Sun 'n Fun Takes a Wallop From Storm, but Bounces Back
Last Thursday was a wild, unprecedented day at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, as a severe storm that apparently included a tornado hit the show grounds in the late morning. We're grateful that no one was severely injured in the storm, including the dozen EAA staffers on site, as well as Paul and Audrey Poberezny. Paul and I toured the grounds with videographer Brady Lane afterward, and that video is available here. The storm flipped or destroyed a number of airplanes, and caused significant damage to others. A number of commercial exhibits were also damaged. EAA immediately offered Sun 'n Fun any support we could in the aftermath of the storm, which closed the grounds Thursday afternoon and evening. Crews cleaned up the site throughout the night Thursday, and a sunny day and large crowds greeted the entrance gates on Friday, as the Blue Angels and F-22 arrived. The outpouring of support by EAA members to other members and aviators in Lakeland was also remarkable, but not at all surprising, considering EAA members' tradition of helping others.
Lane Wallace Joins EAA Writers Corps
Among other Sun 'n Fun developments last week, during a Tuesday news conference I introduced Lane Wallace as the newest contributing writer to EAA publications. Lane's first column will appear in May's Sport Aviation magazine. Early reaction to Lane's addition to our group of outstanding writers was overwhelmingly positive. She is a popular writer for pilots, regardless of what they fly, and she will bring her unique perspective on aviation, life, and adventure to our publications.
On the Road With Grassroots Tour
My Grassroots Pilot Tour has certainly proven to be popular, and I'd like to thank those of you I met with at Sun 'n Fun last week and Jacksonville, Florida, last night. Tonight, I'm in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, and tomorrow I head up to Charlotte, North Carolina. Other travels in the immediate future include EAA Chapter 33ís 50th anniversary dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 15; the B-17 tour stop in Van Nuys, California, on April 16; and a Grassroots Tour stop in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on April 18. To RSVP for a stop near you, visit the Grassroots Tour Stop website.