The sun was up but the day still pleasant when we made our way onto the Casa Grande Airport ((KCGZ) Casa Grande, Ariz.) grounds for the opening day of the 39th annual Copperstate Fly-in. I always get a little thrill when approaching the venue of a fly-in—big or small. I never tire of ogling beautiful airplanes on static display or watching them fly overhead. There’s also the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones.
Kent and I took a quick look at the grounds before heading to our booth and made note of the location of food stands and (sigh) Port-o-Lets. Some planes were already parked on the flight line and the steady hum of engines overhead announced that more were on the way. We also saw stands selling rides in vintage biplane, a helicopter or a SNJ/T-6 “Texan.”
The sun would stay with us for the three-day event and the temps did rise into the 90s making everyone pay attention to density altitude, sunscreen and shade. Mike Still, Copperstate president, told me that last year’s heat was unusual, as it’s usually much more temperate in Casa Grande in the fall.
Despite the heat, the 2011 Copperstate Fly-in attracted about 5,100 people and 500 aircraft over the course of the long weekend, Oct. 20-22, 2011.
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