By the time you read this, we should be fully-prepped for the Copperstate Fly-In and the Buckeye Air Fair. Taking place February 18-20, we’ve secured the booth at the front of the hangar again, and we look forward to chatting with members throughout the weekend. We learn about your airplanes, your destinations, your concerns, and just talk aviation. We will also be presenting several forums and have several exciting projects and initiatives this year we know you’ll love. Stop by the booth to chat and learn more.
This year, the Air Fair will host a STOL Drag competition. If you haven’t yet heard of it, do a quick Google or YouTube search. You’ll find videos with millions of hits each. While this type of flying may not be your cup of tea (or maybe it’s what you live for!), there’s something special about the precision in which the aircraft are handled, the structure of the race, and the amazing amount of energy surrounding the event. The social media interest generated by these pilots has introduced a new generation to flying. Interest in backcountry flying has increased dramatically and new private pilots are being minted nationwide.
We’re also excited to announce APA is supporting the Inaugural VFR Navigation Challenge to be held on February 26 and 27. This is a team challenge to navigate using good old pilotage, clues, bearings and distances without the aid of GPS. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, and we’ll host a barbeque at Falcon Field on the 27th at the conclusion. We’ll send out details in a follow-up email, as well as Facebook and Instagram shortly, so keep an eye out for the announcement.
Lastly, the February Grapevine campout and hosted dinner is the weekend following Copperstate, February 25-27. We moved the dates in order to allow our board and volunteers to support Copperstate. We understand this is the same weekend as the VFR Navigation Challenge and we’re working to allow pilots to enjoy both events if possible. I’d like to give a shout out to our camp host volunteers. These folks adopt a weekend, get out early to ensure the runway and camping areas are clear, and provide some ground communication and coordination throughout the weekend. They also pack in a meal to support the campers, clean up and ensure the area is completely clean on Sunday before departing. It’s a commitment we are very thankful for. Of course, you are not alone in this as the attending pilots are always helpful as well. If you’re interested in helping out on a future weekend, please talk to us during Copperstate – we’d love to have you.