Home News Local News Luminati air show at Calverton called off

Luminati air show at Calverton called off

A solar-powered ultralight "pilot optional" plane flown by Luminati pilot Rob Lutz at a demonstration event last June in Calverton. File photo: Denise Civiletti

(Updated: Saturday, April 15) One week after announcing an air show to be held at the Calverton Enterprise Park in June, Luminati Aerospace has canceled the event.

The Calverton-based company said in a press release last week its “Cradle of Aviation Air Show” would be held June 17 at the enterprise park, where it holds an exclusive license to use the town-owned runways at the site. It said the show would feature aerial displays of vintage World War II aircraft as well as electric/solar powered aircraft.

But Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said Tuesday Luminati had not applied for a special event permit for the event and the town would not likely approve such a permit. Unless the air show would be limited to fewer than 1,000 spectators, it was too late for an application to be filed under the town code, which requires 120 to 180 days lead time.

Walter said he contacted Luminati CEO Daniel Preston Tuesday to urge him to cancel the event. He said the town board would not likely support an air show in June while the town is actively negotiating a sale of the site to Luminati.

The cancellation was first reported by the News-Review and confirmed today by Luminati spokesperson Jeremy Freeman. The air show website cradleofaviationairshow.com has been taken down.

On Friday afternoon Luminati released a statement about the cancellation. 

“We wanted to pay respects to veterans and  former Grumman employees by having an exciting event for the town of Riverhead. However we will comply with the wishes of the town,” Luminati CEO Daniel Preston said in the statement. “On June 17, instead of the air show we will be having a ribbon cutting for Plant Six and the unveiling of the new Team Stratos, he said. “We are looking forward to the return of aerospace manufacturing and testing at the historic Grumman Naval Weapons Reserve Plant in Calverton. ”

Though the air show was to bear the name “Cradle of Aviation” the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City was not involved in the event, according to the museum’s executive director, Andy Parton. He said in an interview Tuesday he’d been in touch with Luminati to ask the company to change the name of the air show.

The Town of Riverhead and Luminati have signed a letter of intent for the sale of the town’s remaining 1,400 acres at the enterprise park for $40 million. The parties have 30 days from the date of the letter to negotiate the terms of a “definitive agreement in principle” for the sale. Once the terms of the definitive agreement are settled, the town will hold a hearing, pursuant to state law, to determine whether Luminati is “qualified and eligible sponsor.” If the town board determines Luminati is a “qualified and eligible sponsor” the parties will sign the definitive agreement within 10 days after the “qualified and eligible sponsor” determination is made by the town. If the town determines Luminati is not a “qualified and eligible sponsor” the letter of intent is terminated.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.