Bush Pilot

Palmer airport to host seminars and short-field clinic in August

The Palmer Municipal airport will be the location of the Aug. 6 Palmer Air Fair & Rendezvous, a daylong event that will address aviation safety before the hunting season.

The full day of events will start off with a Youth Aviation Adventure Event at 9:30 a.m. at the New Horizons Telecom hangar on the south end of Palmer runway 16/34, at 801 E Cope Industrial Way.

This event will educate young people aged 7-17 about airplanes, airport operations, flight instruments, aviation safety, careers in aviation, aviation maintenance, and professional piloting. The ground-school approach will be followed by actual flights for those who have signed an Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles release for a flight in a general aviation aircraft. Young Eagle flights will start at 8 a.m. and will last until 4 p.m.

The Young Eagle flying event is sponsored and organized by EAA Chapter 42 from Anchorage, and organized by former military and FedEx pilot Ed White.

"This is going to be quite an undertaking; it looks like we will be flying as many as 75 Boy Scouts," said White. "We are going to need as many pilots with aircraft that we can get to make this happen."

At mid-field, the Alaska Chapter of the Ninety-Nines will sponsor an afternoon Short-Field Take Off and Landing clinic on the gravel strip located west of runway 16/34. This gravel strip has been painted every 100 feet by the Federal Aviation Administration's airports division to aid aircraft owners to gauge the true performance of their aircraft while fully loaded.

At the north end of the field in the Palmer Municipal Airport Forestry Hangar, a series of presentations will start at 10 a.m.


Leading the charge will be a presentation by Dennis Ward of the Medallion Foundation, who will discuss the events that led to crashing his aircraft while making an off-airport landing. The Medallion Foundation will also have two of its flight simulators outside of the hangar for the public to use.

Alaska Airlines pilot Rex Gray will present a seminar titled "Are you ready for that hunting trip?"

To help pilots understand off-airport operations, a how-to presentation about "Applying the Off-Airport Guide for PA-18 and Cessna 185" will also be featured.

In the afternoon, Clint Johnson with the National Transportation and Safety Board will present a briefing on Senator Steven's Accident in 2010.

And to end the day, Roger Motzko, with the FAA's Runway Safety Manager, will present "Threat and Error Management in an Off-Airport Environment."

Event organizer Ken More of Artic's Air Academy said this event is very important to Valley and Anchorage pilots.

"This is the perfect event for bush pilots everywhere in Alaska," said More. "We are advocating safety and being prepared we have a day of presentations that will help all pilots."

The event is sponsored by Artic's Air Academy, the Alaska Airmen's Association, the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation, the City of Palmer, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Medallion Foundation, the Civil Air Patrol, New Horizons Telephone Communications Inc., the US Department of Forestry, and Team CC.

For more information, call 907-746-2290

Contact Rob Stapleton at robstapleton(at)alaska.net.