Arcadia Municipal Airport held a small-plane landing contest and other fun activities on Saturday. We’re pairing an accounting of the event by George Chase with visuals by Arcadian photographer Priscilla McDaniel.

The winds were gusting out of the NW, planes were bobbing as they neared the white line across runway 24. In the distance spectators sat in lawn chairs, cars, trucks and on foot to watch the pilots try to hit the mark. The ramp was overflowing with over 45 airplanes that flew in to participate and just watch the event. The spotters were ready to measure and record the results.

We had 24 entries with 19 actually flying in the event. Everyone got two attempts and lots of skill was demonstrated as pilots took their turns in the pattern. It is no easy task keeping a plane aloft at low altitude until you let it touch down on a predetermined spot. The cheers were loud when pilots managed to set it down near the target and disappointment rang out when they would hit just short of the line, as that was a disqualification by rule.

First place went to Joel Frederick with 9 ft. ($100 of 100LL) Second place was our own Rickey Hilton at 23 ft. (2 sunset cruises) and third was Bill Hill with 24 ft. (free pancake breakfasts and camping at Aviation City certificates). Thanks to all the pilots that took part for some great flying.

The day gave the public a chance to see first hand what it takes to land a plane at a particular spot and gave the kids in the crowd an introduction to aviation. Fly-ins like this promote general aviation to the airport neighbors and the community in a good way. What could be better? Thanks to airport manager Shelley Peacock and the City of Arcadia for sponsoring this great event and to all the volunteers that worked so hard to make it happen. Make plans now to join us for the next special event on Jan. 19.

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