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Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In Debuts at New Airport

RMRFI
An E-2C Hawkeye dominates the display ramp at Rocky Mountain.
Photo by Shelly Fritzler

RMRFI
The Rocky Mountain Regional Fly In drew 18,000 people to Rocky Mountain Airport last weekend.
Photo by Dave Radomski

RMRFI
Two young future pilots check out an Air Force fighter jet on the ramp at Rocky Mountain Airport.
Photo by Paul Gordon

RMRFI
Gary Rower flies his 450 Stearman at dusk during the Saturday evening air show before a large crowd.
Photo by Shelly Fritzler

August 27, 2009 — The Colorado Sport International Air Show & Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In was described by organizers as a success in its inaugural appearance at the Rocky Mountain Airport August 15-16. Warm, clear weather - “ideal for an air show” - helped swell attendance to about 18,000 - a 20 percent increase over the most recent version of the event, 2007’s RMRFI at Front Range Airport.

“I’m pleased to report that CSA is following industry trends and that the event saw a 20 percent increase in attendance over its previous fly-in and air show,” said Jim Cimiluca, CSA president and event director. In response to a decline in attending aircraft, he added, “We will be making adjustments to improve aircraft attendance for 2010.”

Among the more popular event features this year included KidSpace – a place where youngsters could discover the wonder of flight, learn about potential careers in aviation, and hear aviation notables speak on a variety of subjects. Presentations and demonstrations by aviation career pros showed young people what is possible career-wise in the aviation industry, including commercial space flight.

“There are phenomenal opportunities for kids in space,” noted Shelly Fritzler, marketing director. “They also had opportunities to build model airplanes and rockets. We’re looking to build on that success in the future.”

Also a number of well-attended aviation forums were conducted on such subjects as becoming a pilot, multifunction displays, mountain flying, and rotorcraft. Other event features included an air show both days, including a special night air show on Saturday; “Stories from the Ramp” speakers General Tom Perero, Allan Lockheed Jr. (SpacePort America); Dr. Josh Wurman (Storm Chasers); and Red Tails (Tuskegee Airmen).
Several aircraft owners took home awards, including:

  • Vintage - Grand Champion: John Hensley - Navion B, N82G
    • Reserve Grand Champion: Paul Eubanks - Cessna 140A, N5313C
  • Homebuilt, Kit Built - Grand Champion: Steven Bergevin - Giles G-202, N124AB
    • Reserve Grand Champion: Gary Casey - Lancair ES, N224SG
  • Homebuilt, Plans Built - Grand Champion: Brandon Jewett - Breezy, N814BJ (also won Event Trophy)
    • Reserve Grand Champion: Thomas Shpakow - SA 750, N28KT
  • Light Sport - Grand Champion: James Johnson - Kitfox Speedster, N346B

Civil Air Patrol C/1Lt. Skylar Caldwell, 16, was presented with the first Berkman/Langen Memorial Fund Scholarship. Caldwell, of the Thompson Valley CAP Squadron and having already soloed, will receive his continuing flight training through the CAP and the $3,000 Scholarship should allow him to earn his private pilot certificate.

The Berkman/Langen Memorial Scholarship was founded in honor of Herb Berkman and Terry Langen, event announcers for the Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In for many years. The two men perished in an aircraft accident the day after the 2007 RMRFI. Through the scholarship, CSA will honor Berkman and Langen, remember their friendship and passion for aviation, and enable young people for years to come to fulfill their dreams of flight.

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