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Author Topic: McMinnville fly-in  (Read 3267 times)

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hotrod150

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McMinnville fly-in
« on: April 08, 2008, 09:04:10 AM »
  I went to the old Evergreen Fly-in in Vancouver WA for several years, starting in 96. Always had a real good time, it was a very low-key and old-time style event. When the NWAAC moved the fly-in to MMV in 2003, I "mourned", like every other Evergreen fan. But unlike some others, I went anyway, for the first 2 years at least. It just wasn't as much fun. Then they started a policy of charging even the airplanes for admission, and (I hear) started closing the field every day for an airshow, and I never had the urge to try it again. Too much like Arlington for my tastes. I have to admit that I go to the Arlington fly-in about every year, but mainly cuz it's so close to home that I hate not to go since I always run into friends there.
   I know that the NWAAC had good reasons for the changes that have been made, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I've heard from friends that attendance at MMV (like at about all the other fly-ins) has been down the last few years. I was wondering how others feel about the event.

Eric
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Bill

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 09:39:59 AM »
Eric,

At the first McEvergreen, they handed out questionnaires about what you liked and disliked and I mentioned the camping and lack of fees for pilots as plusses and the large distance as a minus (not that I really mind).  In a subsequent year they started charging pilots for attending and I got into quite a heated email discussion with the air-show coordinator about spending hundreds of dollars to provide what the public, who were also charged, came to see.  I purposely boycotted the event until last year, when I noticed that they weren’t charging fly-in participants anymore.

I tried to explain that these events usually start as a Fly-In where like minded pilots gather just to tell lies, admire planes and maybe share rides – the public notices the gathering and stops in to see and all is fun.  Then some group or club gets the bright idea to charge admittance to the public and I feel if the public wants to pay that’s their decision, we’re still having fun.  As it grows, the group or club starts providing port-a-potties, inviting (and charging) food venders and such and starts to complain that they’re not making money.  It’s by this time that they put up ropes to keep the public and pilots apart and the fun starts to diminish.  To attract yet more of the public (and hence revenues) they hire air-show performers, close the airspace to the fly-in pilots and become very strict about the public/pilot mixing and operations around the field claiming insurance rates and safety are driving it all.  It’s now officially an Air-show and no longer a Fly-in and although that can be enjoyable, by this time the fly-in pilots start gathering at some other field and the process starts all over.

You wouldn’t dream of charging the air-show performers to come and perform at an Air-show (none of them would come) and my argument was at a Fly-in, the fly-in pilots are the attraction.

I enjoyed McEvergreen last year and hope to attend this year (assuming there’s no charge to fly-in participants) but I miss the days when Everett had the big full blown Air-show, Arlington was the homebuilder Fly-in and Evergeen was the Antique Fly-in.  But then again, I miss seeing Wally every year as well.

Bill

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David B

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 10:39:46 PM »
   I know that the NWAAC had good reasons for the changes that have been made, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I've heard from friends that attendance at MMV (like at about all the other fly-ins) has been down the last few years. I was wondering how others feel about the event.
Eric

I really enjoy it.  I don't like to be charged for attending but I too understand.  Talking to them it's a matter of a small fee or no fly-in.  I guess I can contribute a few bucks towards all the work the volunteers do to put on the event.  Several years ago (3 I believe) they had a dinner in the museum and then a spaghetti feed the next night on the field.  (You bought ticket to attend)   I really enjoyed that but I think that was the only year they did it.  I have a conflict for that weekend and have to "bargain" for the date.  I only make it down there every other year or so.

DaveB
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hotrod150

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 07:53:49 AM »
  It wasn't specifically the admission fee. It was the general tone of the whole event that's kept me away. Per Bill's description, I guess I like an old-fashioned fly-in as opposed to an airshow.
   Speaking of airshows, I'm kinda burnt out on T6's roaring by & Yak 55's gyroscopic'ing around. The best acts I saw at Arlington over the past several years were acro routines by a glider, and another by a deHavilland Chipmunk. There was a  clipwing T-Craft there a year or so ago but I never saw him fly.
  I might give MMV another shot this year, who knows?

