MERFI Holds 45th Annual Fly-In
Michael Barbee’s 1947 Aeronca 11BC parked at Grimes Field for the 45th annual Mid Eastern Regional Fly-In.
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September 14, 2011 – The 45th annual Mid Eastern Regional Fly-In (MERFI) took place over the weekend at Grimes Field (I-74) Urbana, Ohio, with the theme “Horsepower from the ground up.” Mother Nature cooperated with fair weather for the fly-in, however not so much in the areas surrounding Urbana, which caused a number of pilots to scuttle their plans for flying in.
No worries for the 60 or so folks who took J-3 Cub flights – 40 percent of whom indicated it was their first airplane ride. Speaking of J-3s, EAA’s Adam Smith was on hand Saturday to meet with Cub owners to begin developing plans for EAA’s celebration of the venerable taildragger’s 75th anniversary in 2012.
Other aircraft flying throughout the weekend included a Bell 206, an SNJ, the resident B-25 Champaign Gal, the Grimes Flying Lab, and the Champaign Aviation Museum’s T-6.
MERFI offered several forums with topics ranging from covering health and insurance to World War II veterans sharing their experiences. R/C models were on display, plus aircraft judging returned to MERFI this year and was very well received. (See winners’ photos at the MERFI website.)
Besides the regular attractions at the Champaign Aviation Museum, an Indy car was on display to enhance the MERFI 2011 theme. MERFI Event Director Dave Millner reports that the hosting group and volunteers are already discussing improvement efforts to add new and exciting attractions and make MERFI even better for both pilots and spectators next year.