been writing for many years including newspapers, short stories, and as a publisher. She was born in Nebraska and has lived in Kansas most of her life. In her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas,  Willa Cather’s hometown is to the north and Bob Dole’s hometown is to the south. Sharon is a press release writer for the National Parks Arts Foundation and writes for b U n e k e  magazine. The biggest project she has accomplished is the co-writer of the TV movie Home on the Range. The movie is about the song, which is the state song of Kansas and the lawsuit surrounding it in the 1930s and finding the rightful author of the song. Sharon is distantly related to the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.

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