Weather Finally Cooperates with Virginia Festival of Flight
Aerial view of the Virginia Festival of Flight, which experienced a large attendance boost this year.
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May 5, 2011 — Last weekend, more than 350 aircraft made their way to Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ) for the 14th annual Virginia Festival of Flight. After years of bad weather, the sunshine brought in more drive- and fly-in attendees than ever – attendance was up 150 percent from 2010 - beginning with the Friday afternoon arrival of the Spirit of Freedom C-54 from the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation . Saturday morning, aircraft were landing at such a rate that Mike Glave, chairman of aircraft parking, opened up a new grass area to relieve the congestion.
A Stearman PT-19, a new production Waco YMF, and a Robinson R-44 gave rides throughout the weekend. The Youth Area was booming, with flight simulators and more from NASA Langley, R/C aircraft demos, and more. On Sunday, volunteer pilots flew 51 Young Eagles.
For the first time, representatives from AOPA flew into the event, including Craig Fuller, AOPA president, who flew the AOPA Caravan with nine others from the association. After a stop in the pancake breakfast tent, they enjoyed a quick tour of the grounds.
Gordon Campbell, the president of the Virginia Aviation Council, was pleased with how well the Festival of Flight operated this year. “We are learning all the pluses of being at Suffolk and making better use of the large area available for our fly-in to grow,” Campbell said.
The 2012 Virginia Regional Festival of Flight is currently scheduled for April 28-29. Any changes will be posted on the fly-in website.
HED: WINNERS AT FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT 2011
- Super Cat, N70096 - Steven Carruthers of Charlotte Hall, Maryland
- VariEze, N8WA - Thomas Lecka of Fayetteville, North Carolina
- Long-EZ, N506DB - Don Burton of Bethesda, Maryland
- Vans RV-6, N216PH - Pete Hunt of Clearwater Beach, Florida
- RANS 7, N121FW - Jeff Wemmering of Roper, North Carolina
- Vans RV-9A, N424JK - Steve Koziol of Doyestown, Pennsylvania
- Aeronca Chief, N36572 - Kent Marshall of Suffolk, Virginia
- Piper PA-15, N4571H - James D. Brooks of Williamsburg, Virginia
- Globe Swift, N3272K - Ray Bossola of Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Taylorcraft BC-12D, N96848 - Ray Bossola of Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Stearman PT-17, N55267 - David Christian of Toano, Virginia
- Fairchild PT-23A, N60418 – U.S. Warbird LLC of Midlothian, Virginia
- Nanchang CJ-6, N615R - Richard Williams of Fredericksburg, Virginia
- Challenger, N1905 - Larry Collie of Ringgold, Virginia
- SkyFlight Angel - Garry Holder of Quinton, Virginia
- Six Chuter SR-2 - Rick Nugen of Hampton, Virginia