This year is full of Alaska aviation events many of them happening right here in Southcentral Alaska.Hangar.net started the season at Merrill Field with an Open-House for the Commemorative Air Force and Wings of Freedom at Merrill Field on Jan. 31.
Hangar.Net owner Miller and the Commemorative Air Force are discussing whether or not to revisit a “Quake Wake” on Good Friday in remembrance of the 1964 Alaska Earthquake.
The next event on the calendar is the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation’s Spring Floatplane Seminar at Lake Hood is planned for April 26 at the Tom Wardleigh Hangar at Lake Hood. This full day seminar usually starts at 8:00 a.m. and finishes up around 4 p.m. FAA Safety Team members will give presentations as well as floatplane flying experts from around the state of Alaska. Pilots can receive WINGS credit for attending this event for more information see FAASafety.gov.
Scheduled for the same day is the Christian Pilots Association Fly Day at Merrill Field basing from the Tanalian Air Hangar on 5th Ave. This event is specially for young people with a ground school and hands-on flights in general aviation aircraft. Volunteers working with this group provide hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. Pilots from the Anchorage area and Mat-Su who would like to participate or to just fly-in are invited. For more information contact Danny at 907-441-5969,or Scott at 907-440-4974.
The largest and best attended aviation event of the year is the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering hosted by the Alaska Airmen’s Association held at the FedEx Maintenance Hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on the weekend of May 3-4. This free to the public event hosts over 500 vendors who offer the latest and greatest as well as the most in demand items for general aviation and the flying public.
Besides two days of aviation hangar talk this year there will be a breakfast at the Alaska Aviation Museum sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association the morning of May 3rd The evening of May 3rd will be the annual Aero Recip BBQ also held at the Alaska Aviation Museum.
A host of special aviation safety speakers have been invited but have not confirmed their plans at this writing.
Over 22,000 people attend the two day show with a raffle for a Piper Super Cub PA-18 as the finale on Sunday afternoon. This year’s Cub is being refurbished by Dan’s Aircraft Repair from Merrill Field. Tickets for the raffle plane are $50 dollars apiece.
“This is a great event perhaps the only event that pilots and families from all over the state can attend and find their flying friends, as well as see what new and purchase specialty items from the all aviation vendors,” said Dee Hanson executive director for the Airmen’s Association.
For information on where and how to get your tickets call the Alaska Airmen’s Association at (907) 245-1251
Other spring events are the Valdez May Day Fly-in on the following weekend of May 9-11 that includes, short field takeoff and landing contests, a Breakfast Poker Run, beach landing picnic and an aerobatic airshow. This event is held at Pioneer Field in Valdez and encourages those who fly-in to check the weather and to bring a tent and sleeping bag.
The following weekend of May 17-18 is the 5th Annual Cliff Hudson Memorial Fly-In at the Talkeetna Airport. This is also a family event that features silent auctions, outdoor vendors, camping, a bonfire and live music on Saturday evening. Sunday morning there is a community pancake feed at the airport as aircraft from all over the valley fly-in to meet with friends. For more information on this contact Above Alaska Aviation at 907-733-4808.
Flying events don’t stop in the spring there are several others planned in June for Palmer and Wasilla. Tentatively the FAA is planning a pancake breakfast at the Palmer Airport sometime in June. The Commemorative Air Force and Wings of Freedom are planning a fly-in event to the Wasilla Airport in June but details on that are not yet available.
Additionally an aviation adventure day is being planned by the Experimental Aircraft Association in conjunction with the Palmer Air Fair and Rendezvous but the exact date (probably before August) has not yet been announced.
Check back here for updates and more local aviation information month by month as dates and events are planned statewide here in Alaska.
Rob Stapleton can be reached at: robstapleton(at)alaska.net