The Fly-in season here at Antique Airfield has come to a close for yet another year and a very successful one it was.
As in years past the last official activity of the season here at Antique Airfield is our annual "Pumpkin Drop", held the first Sat of November. Though started by accident, due to stalwart APM volunteer Les "Col. Sparky" Gaskill, this event is hosted by Brent and Marcy Taylor primarily as a "Thank You" to all the directors and volunteers whom help keep Antique Airfield the center of the old airplane world through their continued efforts.
This years "drop" was scheduled for Nov. 7th but with the miserable weather this part of the country experienced throughout the month of October (cold and rainy) we wondered if our thirteen year streak of never having the event weathered out would come to and end. However by the first of Nov. the skies began to clear, the temps warm and the grounds at Antique Airfield began to dry.
Sat November 7th dawned clear with a promise of warm temps and light winds. Over six truck loads of pumpkins ("Thanks" to the efforts of Luke Pieper) awaited in the ammo dump as airplanes began to arrive for operation s M*A*S*H (this years operational theme). Some thirty eight aircraft and one helicopter arrived by around noon when lunch was served to an estimated crowd of around one hundred pilots, bombardiers and spectators. Aircraft and AAA members were in attendance from IA, MN, WI, KS, IL and one Cub registered in CA! After lunch a thorough pilot/bombardier briefing was held, the bombing range was opened and the fun commenced. This year saw the biggest group of aircraft ever (20) take part in the bombing keeping the pattern full of aircraft throughout the afternoon. Plus a new method of delivering ordinance onto the target, in the form of our first ever UAV "Predator" ("Thanks" to APM President Mike Gretz), participated in the fun. Unfortunately the new OPLAF "Predator" had an off field landing and sustained a bit of damage but the technology involved does show promise for future events.
As for those that may be curious as to how we clean up the carnage from so many smashed pumpkins, being a "green" event (before it was fashionable) we simply let the local wildlife (deer and turkey) feast on the remnants.
In all it was another fun successful event and a fitting close to the 2009 Fly-in season here at Antique Airfield. Look for a video about the event in the near future. Photos by Chuck Doyle, Tom Gehman and Brent Taylor.