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Fantastic Time at Sporty's International Learn to Fly Day Event


Trevor Janz, Jeff Skiles, and Brian O'Lena
Trevor Janz, Jeff Skiles, and Brian O'Lena at Sporty's International Learn to Fly Day event.

By Trevor Janz, EAA 656941
EAA Manager of Chapters and Eagle Flights

May 29, 2012 - A couple weekends ago, Jeff Skiles, Brian O'Lena, and I flew down to Batavia, Ohio, to celebrate International Learn to Fly Day at Sporty's Pilot Shop. The weather was clear and the ride down was nice and smooth. You could not have ordered a better day to fly.

I had heard so much about this event over the past few years and was excited to be able to attend. I not only looked forward to a tour of Sporty's facility, but also to see how the fly-in was conducted and gather some ideas to share with our chapters.

As soon as we landed, we were greeted by a line person directing us where to park. That sure is nice. How many fly-ins have you attended and you are not really sure where to park? Being prepared and having persons parking aircraft is not only nice for the attendees, but also helps curb some liability issues. In this day and age, we have to keep that in mind. When in doubt, contact EAA headquarters to make sure your event is covered.

With proper promotion and excellent weather, more than 1,000 people attended and close to 200 aircraft flew in. I noticed a local Alfa Romeo car club made the drive to the event, along with many other local folks from the Batavia area. As we know, these events are an excellent way to promote the local airport and also generate interest in aviation. It was great to see children of all ages with smiles on their faces checking out all the aircraft. It truly was a family event.

I enjoyed meeting the folks from Chapter 174 (Cincinnati, Ohio). They informed me that Sporty's allows them to meet at Sporty's old building, which is located across from the airport. They sure are an active chapter and proudly shared photos of their recent Young Eagles rally. Keep up the great work!

I know many of you are planning similar events this spring and summer. Please keep us posted if we can help and also send photos to chapters@eaa.org.

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