Yesterday, I wrote about my time. Well, there is something more to this time of year than just getting up early and enjoying the mornings. The one great event of this time of year, for all pilots, is the annual gathering in Lakeland known as Sun ’N Fun.
There are two things all pilots should do before heading west; one is to attend Oshkosh in the summer, the other is to visit Lakeland during the springtime Sun ’N Fun. Everyone who flies should make it to both of these events as often as possible.
This Tuesday, March 27, 2012, is the opening of Sun ’N Fun.
If you have never attended one of the fly-ins, there is a great deal to take in at Sun ’N Fun. This is an educational, entertainment, aviation, historical, and fun event that every aviator should attend. Especially young aviators.
For aspiring pilots and student pilots, there is a lot to learn about the aviation industry through Sun ’N Fun. The fly-in, I am sure, has also served as a springboard to many in starting an aviation career. If you are a flight instructor, you should attend at least one day—and bring along as many of your students as possible.
If you are flying into the show, you have to be cautious and truly have your head on a swivel. Radio technique is not normal. Pilots line up in queue and listen in on the frequency and when they recognize the description of their aircraft, they comply with what the controllers are telling them to do. In fact, one controller was overheard saying, “N-number? We don’ need no stinkin’ N-numbers!”
If you need N-numbers, you can probably buy those and any other aviation items needed in the market place. In fact, in the convention area contains all manner of goods and services. Oh, and don’t forget the flea market where pilots and homebuilders bring in everything they don’t need hoping to trade for something they do, or get cash for the final transaction.
In the four main hangars, representative of just about every aviation business of import are demonstrating, answering questions, and selling their wares. If you are thinking about buying something for your airplane, this is the place to check it out.
Outside of the hangars, on the flight line, you have the opportunity to check out almost every model of homebuilt or kit airplane manufactured. For those considering building a certain type, this is the best chance to talk with the owners, builders, and pilots of the type airplane under contemplation.
Not only are there kitplanes and homebuilts, all manner of classic and antique airplanes are flown in by their owners. They come in different degrees of restoration, from those in need a great deal of work to those that are award-winners.
If you are going, bring plenty of water and prepare for the heat. The weather is warm here in Florida this year. If you are flying in, be heads-up and read all the NOTAMS.
See you there!
©2012 J. Clark
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