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Creating an Air Affaire to remember
If you are looking to soar the skies or sense the speed and sounds of all things flight-related, this weekend is the time to do it in Sequim.
The Olympic Peninsula Aire Affaire, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Sequim Valley Airport, 468 Dorothy Hunt Road, and the City of Sequim Centennial, kicks off Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
The event brings in a number of unique, local flight enthusiasts from skydivers to remote control plane fliers to hot air balloons to all types of airplanes and more along with a car and motorcycle show, food and live music.
Pilots like Ernest Hansen and fellow owners of 1946 Globe Swift airplanes make a special appearance for the show 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Hansen, who lives in Diamond Point, said a group of pilots go to special events a few times a year like this. Last year they won the formation competition at the Globe Swift Annual Convention and Fly-In in St. Louis, Mo.
For the Sequim event, they’ll fly in formation and in patterns over the runway three or four times.
Hansen said the group is special because Diamond Point hosts 10 Globe Swifts — the largest number of the planes gathered in any one spot west of the Mississippi, he said.
The Globe Swifts, he said, appealed to fighter pilots coming back from World War II because of their similar characteristics to the fighter planes in the war.
“When I got the opportunity to fly one, I decided I wanted one,” he said.
Bringing in ‘Spin Doctors’
The Air Affaire features countless pilots like Hansen who want to get your excitement level up.
Mike and Marilyn Mason of the West Coast Spin Doctors specialize in just that. At the event they’ll offer biplane flights on their 1943 Stearman throughout the event and demonstrate wing walking daily at 1 p.m.
Marilyn Mason said their Mason Wing Walking Academy is the only wing walking school in the world they know of and people have come from all over the world, as far as Qatar, to learn wing walking.
For the Air Affaire, Mike flies while Marilyn walks on the wing. They’ll also do some fly-bys for the crowds.
“Flying is in the blood,” she said. “My husband has been flying since he was a teenager.”
And more …
Organizers with the Air Affaire made the event more inclusive by adding cars and trucks, motorcycles and remote control planes.
George March, car show and shine organizer, said any kind of car or truck can participate for free both days. They just show up and park.
He’s hoping for more than 150 vehicles to participate on the west side of the airport. Motorcycles are included on Sunday, too.
Jack Becker, president of the Tri-Area R/C fliers out of Chimacum, said a handful of members of all skill levels will fly both days at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, performing demonstrations. They’ll fly small electric planes to alcohol-powered planes performing standard flight instructions to mild stunts.
For more information about the event and participants, visit olympicpeninsulaairaffaire.weebly.com.