This Weekend’s Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In is 2nd Oldest in US
September 10, 2009 — The 42nd annual Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In (MERFI) will be held this weekend (September 12-13) at Grimes Field (I74) in Urbana, Ohio. The two-day event will feature forums, building workshops, speakers, pancake breakfasts, and youth activities. MERFI representative Dave Shiffer says that the fly-in settled in Urbana last year after a brief stay in Mansfield and a long run in Marion, Ohio. Grimes Field is home to the Champaign Aviation Museum which is currently undertaking a restoration of “Champaign Lady” a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, which will be on display during the event.
Shiffer says the event is the second oldest regional fly-in in the United States and draws heavy attendance from experimental aircraft, mostly Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Featured speakers this year include motion picture stunt pilot Corkey Fornof who flew the BD-5J in the James Bond serial film episode Octopussy, David W. Scheff who served as a maintenance officer with the Presidential Airlift Group, 89th Airlift Wing, based at Andrews Air Force Base, and Mike Millard a former United States Air Force maintenance technician who will be giving two talks his time with the USAF Thunderbirds as well as a presentation on wilderness survival skills.
This year, in addition to the day long builder demonstrations, will be a panel discussion on aircraft design with Early Luce and John Dyke of “Dyke Delta” fame. Grimes field is also noted as the home of Grimes Lighting (now Honeywell/Grimes) whose Grimes Flying Lab Beech-C45H was a popular attraction at EAA AirVenture 2009. (Listen to an EAA Radio feature on the Grimes Flying Lab) Dave Youtz of Grimes will give a presentation during MERFI on past and future work being done at Grimes.