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Lamar Memorial Airshow and Fly-In Set for Sept 9th

 

Jetliners Recently Using Lamar Airport

Eric and Tanya McSwan, managers of the Lamar Municipal Airport, have been at work on their airshow and fly-in since this past November. All the work should finally pay off on Sunday, September 9th between 8a and Noon when the free show gets underway.  The couple hosted a smaller airshow last September, featuring mostly ground-based exhibits, but the one set for the 9th will offer a variety of entertaining events.

Tanya explained, “We have some really great events and exhibits lined up, including a 30 minute airplane ride around the area. It’s not a commercial plane, but from the Commemorative Air Force,  a Beech 18, a 40s Warbird, twin engine model that will seat five passengers, the pilot and co-pilot.  For $99 you can get a 30 minute flight and the VIP Seat, the co-pilot seat will go for $200.  There should be about five flights available through the air show.  Folks can call and reserve a flight or just sign up at the airport.”

Chinese Built YAK at Lamar Airport

Eric said another feature will be a Mini Jet Air Show, a small, versatile jet powered plane that will put on an acrobatic-type performance. Long-time residents may remember the Coors Lite, Silver Bullet minijet that performed at the airport during Lamar’s Centennial celebration in 1985.  That brought in a long line of cars stretching back to town along Airport Road.

The McSwans said another feature will be a drone display from UAS Colorado out of Buena Vista. Eric said, “We were skeptical about them, but after attending a symposium, we really got our eyes opened on what they can do for business applications from ranching and farming to tower inspections to firefighting.  He explained, “Some are so large they can hover over a lake and pick up water for a drop on top of a fire.”  Tanya said she didn’t know if any of the displays would be for sale, as some can run into the thousands of dollars, but this will be a good opportunity to see how they can work and play as drone races are starting to grow in popularity across the country.

Blackhawk Helicopters at Lamar Airport

The Air Force Academy will put on a glider demonstration and there may be one or two helicopters on display as well. They are still working on details on have some of them show up.

There’s free admission, but souvenirs such as tee shirts and caps will be sold as well as regular and food vendors. Tanya said Dubs Burgers and Backyard BBQ will have their trucks on site.

Part of the exhibit will be viewed during the 9/11 Memorial Parade as the Beech 18 will do a flyover while the 10am parade on Saturday, the 8th is underway.  “We’ve been working a lot with Doug Harbor on coordinating both events and he’s been very helpful every step of the way.  We hope that one event will bring in visitors for the other event,” Tanya said.

Don’t miss the airshow as the couple said this may be the last one held in Lamar. “The FAA is requiring airshows to now have an “Air Boss”, someone who controls all flights, the take off and landings during the event and there is a lot of cost attached to that.  The laws are changing, so these people will have to be certified by the FAA in the future.  Eric will do that this year, but next year there will be an expense attached to these shows which is why you’re seeing so many occur this summer.  Our airport is a little too small to afford that expense for just several hours, so as far as we know, this will be the last one.

It’s been a busy year for the McSwans, almost 18 months since they took over as managers on the Fixed Base Operations. Eric was certified for fuel handling and they’re now working on a flight instructor’s license for the airport.  Tanya said Gene Tucker has several students right now and more can sign up as there’s been a growing interest in pilot training.

By Russ Baldwin

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