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Smooth Operation: Towerless Copperstate Has a Big Year

More than 500 aircraft arrived for last month's Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo.

Dennis and Barb Crowley's Just Aircraft Escapade earned Grand Champion honors at Copperstate 2013.

November 21, 2013 - Organizers of last month's 2013 Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo report that more than 6,000 people attended the 41st annual event - its first as a non-towered operation. With 500-plus aircraft participating at Casa Grande Municipal Airport in Arizona, board members and chairmen are pleased by how smoothly the event functioned in a non-towered environment.

"I monitor the aviation forums, and I can't find any complaints," says Denny Cunningham, air operations chairman.

The attendance figure tops the 2012 number by more than 600, according to Copperstate. Other statistics showed 929 people attending forums, the highest attendance level in five years; 73 young people participating in the wing rib building workshop, nearly doubling last year's participation; and 95 people attended the aircraft judging awards banquet on Saturday night.

For 2013 Copperstate had 329 volunteers, about 100 more than 2012. "I'm very pleased with the volunteer turnout this year," said fly-in President Stephen Bass. "From what I understand, there was no job that was lacking for a volunteer during the fly-in." They'll be looking for more help during set-up and teardown periods, he added.

The 61 exhibitors were generally very pleased with this year's Copperstate, Bass said. "They especially appreciated the sack lunches given out on Friday and Saturday of the event."

The 2013 Copperstate Grand Champion airplane was the Just Aircraft Escapade N356AZ owned by Dennis and Barb Crowley, of Tucson, Arizona. Reserve Grand Champion was Van's RV-8 N568RV owned by Barry Neumayer and William Cheesman, of Redlands, California.

Other aircraft awards
Custom-Built Metal
1st Place - Barry Neumayer and William Cheesman, Van's RV-8
2nd Place - N600RP, Van's RV-7A, Richard Petty, Gold Canyon, Arizona
3rd Place - N77RM, Harmon Rocket II, Ryan Bendure, Brighton, Colorado

Custom-Built - Best Tube and Fabric
N356AZ, Just Aircraft Escapade, Dennis and Barb Crowley, Tucson

Custom-Built Composite
1st Place - N843P, Arion Lightning, Stan Peternel, Solvang, California
2nd Place - N867TC, Giles 202, Taylor Callen, Milliken, Colorado
3rd Place - N26KF, Lancair 360, Jake Wolfe, Sonoita, Arizona

Custom-Built Best Replica
N29XF, Pike 1929XF Ghost, Larry Dustman, Chandler, Arizona

Custom-Built - Best Rotorcraft
N162FB, RotorWay International Exec 162F, Mike Doles, Phoenix, Arizona

1st Place - NC94196, 1946 Ercoupe 415-D, Sydney Cohen, Wausau, Wisconsin
2nd Place - N1126D, 1951 Cessna 140A, Carl Bradenburg Jr., Goodyear, Arizona

1st Place - N542T, 1961 Beechcraft N35 Bonanza, J. Michael Dudley, San Manuel, Arizona
2nd Place - N712L, 1956 Piper PA-18-150, Allan Otto, Mesa, Arizona

1st Place - N17154, 1941 Stinson SR-9B, John and Teri Nance, San Diego, California
2nd Place - N9599H, 1943 Howard DGA-15P, Jeffrey Pino, Easton, Connecticut

1st Place - N818PJ, 1978 Yakovlev Yak-18T, Patrick Ashura, Elbert, Colorado
2nd Place - N391ZA, 1981 AERO Vodochody L-39ZA, Arnie Evdokimo, Chandler, Arizona

Best Cessna Showplane, sponsored by Cessna Flyer
N1126D, 1951 Cessna 140A, Carl Bradenburg, Goodyear, Arizona

Best Piper Showplane, sponsored by Piper Flyer
N712L, 1956 Piper PA-18-150, Allan Otto, Mesa, Arizona

People's Choice Award
N9599H, 1943 Howard DGA-15P, Jeffrey Pino, Easton, Connecticut


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