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Copperstate Prepares For 34th Fly-In

 

October 12, 2006 — As the sun begins to set on the 2006 flying season, final preparations are under way for EAA's last remaining regional event of the year, the Copperstate Regional EAA Fly-In, set for October 26-29 at Casa Grande Municipal Airport, Arizona. If that seems to be later than usual for the 34th annual gathering, it is.

Earlier this year organizers deliberately moved the event back two weeks - from October 12-15 - to hopefully mitigate the extremely hot desert weather. According to the National Weather Service statistics, there should be a 12-degree drop in average high temperature - from 92 to 80 degrees - with the date change.

Combined with the usual blue skies, it should be ideal weather for meandering about the rows of antique, classic, and homebuilt aircraft, not to mention the latest offerings from the wide variety of aviation exhibits.

Another difference this year continues a trend seen at other regional events. Copperstate will not hold daily aerobatic air shows, allowing the airport to remain open throughout the event for more flexible arrivals and departures.

This will also give attendees a chance to fly in front of the crowd. Accordingly, fly-in officials will invite builders, restorers, manufacturers, and pilots to show off their aircraft during dedicated airtime segments. Demonstrations will range from group flights of the latest light-sport aircraft to a "Parade of Flight" featuring the oldest and newest airplanes on the airport.

EAA's Ron Wagner, manager of field operations, will conduct several forums related to the growing sport pilot/light-sport aircraft movement, including the EAA Sport Pilot Update; Sport Pilot for Licensed Pilots - Medical Issues; Buying a Light Sport Aircraft - Ask the Right Questions; and Now YOU Can Fly - Sport Pilot Opportunities. These comprise the sessions Wagner usually makes at sport pilot tour stops.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Wagner will also host a chapter leaders gathering open to all area and attending EAA chapter leaders. There he'll discuss what's happening at EAA in Oshkosh along with ideas for recruiting new members, strengthening chapter operations, and other issues.

Other Copperstate features include an indoor exhibit area; forums and workshops; a Fly-Mart; kid's activities including Young Eagle flights; aircraft judging; awards banquet; and much more. For more information about Copperstate 2006, visit www.copperstate.org.

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