Record Warmth Greets Opening Day At Arlington
July 12, 2007 — Aviation enthusiasts in the Great Northwest withstood record heat as the Arlington EAA Regional Fly-In opened Wednesday to an enthusiastic Kid's Day crowd. More than 1,000 kids came through the gates along with a steady influx of aircraft and people as temperatures reached the high 90s. "There are lots of planes flying in, it's been very busy," said Barb Tolbert, fly-in president Thursday morning. "We had plenty of water available for everyone to help beat the heat."
Thursday it was back to normal weather-wise as the crowds grew and many more planes made their way to Arlington Municipal Airport. Included were lots of interesting Warbirds, like Bill Anders' Sky Raider and a Spitfire from the Flying Heritage Collection, which also has an interesting display of several B-17 engines. Workshops have been expanded this year, as have exhibit areas. A full slate of forums is also scheduled, including EAA's Ron Wagner providing sport pilot/light-sport aircraft updates. His Thursday forum was well attended, as people were buzzing about this week's announcement from Cessna that they will be going forward with their light-sport aircraft program.
"I talked with several flight instructors who are expressing a lot of interest in getting into LSA training," Wagner noted. "This is a welcome trend. More and more flight schools are becoming enthusiastic in taking advantage of the opportunities sport pilot presents." Wagner will also host an EAA Chapter Leaders Update at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Weekend highlights include a large balloon glow Friday at dusk; Saturday's pyrotechnics air show; and the Salute to Veterans Day on Sunday, featuring several aircraft fly-bys by attending Warbirds as well as current military aircraft from nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
"It's beautiful, with sunny skies, cooler temperatures, and the snow-capped Cascade Mountains serving as a picturesque backdrop to the fly-in," Wagner said. "We have lots of enthusiastic EAA members here, and the volunteers working at the event all have big smiles. This fly-in seems to resemble a big family reunion."
Arlington runs through Sunday. For more information, visit www.arlingtonflyin.org.