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2007 Regional Fly-In Season Draws To A Close

October 30, 2007 —If you were looking for the one word to describe last weekend's 35th annual Copperstate Regional EAA Fly-In, try "more" - as in more people, more airplanes, more helicopters, more exhibitors, more volunteers, more great weather - and the list goes on.

"The number of exhibitors was up; the number of airplanes was up; the number of campers was way up; and the numbers at the gate was up," said Bob Hasson, fly-in president. "Just how much, we can't say yet. But it was definitely a very well-run, successful event."

Organizers expanded the display ramp at Arizona's Casa Grande Municipal Airport to twice the size from a year ago and that was close to filled with aircraft. They actually had to "move some airframes around" to make room for the four CJ-6A Nanchings that performed a missing man formation, Hasson said.

That maneuver was flown to honor Copperstate's two longtime announcers, Terry Langen and Herb Berkman, who died tragically in a plane crash this past June. A special award named for Langen was created this year that will henceforth honor the year's most outstanding Young Eagles ground volunteer. Terry's widow, Diana, accepted the award and spoke briefly during the Saturday night awards banquet.

Also at the awards banquet Saturday, attendees got a surprise when EAA's Adam Smith, vice president of membership, piped in Founder and Chairman Paul Poberezny on his mobile phone over the PA system.

Forums were very well attended, including EAA's Ron Wagner's daily sport pilot updates.

"We had more volunteers than we've ever had before, between 350 to 400 people," Hasson said. "Couldn't say more about our volunteers." He made special mention of the Explorer scouts who handled aircraft movements on the ramp.

The addition of a new rotorwing chairman led to more helicopters than ever before, many of which participated in mass fly bys and flight demos over the runway.

People were thrilled with the new format of allowing pilots the chance to do announced fly bys in front of the crowd.

People came from near and far to attend Copperstate. Among the states besides Arizona represented included Florida, Colorado, California, Utah, Washington State, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Grand Champion aircraft award winner was Randy Snarr, South Jordan, Utah, with his Lancair 235/320 (N694RS). Hasson noted that Snarr was thrilled with the fly-in, and pledged to bring a lot of friends with him in 2008.

Speaking of which, the 2008 Copperstate Fly-in is scheduled for October 23-26.

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