Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My wife and I made our annual pilgrimage to Sun-N-Fun, in Lakeland, Florida last week. This is a fly-in of significant proportions. They were expecting 170,000 aviation enthusiasts. I don't actually know the total for this year. There are literally thousands of airplanes that fly into the event which lasts almost a week. There are airplanes and airplane people as far as the eye can see. The weather was nearly perfect except for a wind that kept blowing our caps off, but kept things nice and cool in the Florida sun. For such a massive event it is amazingly well organized and pleasant. Everything is clean and the people you meet are very friendly. As you can imagine, we all have aviation in common, so the conversation is easy. We always end up running into people we know from home.

There is something for everyone who likes planes. There are warbirds, ultralights, helicopters, antiques (which most of our planes qualify), military, experimental, and of course seaplanes.

On Thursday they have a splash in at Fantasy of Flight about 20 miles northeast of the main fly-in. This really is a treat. There are seaplanes continually landing and taking off from the lake in front of hundreds of seaplane enthusiasts as well as plenty of planes to look at on the beach and amphibians in the field. We could have stayed there all day, but we had to head home to Birmingham.

We left out of Clearwater Airpark in our Piper Twin Comanche, loaded with four people and gear for the 2.5 hour trip home. It was a just about perfect and bump free flight. We even had a little tail wind.