You never know what might happen when you attend an air show.

Eight years ago, Ashley Battles, a pilot from Oklahoma, was at an air show in her home state yearning to take her love of flying to another level.

“I wanted more out of aviation,” said Battles, now 28. “I thought I’d learn to fly aerobatics.”

As luck would have it, she met aerobatic pilot Greg Shelton at the show and learned he was looking for someone brave enough to walk on the wings of his biplane while he flew it. Battles, who had no previous experience clambering about planes in flight, was game.

She’s been wing walking ever since.

“Greg told me, ‘I need you to learn how to get from the seat to the airplane wings and then figure out how to do it quickly,’ ” Battles recalled. “The first time we took off, I had to modify everything I’d learned to do on the ground.”

On Saturday and Sunday, spectators at the Great State of Maine Air Show & Business Aviation Expo in Brunswick will have a chance to see Battles maneuver around the wings of the plane as Shelton performs aerobatics.

To allow spectators to see her, the 1943 Super Stearman plane with a 450-horsepower engine stays fairly close to the ground. The highest it will climb is about 1,000 feet for a maneuver called the hammerhead with a snap roll.

“The plane goes straight up, then kicks over so the nose is pointing straight toward the ground,” Battles said. “He does a really fast roll. At that point, I’m strapped to the top of the airplane.”

Battles performs her stunts while decked out in a Wonder Woman costume she found in a Halloween display. The costume’s red, white and blue colors match Shelton’s plane, and its superhero connection delights young onlookers.

“The smallest kids are my biggest fans,” Battles said. “They have the best questions and the most enthusiasm.”

The show, the first at the former naval air station since it closed and became Brunswick Executive Airport at Brunswick Landing, starts Friday night and continues all day Saturday and Sunday. It’s co-sponsored by MaineToday Media, the company that publishes GO.

Friday night’s show features lighted aircraft and a U.S. Army Golden Knights “pyro” jump, and will be capped off with a fireworks display. The show will feature the Blue Angels U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron around 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“The Blue Angels are always the highlight of the air show,” said Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which manages Brunswick Landing. “I’ve seen them 10 or 15 times over the years. Their performance is nothing short of spectacular.”

There will be takeoffs, landings and air maneuvers going on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Other performers include the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Team, the USAF Heritage Flight and the Geico Skytypers.

In addition to the aviation wonders that will fill the skies, spectators can check out more than 25 aircraft on the tarmac, including a P-3 Orion, an F-18 Hornet, a H-60 Seahawk, an F-16 Fighting Falcon and a B-25 Mitchell Bomber.

The event also features a Business Aviation Expo, highlighting Maine’s growing aerospace and aviation sector. Food vendors will be on site.

The last air show at the property took place in 2008 and drew an estimated crowd of 150,000. With the Navy gone, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority has to pick up the tab for the event, estimated at $900,000. To cover the costs, organizers hope to sell at least 32,000 tickets. Those who buy in advance will receive a discount.

And those who attend will enjoy thrilling and unusual sights.

“We always end with me hanging upside down on the airplane,” Battles said. “I get back in the seat for landing. Then I pop up on the wing to taxi by the crowd.”

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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Twitter: AveryYaleKamila