Photos: Aviators descend on Palmer for the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering

On Sunday, the final day of the Alaska Airmen’s Association Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in Palmer, people crowded around the yellow raffle airplane parked at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, waiting to see whose name would be called as the winner.

After the winners of several other raffle prizes were announced, Jason Wilson of Fairbanks ended up winning the Carbon Cub FX-2.

The free annual gathering, held for the third time in Palmer, featured more than 200 exhibitors from around the world.

The mission of the Alaska Airmen’s Association, which has over 2,000 members and is looking to grow membership, is “to protect, preserve, and promote general aviation in Alaska,” said Stephen Ratcliff, president of the board of directors.

At the Palmer Municipal Airport, aircraft were on static display. Pilot Mikaela Young stood on the wing of a Fire Boss AT-802 on amphibious floats as she cleaned the windows. Young will be based out of Fairbanks flying the scooping single engine air tanker.

“It’s a blast dropping water on a fire,” said Young. “With a flight of four we’ll go ‘head hunting’ and knock out as much heat at the head of the fire to support personnel on the ground.”

Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News.