Eric
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smutny

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 12:41:41 PM »
Speaking of airshows, I'm kinda burnt out on T6's roaring by & Yak 55's gyroscopic'ing around. The best acts I saw at Arlington over the past several years were acro routines by a glider, and another by a deHavilland Chipmunk. There was a  clipwing T-Craft there a year or so ago but I never saw him fly.


Eric, "Dr. D's Old Time Aerobatics" is who that T-Craft pilot is.  He's been up to Arlington the last two years and is coming again this year.  Also, we are bringing Dan Buchanan back with his hang glider.

A well rounded airshow will have elements from all performer types.  From fast moving jets to big loud warbirds, and wingwalkers to high performance Extra's.  However, it's not easy getting that balance. I think the Arlington show has made real strides in that area the last few years.  But then again, I'm pretty biased about that....

I don't like the aerobatic pilots shaping the public's minds of what small airplanes are all about,


I don't think air show aerobatics shapes the public view of small planes.  An air show is just theater in the air.  Other than the few air show junkies, most people that come to air shows are the same demographic that go to monster truck events and arena off road motorcycle racing.  Evil Knievel didn't shape the public view of all motorcyclists.

The saying goes, "different strokes for different folks".  There are some areas of aviation I have no interest in, but that doesn't make them any less fun or valid for those that do participate in them.  Budd Davisson wrote a great article about "Useless Aviation" in his Plane & Pilot column a couple years ago.  It's a good read.

http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/pilot-talk/grassroots/useless-aviation.html
John Smutny
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davidh

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 09:08:57 PM »
BUT, I have been to Arlington. This year I'm not exactly boycotting it, but I'm going to be flying in to Arlington, Oregon. 5000' turf strip by the Columbia River, short walk to town. I'll camp under the wing, start a fire in my little wood cookstove for meals, tell lies to any who come, and play harmonica all I want without any hulaballoo or fanfare.

Have you seen the "runway" there at Arlington, Oregon?  I've done several low passes and although I was tempted -- briefly -- to land there, I thought better of it.  I think calling the "runway" there "turf" is being pretty generous ("that's an insult to turf runways!").  Unless something has really changed, I'd say it's more of an abandonded runway than an airport (very old broken pavement with tufts of tall grass mixed in -- it seemed to be about a 50/50 mix, and it looked pretty unforgiving).  When I was there, it looked like it hadn't been used in a decade.

Keep in mind that I'm someone who sees any stretch of old, crumbling pavement as a precious national aviation resource.  The "runway" at Arlington, Oregon looked v-e-r-y sketchy to me (and very depressing).  Please be careful if you're serious about taking your Luscombe there!
David Herman
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tonyrob

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 09:20:16 PM »
[
A well rounded airshow will have elements from all performer types.  From fast moving jets to big loud warbirds, and wingwalkers to high performance Extra's.  However, it's not easy getting that balance. I think the Arlington show has made real strides in that area the last few years.  But then again, I'm pretty biased about that....


I for one have to say that you guys do a great job, and when one considers that almost all involved are volunteers, it is even more impressive.
Several of us look forward to The Arlington Fly-In as a highlight of the year.

Thanks - your efforts are very much appreciated.

Tony
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Blue&Yellow Luscombe

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 09:47:54 PM »
Smutny - I read the article you linked and mostly agree. (I disagree on the author's implied view of motorcycles as toys instead of valid and efficient transportation devices.) I don't mean to say aerobatics are useless, I respect the skill it takes to fly them well and the way that skill improves the airmanship, and I might get some fundamental instruction in them myself. I don't want to light fires with my incompletely-thought-out ideas, so I humbly retract my earlier statement. If I see you on the field I might ask you some questions.

David - I'll keep your report in mind, thanks.
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ctflyboy

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 03:54:03 PM »
Greetings, my name is Roger and I'm President of NWACC in McMinnville and Chairman of the NWAAC Fly-in. I wanted to make clear a couple of points I see mentioned here.

