This year’s installment continues. Day one started damp and dreary but finished at room temperature with sun. Tim and I helped with the booth and limited our wanderings to nearby vendors, checking out the various goodies. I’ll be checking out the ultralight area — paradise city — over the next few days.

The Place

This is one of the most restricted, watched, controlled places you’ll likely ever fly. 

The Environment

Everybody’s watching. It’s not the place for someone who gets stage fright and makes silly mistakes easily under pressure. The flying itself isn’t ideal, either, because you’re forced to takeoff down a runway that rarely aligns closely to the wind. Steer your launch or risk flying over the people. And did I mention “everybody’s watching?”

There an announcer calling out what’s happening as field drama plays out. He’s generally friendly to every type of aviation (or he shouldn’t be there) but goof-ups could be grist for the humor mill.

Crowds line the fence. In some ways this is cool because you feel like a rock star walking out there with gear, but it could be distracting. 

The Pattern

There’s a very specific pattern that pilots must fly to help know where to look for traffic. You could be forgiven for thinking this would concentrate traffic but remember, triffic gets ultimately concenrated at the runway. 


Planes, planes and more planes. Other flying things, too, of course, but the vast majority is planes.