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Golden West Fly-In Wraps Up Bringing Aviation Home

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Melissa Palmer performing at the Golden West Fly-In last weekend in California. Photo by Evan Isenstein-Brand

June 18, 2009 — Theme of the Golden West Fly-In this year was “Bringing Aviation Home,” a celebration of homebuilt aircraft. Approximately 6,000 aviation enthusiasts and 600 aircraft did just that last weekend at Yuba County Airport in Marysville, California. John Gibson, Golden West president, said, “The weather was great, in the mid-70s to mid 80s, and the volunteers were great under the leadership of the new fly-in Chairman Bill Moses.”

Forums and workshops sponsored by EAA ran all three days. Highlights included Eagle Engine building two complete engines from scratch; Stewart Systems taught attendees how to cover aircraft with fabric; EAA’s Ron Wagner presented Options in Affordable Flying; Rick Stockton of the FAA and EAA Chapter 52 presented First Flight during which he informed attendees what they need to know before the first flight of a new, repaired, or restored aircraft, and why; and Chris Lowery, CEO of Decalin Chemicals, discussed alternatives to 100 LL and the challenges of using autofuel.

Van’s Aircraft, Lancair International, Glasair and Velocity Aircraft were some of the kit aircraft manufacturers in attendance along with 80 other exhibitors. Aircraft Judging Awards, sponsored by EAA, were presented at a dinner Saturday evening and Neal Longwill, the new General Manager of Lancair was the guest speaker. Neal spoke about the company’s newest addition the Evolution that is now available with a piston or a turbine engine.

Vicki Cruse, International Aerobatic Club president, joined Lee Behel and the Sport Class Reno Racers, all flying homebuilts, to perform a mock race in the daily air show.

To celebrate International Young Eagles Day, Lyn Freeman of Build-a-Plane gave 10-year-old aviation reporter Evan Isenstein-Brand a Young Eagles ride in the Build-a-Plane Glasair Sportsman. This is the airplane built by high school students in the Two-Weeks-to-Taxi program; now reported on by a student!

Next year’s Golden West Regional Fly-in & Air Show will be held June 11-13 with the theme “Higher, Ever Higher.”

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