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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2005

Monday, April 18
Sun 'N Fun 2005
Created: 04/18/2005
Updated: 05/02/2005
Link(s): N/A
 
Article by Mike Whaley
 
Monday is like the lost day of Sun 'N Fun. It has very, very few visitors, and all the vendors are open for only a few hours. By noontime, everyone in sight is busy packing up and trying to get back home as fast as possible. The good part of all this is that if you're willing to wait until the last day, you can get some great deals on items that various vendors are trying to avoid carting back home with them. (The Flying Magazine booth had some nice t-shirt for $5 each and other good gift-type items by 11AM...) Though the show was essentially over by Monday at noontime, it was evident that it had been a good show. Saw lots of people, the weather was good, there were no serious accidents and only a very few incidents (there was another minor runway problem at about 10AM but it wasn't anything too serious.) We must admit that John's van did manage to lose a hubcap along Route 192 between Holopaw and Melbourne (thus continuing the long-running tradition of unforseeable and bizarre episodes that we have come to know as "airshow truck tire roulette".) Otherwise, we were very pleased that everything went more smoothly this time around than at any show before. The experience we've gained with all the airshows we've attended (and the fact that most of our folks now have been to at least one or two airshows) has really helped to smooth out the whole process and avoid major problems. It's not quite to the point of feeling like a vacation, but it's gotten a lot more comfortable and much more enjoyable (not to mention more productive) than it was when we first started!

We are especially thankful to Rob and Pat Moler as well as Barrett Brummett for the use of their airplanes in our display area, as well as to SNF Acro Chairman Jim Taylor for his assistance.

It almost goes without saying that there are literally thousands of people who have to do a lot of hard work every year to make an event like Sun 'N Fun happen, and though we can't thank each of them individually and personally, if you are one of these fine folks, please accept a heartfelt THANK YOU from our entire organization for your work. Sun 'N Fun is truly an enjoyable and worthwhile event, and we have a great appreciation and admiration for those folks who give back to the aviation community by helping to make it happen. You guys and gals have again done an excellent job and we had a truly enjoyable and productive time. Though it's a long, hard, and tiring week in so many ways, it's also an energizing, educational, and wonder-filled week as well. We're tired, but it's that good kind of tired. We are already looking forward to next year... SNF 2006 will be here before you know it, and we bet it's going to be even better!

Attendance was fairly good throughout the week... though the numbers have been down a bit since 9/11, all in all the industry has clearly regained its strength and is continually improving even more. While we don't directly manufacture personal jets, light sport aircraft, or various other types of aircraft whose potential and popularity are exploding, these things are definitely helping us and everyone else in the general aviation industry. The Sport Pilot rule, the dawning age of less-expensive executive/corporate transportation, and to some extent even the realization that some of the post-9/11 aviation policies did more harm than good are all coming together into a tangible renewal of General Aviation. Yes, there are many wolves howling at our door: the industry-killing threat of user fees, the crumbling aviation infrastructure, the myriad of mis-guided security policies, the pop-up, permanent, and commercially-purchased TFRs, idiotic press reports slandering aviation, the rising costs of aviation in general, etc. While it would be easy to get down about these things, we believe that they can and will be dealt with appropriately by the aviation community. We're quite optimistic that these issues can legitimately be seen as the growing pains that must be dealt with by a thriving industry, and industry that's moving rapidly forward and not looking back. SNF seems to back that belief up... there's a whole lot of good news right now in the aviation world and a lot of momentum. It's a good time to be an aviator.

See you in Oshkosh!


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I think Paul, Mike Jones, and Roger have been working just a little too hard.  
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Umm, Paul, don't forget to sign the timesheets, OK?  
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This old target drone is, by virtue of its McCollough engine, a first cousin of many gyrocopters such as the Bensens that became popular in the 1970s.  
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This is a genuine SR-71 main landing gear tire that was on display in the Michelin booth.  
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Wing Commander Ethan "Curly" Goetch runs through the checklist.  
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Ga-ga-gaaaa!!! (That's baby-speak for "CLEAR PROP!!!")  
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Tower, this is Diaper Flight One, request permission to taxi to runway 27-R for a naptime departure.  
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Whatcha lookin' at? If cuteness could kill, he'd be Baron von Richtofen.  
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This is Mike Loehle's P-40. This is a neat "sheep in wolf's clothing" which structurally is nearly identical to Loehle's well-known 5151 Mustang.  
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12:30 PM: A lot of vendors have already pulled up the stakes and hit the road.  
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Finally! All packed and ready for the trip back home.  
 

Other entries in this series:
     Get Ready... Sun 'N Fun is Coming!    April 6, 2005
     Monday, April 11    April 11, 2005
     Tuesday, April 12    April 12, 2005
     Wednesday, April 13    April 13, 2005
     Thursday, April 14    April 14, 2005
     Friday, April 15    April 15, 2005
     Saturday, April 16    April 16, 2005
     Sunday, April 17    April 17, 2005
      » Monday, April 18    April 18, 2005
     Bonus Photos    April 19, 2005
     Best Of: Part 1 of 4    April 20, 2005
     Best Of: Part 2 of 4    April 21, 2005
     Best Of: Part 3 of 4    April 22, 2005
     Best Of: Part 4 of 4    April 23, 2005

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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