May 7, 2014
By Dan Namowitz
The fun of a May fly-in, set against a backdrop that only an Alaska aviation destination can provide, would tempt any pilot out of a long winter’s hibernation. And that is precisely what awaits those who turn out for the Valdez Fly In and Air Show, scheduled May 9 to 11.
From aerobatics performances to flour-bombing runs and short takeoff and landing (STOL) competitions, pilots and the public at large can choose from a variety of opportunities to savor the flavor of general aviation, Alaska-style. This year marks the annual event’s eleventh year, said Tom George, AOPA Alaska regional manager.
Stop by and see George at AOPA’s post at the event, where pilots can pick up a copy of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley’s common traffic advisory frequency map that describes a significant change to frequency assignments that will take effect May 29.
Other event highlights include the "Bonfire-on-the Beach" fly-out on May 9. Weekend activities will include the host of flying demonstrations and competitions as listed on the event schedule.
The fly-in has become a premier bush plane competition in the western United States, drawing competitors from all parts of the state, and as far away as Idaho. It is truly one of a kind—a perfect way to welcome the spring and summer flying season.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
An EAA chapter in Pennsylvania hopes that its annual fly-in will help save the local airport.
“I never went to an FBO I thought was fun,” said Michael Thayer. Determined to change that, he opened Flying Tigers Aviation at Chino Airport in Chino, California, in June 2013.
Attendees at AOPA's Spokane Fly-In used social media to share the excitement and offer their impressions of the event.
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