This article by Patt Schmitz appeared in the August 2013 issue of the Nebraska Chapter Newsletter, on his first visit to Blakesburg:
I have been hooked as a lover of the old flying machines of yester year for many years. My love for the antiques was only heightened with my ownership of a 1941 Aeronca 65CA which was previously owned by a good friend of our family and was also the first plane to land at our farm. My goal became to someday make it to the Minden Antique fly in which I was finally able to make in 2009 with my wife Janet. We came, and joined the NE chapter, and got hooked by enjoying the wonderful new friends we met and gained a new goal, to make it to Blakesburg for the National Antique Aircraft Fly in. Every year it seemed that there was schedule and commitments that got in the way for us to go to Blakesburg, however; this year as the conflict on our schedule got changed, a plan for departure was made for "sometime" Friday.
It seamed odd that the year after I sold my antique we would make the trek to Blakesburg, however, my love of the old birds and the people who fly them has not changed. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about coming in to the air field, all the talk about uneven and trees, and being busy... and that I would be flying an "almost new" 1968 Cherokee (which I was sure I would get a lot of grief about).
The trip to Blakesburg was good, we got going at 4:00 pm and with a head wind (of course) we crossed the field a little before 7:00 p.m.. We made a wide circle to lose altitude, and joined the left hand pattern for a southerly landing. Janet's main job was looking for aircraft, and watching the flagmen which really put me at ease having the help. The sky and conditions were deteriorating but still good, and there were few airplanes flying which made that part easy also. As we came in on final, Janet spotted the flagmen, and the approach was maybe a tad high, but the concerning thing was we did not get a green flag... but we also did not get a red flag. I’m not real sure how perfect my landing was because I was watching the flagmen watch me. My guess was that it was OK to land, and it was. My years of landing on my grass strip (which is shorter and not nearly as level as antique airfield) must have paid off.
Aaron met us at the cross runway, and lead us to a parking spot way over the hill. As we parked, Todd Harders met us with drinks and a hearty welcome which really made us feel at home. We learned that the HyVee food service was scheduled to be ending, so we quickly tied down so we could hurry to dinner since we were hungry and no food with us. Aaron came back with a golf cart to escort us up to dinner which was still serving.
The atmosphere and people of this fly in were fantastic and we enjoyed every part of it. Just to spend the night, and wake up to the "Field of dreams" with all the marvelous old (and some newer) airplanes was like fantasy. Everyone was just glad that we were there, and that we flew in with a non antique, was not an issue. Antique airfield was everything it’s name implies, and the countryside coupled with the camping was really great to experience. The "Pilot's Pub" was a real surprise, now that is a perfect man's cave for me! We are glad that we made it, and plan to return in the future years.