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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2006

Tuesday, April 4
Sun 'N Fun 2006
Created: 03/31/2006
Updated: 04/17/2006
Link(s): N/A
 
Article by Mike Whaley
 
Opening day was very good... great weather and a good crowd. The news of Sean Tucker having to bail out of his Oracle Challenger was surprising, but everyone was glad he was OK and the conversations quickly turned to whether he'd be here at SNF (he did.) Otherwise, it was the usual rush of getting into the "groove" of the airshow... talking to folks, taking in the sights, figuring out schedules so everyone can get lunch, etc. Some areas, like Paradise City (ie the Ultralight area) seemed to be a bit down in attendance, but others (Warbirds) seemed to be doing as well as last year. There was a big storm system to the north up in Tennesee and Georgia, so it's reasonable to think that at least some attendees are having trouble getting here early. We'll see what happens later in the week.


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Just before the gates officially open on SNF 2006, an early bird stops for a brief chat.  
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We set up a small memorial wall for Curtis Pitts. Many folks stopped by and checked it out. Curtis may be absent in body, but he'll always be with us and many others in spirit.  
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It didn't take long for visitors to start coming in to see what was new.  
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Dave greets a customer. We always enjoy getting to meet old friends, or meeting people face-to-face whom we've only known through the phone or email.  
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Barrett flies the Skybolt during the manufacturer's fly-by session. It was one of the loudest single-engine planes at the show, so far as we could tell.  
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Barrett flies by.  
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A Piper Cub flies by. Many, many Cubs arrived en mass to this year's Fly-in. The basic Cub design, despite being modified and updated in innumerable ways through the years, will always remain as a cornerstone of general aviation.  
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This New Standard D-25 was hopping rides... exactly what it was designed for in 1929. Neat plane!  
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Jabiru isn't the only Australian native at Sun 'N Fun. This (almost) purebred dingo seemed to enjoy the airplanes. He was very well-behaved and friendly, and seemed to act about like any other dog.  
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The "Juliet Row" camp area lies near the western end of the main runway. It's a unique spot to watch the show, providing a "side view" of the action.  
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T-6's fly past Juliet Row.  
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There were many T-28s. The Trojans have a very deep, throaty sound that personifies the term "warbird".  
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A camper gets a great view of a T-6 after landing from it's airshow fly-bys.  
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The Juliet Row area allows a very close-up view of the airshow planes taxiing back after they land on runway 9.  
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These guys are obviously enjoying the opportunity to be a part of the show.  
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This T-6 is painted in the colors of the Spanish Air Force. It would be hard to find a type of plane with more different and intersting color schemes than the T-6 / SNJ / Harvard community!  
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The Red Knight provides top cover...  
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The "Red Knight" T-33 puts out thick, dense smoke as it returns from a sunset sortie.  
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While many still think of trikes as "powered hang gliders", they've actually evolved into rather refined machines.  
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This CGS aircraft had sprightly performance.  
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Kolb had a "naked" Mark III on display. This is a pretty simple structure, but it's also strong. Construction is 4130 steel tube, with aluminum spars, ribs, and tail boom.  
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Kolb's Slingshot flies like, well, a slingshot. Wheeee!  
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"The deck angle is rather acute." Wheeeee!!! They also have several flavors of two-seaters available.  
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This light aircraft looks a bit helicopter-like. (The smoke in the background is from land clearing activity a mile or two down the road.)  
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Just Aircraft had a plane on display.  
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Yours Truly had his first light aircraft ride in a Maxair Drifter like this one, way back at Sun 'N Fun 1988. What a rush!  
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If this is the passenger's first ride, you can bet that she's yelling excitedly into the intercom right now about how cool this is!  
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For some reason, there weren't nearly the number of ultralights and light planes flying at Paradise City this day as you'd usually expect to see... but there's always a lot of variables at play in that. Hopefully we'll see more folks later this week.  

Other entries in this series:
     Sun 'N Fun 2006 - Much Excitement Awaits!    March 31, 2006
     Monday, April 3 - Part 1 (Pre-Show)    April 3, 2006
     Monday, April 3 - Part 2 (Pre-Show)    April 3, 2006
      » Tuesday, April 4    April 4, 2006
     Wednesday, April 5 - Part 1    April 5, 2006
     Wednesday, April 5 - Part 2    April 5, 2006
     Thursday, April 6    April 6, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Daytime Activities - Part 1    April 7, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Daytime Activities - Part 2    April 7, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Pitts Tribute and Night Airshow    April 7, 2006
     Saturday, April 8 - Part 1    April 8, 2006
     Saturday, April 8 - Part 2    April 8, 2006
     Sunday, April 9    April 9, 2006

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

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