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Smooth Operation: Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In

 

Parachutist Walter Green and Scott McMillan in a Yak-52 during the RMRFI air show
Parachutist Walter Green and Scott McMillan in a Yak-52 during the RMRFI air show.
Photo: Dave Radomski

June 28, 2006 — Organizers saw last weekend's Rocky Mountain EAA Regional Fly-In as a golden opportunity to build on the success achieved over the past two years at Front Range Airport (FTG) in Watkins, Colorado. But this year was the first time RMRFI was held in the same location since 2003, as their inaugural event at FTG was on the other side of the airport. Last year they settled in on the current side for what seems the long haul, making this year a time to refine, fine-tune, and improve the annual gathering in the Centennial State.

The result, as fly-in president Jim Cimaluca summed up, was "the smoothest-operating event we've had in a long time."

The fly-in featured pancake breakfasts each day, forums and workshops throughout the weekend, KidSpace area for youths, plus daily air shows and Young Eagles flights. Attendees were able to peruse more than 50 exhibitors, attend an FAA Wings seminar, or walk along the flight line and admire the rows of aircraft. Several LSA were among the homebuilts and production planes.

Volunteers are what make events like this possible, and there were more than 300 pitching in at RMRFI. Most came from state chapters 43 (Denver); 648 (Longmont); 301 (Denver-Centennial); and 1267 (Granby). This year chapter 43 and some chapter 648 members found an old trailer they restored into a much-needed people mover, which they donated to RMRFI.

"No question, our volunteers allow us to hold this event," Cimaluca said.

EAA's Ron Wagner, who delivered two very well received sport pilot/light-sport aircraft updates, echoed that. "Rocky Mountain's volunteers are as enthusiastic and dedicated as anywhere I've been," he said. "It made for a very nice, well-run event."

The RMRFI has indeed found a home at FTG, and with it a willing, enthusiastic host to grow the event into an even more significant regional happening in the coming years. "I'm excited for the future," Cimaluca said. "We hope to really grow the event with our partnership with the airport. We're poised for 2007." Which is scheduled for June 23-24.

Looking north from above Front Range Airport during the  Rocky Mountain EAARegional Fly-In
Looking north from above Front Range Airport during the
Rocky Mountain EAARegional Fly-In.
Photo: Dave Radomski

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