Anticipation High for Next Week’s Copperstate Fly-In
October 15, 2009 — Final preparations are heating up in Casa Grande, Arizona, for the 37th Copperstate Regional Fly-In October 22-24, and organizers are expressing great optimism for next weekend’s event. “We’re up to more than 70 exhibitors now,” said Jim McChesney, first-year fly-in manager, who also noted an increase in visits to the fly-in’s website as an early positive indicator. “We’re about at the point of hoping for good weather,” which in Arizona usually means fair to calm winds.
The Copperstate Fly-In, billed as the largest all-volunteer fly-in, is all about recreational aviation - homebuilts, powered parachutes, ultralights, light-sport aircraft, certificated, classic, vintage, and of course, warbirds. Numerous aircraft demonstration flights and helicopter rides are available each day. Aviation forums will run throughout the weekend (although there are some open sessions for anyone wishing to conduct one).
One of the hundreds of aircraft expected is the Valle Airport (40G) Ford Tri-Motor, N414H, Courtesy of Phillips 66 and Casa Grande Airport. Rides will be available in the aircraft.
EAA’s Ron Wagner, manager of field operations, will present two forums per day, on affordable flying and sport pilot/light-sport aircraft. EAA is sponsor of the fly-in’s forum programs as well as aircraft judging awards.
“We’re eager to meet and greet EAA members at the membership tent,” Wagner said. Along with renewals and new member joins, local chapters will have a Young Eagles informational booth inside the tent.
“Copperstate is the first former EAA regional fly-in to enter onto the sponsorship agreement with EAA,” Wagner added. “These allow EAA to support the event while recognizing their local ownership and management.”
It all starts at 8 a.m. Thursday, October 22, through 5 p.m. daily. Exhibitors’ area is open on Thursday, 12 noon- to 6 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. The aircraft awards banquet is set for Saturday night at the Property Conference Center’s Ethington Grand Ballroom, located in Casa Grande. Tickets are available throughout the airport grounds for $25 per person.
The second annual Fuelventure 400 is set for Saturday, October 24. What is Fuelventure? It’s a competition to determine the most fuel efficient aircraft and perhaps spawn competition for fuel efficiency improvements. Each competing aircraft (and occupants) is weighed and then flown on a 400-mile triangular course. Upon completion, the aircraft and passengers are again weighed, and two types of awards are given. One, based on the CAFE Foundation formula, gives credit for cruise speed and passenger payload. The other awards are for pure MPG. More than $1,000 will be given to the top finishers in each weight class.
According to fly-in manager Jim McChesney, 30 aircraft will compete and there are some spots still open. There is no entry fee, but liability coverage is required. For more information, visit www.fuelventure.org.