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Arlington EAAers Celebrate Another Successful Fly-In

 

Balloons glow at night in Arlington
Balloons glow at night in Arlington.

The full moom provides a serene backdrop to a landing Cessna
The full moom provides a serene backdrop to a landing Cessna.

Crowds along the midway, which included EAA's Member Village
Crowds along the midway, which included EAA's Member Village.

A pilot's eye view of a busy Arlington Municipal Airport
A pilot's eye view of a busy Arlington Municipal Airport ...

 A busy Arlington Municipal Airport
...looks just as busy on the ground.

July 11, 2006 — The 38th annual Northwest EAA Arlington Fly-In was again an enormous success, held July 5-9 at Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO), just north of Seattle, Washington. Aircraft owners, campers and spectators gathered from all over, including Canada, to enjoy the wonderful weather throughout the weekend. The first two days brought hanging clouds and kept the airplane count down, but as if on cue, the sun broke out Friday and for the weekend bringing thousands of attendees and hundreds of airplanes.

During the day, visitors had the option of participating in forums and workshops, touring the hundreds of aircraft or watching the showcase aircraft demonstrate their abilities from runway 34. After hours, attendees took in feature movies at Runway Theater or gathered around the hot-air balloons during the evening glow.

EAA held a Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) Mall, featuring several LSA and their manufacturing representatives. More aircraft were expected to attend, but much of the weather surrounding Arlington prevented them from attending. Nonetheless, activity was steady from those wanting to know more about the new sport pilot rules, including many who are new to aviation, said EAA's Ron Wagner.

"Despite the weather, interest was high, especially among the newbies," Wagner said. "This was the first event where I can say there was a significant amount of those new to aviation really looking for information about sport pilot."

Also significant was EAA's issuance of 54 free sport pilot student pilot certificates, provided free to members at the EAA Member Village and administered by a local FAA designated pilot examiner.

With Van's Aircraft factory located in relatively nearby Aurora, Oregon, it was not surprising to see a large number of RVs present at the fly-in. The Blackjack Squadron, which is comprised of RVs, demonstrated their precision formation skills with up to nineteen aircraft flying wingtip to wingtip. Other air show performers thrilled the crowds, including Bud and Ross Granley, Renny Price, John Mrazek, Terry Burch, Dr. Kathy Hirtz, Doug Jardine, Dr. Frank Donnelly, Ken Fowler and Eric Hansen. During Friday's performance, many of pilots joined up for a formation fly-by to pay tribute to local air show pilot Eric Beard, who died tragically in January this year.

Arlington Municipal provides a unique setting for many businesses and organizations including Para-Phernalia, maker of Softies parachutes, Glasair and Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Museum along with IAC Chapter 67.

Speaking of Chapters, EAA Chapter 26 celebrated its 50th anniversary at Arlington, and members were presented with a special plaque from EAA commemorating the milestone. Chapter 26 represents a hotbed of early EAA activity and was home to Pete Bowers, who designed the Fly Baby. The prototype was on display when Wagner presented the plaque to the chapter.

"Arlington truly exemplifies an EAA regional event," Wagner said. "You see airplanes and people here you won't see anywhere else because of the relative remote location to the rest of the country."

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