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Fly-in Season in Full Swing

 By Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743, ppanzera@eaa.org

Pat Panzera
Pat Panzera

It’s hardly headline news that there are fly-ins to attend all over the world, but bear with me; I have a point to make. I personally started off this season by hosting CONTACT! Magazine’s Alternative Engine Round-up in Jean, Nevada, at the end of March, with Sun ’n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, right on its heels. While at Sun ’n Fun, I was invited to present forums at the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight, an event I had never previously attended. I normally attend the Golden West Regional event in Northern California, but I decided to stay home and fly for International Young Eagles Day.

With three of the four fly-ins outlined above, weather took a serious toll on the attendance, which is understandable since flying (and looking at planes parked outside) is an event best conducted during good weather. In each case, however, as with other such events I’ve attended where weather was an issue, everyone still had a great time, and that’s my point. We have a lot of other events to look forward to this season, and I would encourage you to consider attending even if the weatherman advises against it. Remember, the promoters, vendors, presenters, and volunteers are dedicated to it, come rain or shine. At the Jean gathering, we probably had 50 pilots (which is a large number for our small get-together) decide to drive to the event since the winds on the ground were crazy and the turbulence aloft was nauseating. As far as I know, no one regretted it, and I’m sure that the vast majority had an excellent time.

My itinerary for the balance of the season includes Arlington, and of course, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, followed by a number of smaller events such as EAA Chapter One’s open house, a few “type” gatherings and soaring events, and ending with COPPERSTATE. Although I’m obligated to attend most of these events, I won’t let the weather interfere with the ones that are optional, unless they’re just too far to drive. I would like to encourage you to do likewise.

For a list of aviation events in North America and throughout the world, check EAA’s interactive Aviation Calendar of Events.

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