1. We've charged one time in McMinnvile and that was the year before last AND IT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. Pretty dumb to ask pilots to pay to get here then charge them. We didn't do it last year and we will not do it again as long as I'm in charge!

2. We didn't have an air show last year and we didn't close the runway. We had a small show the year before from Wayne Hadley and Reny Price. Wayne was was donating his aircraft to Evergreen Museum and it was his last appearance in the Raven.

3. We will have an air show this year. It will be short and it will be Dr. D plus another plane or two. We are trying to stick with the antique theme. It cost us a very large amount of money to put on the Fly-in and the majority of our income is derived from the gate. The only way to increase the gate attendance is give them another reason to come, hence an air-show.

PLEASE feel free to email me or leave a note here. WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE FLY-N and we can't do it if we don't have your suggestions!!

Roger H


Bill

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2008, 04:59:52 PM »
Roger,

Thanks for chiming in here – I appreciate your effort and those of the volunteers that put the event on each year.  A short closure for a circumstance like Wayne donating his aircraft to the museum makes sense and I certainly understand the need to provide the public with a draw to get them to come but at the same time, some would like to see the antique and classic aircraft in attendance fly – a tough balancing act for you I imagine.

I especially have appreciated the fun people running around in quads selling water all day.  Sitting down under the wing after walking around all day it’s a pleasure when a cheerful person comes by peddling something cold to drink.

Thanks again!

Bill at KTIW
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tonyrob

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 05:23:18 PM »
Greetings, my name is Roger and I'm President of NWACC in McMinnville and Chairman of the NWAAC Fly-in. I wanted to make clear a couple of points I see mentioned here.

1. We've charged one time in McMinnvile and that was the year before last AND IT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. Pretty dumb to ask pilots to pay to get here then charge them. We didn't do it last year and we will not do it again as long as I'm in charge!

2. We didn't have an air show last year and we didn't close the runway. We had a small show the year before from Wayne Hadley and Reny Price. Wayne was was donating his aircraft to Evergreen Museum and it was his last appearance in the Raven.

3. We will have an air show this year. It will be short and it will be Dr. D plus another plane or two. We are trying to stick with the antique theme. It cost us a very large amount of money to put on the Fly-in and the majority of our income is derived from the gate. The only way to increase the gate attendance is give them another reason to come, hence an air-show.

PLEASE feel free to email me or leave a note here. WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE FLY-N and we can't do it if we don't have your suggestions!!

Roger H




Hi Roger

Young Eagles flights with lots of publicity are a good way to increase the gate.

Good luck with the event.
Tony
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davidh

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 05:39:09 PM »
Hi Roger, and welcome to the forum.

Thanks for the info.  I'm sure we all understand that putting on any of the shows we enjoy is a big, sometimes thankless job...so thanks!  Any project like that involves weighing the different options and some compromise.  I haven't been to the McMinnville fly-in for a few years but hope to make it down there one of these days.  Keep up the good work and good luck with this year's show.  Please keep us updated on the happenings.
David Herman
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Boeing Field, Seattle, WA

Al Gilson

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 05:51:34 PM »
Ted T. and I (with Tony T. in the back running the IPod) flew the Rocket from Spokane to McMinnville a few years ago.  Nice time, nice planes, cool museum across the street.  It gets busy, though.  The last words from Portland Approach were, "lot's of planes down there, y'all be careful now."

Al (Tony...do you see that King Air?) Gilson
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irish_cubflyer

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Re: McMinnville fly-in
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2008, 05:37:02 AM »
Having managed one airshow ("The Gathering of the Warbirds") last year ... I can appreciate the difficulty of trying to get people to attend and pleasing the pilots who make the show happen.  It took me a week to learn to sleep again!

I for one, will be attending McMinnville this year.  I'll also be taking a couple of my student pilots  that I've been working with through AOPA.  What a perfect way to spread the love of flying and aviation history!  We'll be camping there the whole weekend  under N518PU!

Ellie
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