Now that the 2015 Fly-in season is well underway how about a photo report on the season opener, at least when it comes to antique/classic aircraft.
Of course I’m talking about the Cactus Fly-in, held the first weekend of March at Casa Grande, AZ.
This year, the 57th annual, was blessed with sunny, warm weather (though a bit breezy on Friday) as opposed to the rain and wind which resulted in a complete washout of the 2014 event.
Also of note, the change in leadership of the Fly-in with Arv Schultz stepping up and not only taking the reins of the Fly-in but also the revitalization of the newly re-formed and re-chartered AAA chapter of Arizona, now called the Classic Airplane Association of Arizona (CAAAA).
AAA President Brent Taylor was the guest speaker at the awards dinner on Sat evening and besides giving a talk on the history, philosophy and direction of the AAA, the APM & Antique Airfield, he presented the CAAAA with their new official AAA chapter charter.
The “Ghost Ship”, a highly modified Stearman. Shades of the” Lone Birdman” stories from Sport Flying magazine !!
Barry Branin’s (AAA #18107-life) 1931 Waco QCF-2 from Morro Bay, CA.
John Nance’s (AAA #17227) 1937 Stinson SR-9B from the San Diego, CA area.
Elden Iler’s 1941 Monocoupe 90al from Van Nuys, CA. This ‘Coupe was owned/flown by Monocoupe guru Bud Dake (deceased) for years. The Fairchild 24 in the background, belonging to Lonny Woodard (AAA #16772-life) from Provo, UT, was the AAA Headquarters Choice award winner.
Fred Born (AAA #18372) from nearby Chandler, AZ explains to a group of local school kids the intricacies of his 1955 Cessna 180. A long term project in connection with the Cactus Fly-in is one intended to help interest children in aviation. Spearheaded by Linda Irvin, children from local elementary schools are brought out to the fly-in on Friday afternoon to talk with the pilots and look at their planes. The program has grown to include several schools and at least 300 elementary school children were seen touring the flightline on Friday this year. This program is truly a positive and proactive way to interest these youngsters in airplanes, flying and aviation in general.
A rare sight, two Spartan 7W “Executives” graced the flightline at the Cactus Fly-in this year.
This modified (P&W 1830 powered) 1954 YAK 11 is a regular visitor to the Cactus Fly-in and displays impressive performance.
Jim White (AAA #13458-life) of nearby Tempe arrived in his long owned and recently finished 1946 Bucker BU-131 “Jungman”. Jim also has his clipwing Monocoupe close to flying.
AAA President Brent Taylor giving a talk on the history, philosophy and direction of the AAA, the APM & Antique Airfield at the awards dinner on Sat evening. (Mike Friedrich photo)