Air Affaire ready to launch

Third annual event adds night glow, formation planes to 2015 show

A crowd begins to form before the Moon Glow on July 31 at Sequim Valley Airport. Captain Crystal Stout plans to unite six hot air balloons for a night glow event on Aug. 29 at the airport with donations helping the Dream Catcher program that provides balloon rides to physically disabled people.

A crowd begins to form before the Moon Glow on July 31 at Sequim Valley Airport. Captain Crystal Stout plans to unite six hot air balloons for a night glow event on Aug. 29 at the airport with donations helping the Dream Catcher program that provides balloon rides to physically disabled people.

Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday,       Aug. 29-30

Where: Sequim Valley Airport, 468 Dorothy Hunt Road, Sequim

• Balloon rides 7 a.m. daily, fees apply. Arrive at 6:45 a.m. Contact 360-601-2433 or e-mail airboss@nwplace.com.

• Car Show & Shine, cars show up before 9 a.m. Saturday. Awards at 2 p.m. $10 entry fee. Call 417-0676 for more information. Free entry on Sunday with no awards.

• Saturday only: late morning: Swift Formation Smoke Planes, Blackjacks and skydivers; early afternoon: wing walkers

• Both days: fly-in, static airplane and experimental plane show, biplane rides with fees, radio controlled airplanes show, meet the pilots booth, food, vendors and live music

(Note: all events subject to weather)

Cost: $5 per car load with handicap parking

More info: Visit olympicpeninsulaairaffaire.com or call 670-6294 or 461-3950.

 

by MATTHEW NASH

Sequim Gazette

 

 

Organizers of the Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire hope you’ll finish your summer soaring.

The fly-in, featuring smoke planes, formation planes, remote controlled airplanes, hot air balloons and more, returns for its third year on Aug. 29-30.

Co-organizer Emily Westcott said the event continues to grow in attendance and programming while remaining at $5 a car load. She said the funds help the event continue each year and keep costs low.

This year, Captain Crystal Stout of the Morning Star Balloon Company, said six balloons, including the RE/MAX balloon, are participating with many of them offering rides at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. She encourages people arrive at 6:45 a.m. to see if a spot is available.

“Bringing all these balloonists here is exciting,” she said. “We live in one of the most unique areas to fly with the air current and the blue hole.”

At 8 p.m. Saturday, balloonists will offer a night glow with a $5 per carload donation helping the Dream Catcher Balloon Rides program which gives balloon rides to physically challenged people.

Visitors are encouraged to bring flashlights for nighttime parking. The event is weather-dependent and will feature music.

Stout said she just received a new balloon for the Dream Catcher program, which features a two-seat bench, and plans to debut it this weekend.

Also new this year is the Blackjack formation squadron out of Arlington. They’ll fly over tentatively at 11 a.m., Westcott said.

Last year they were unable to fly over due to weather.

The forecast looks overcast and possibly a little damp but organizers are optimistic.

Stout said flying conditions have improved as the summer progressed and she’s not too worried about projected conditions.

“We’re going to rely on Sequim being Sequim,” she said.

Regardless of the forecast, Andy Sallee, president of the Sequim Valley Airport, said he feels the Air Affaire has brought more attention to the airport.

“I’ve noticed a lot more people come and go out of the airport,” he said.

“The whole purpose (of the event) is to increase aviation awareness for the community. There a lot of people who have lived here for years who don’t know there’s even an airport. The facility has so many different uses (like military and emergency-based).”

Sky high acts

Many of the big draws for the Air Affaire return include Mike and Marilyn Mason of of the West Coast Spin Doctors who will demonstrate wing walking Saturday afternoon in their 1943 Stearman.

“You can see her smiling if she’s low enough,” Westcott said.

They’ll fly in the afternoon while in the morning the Swift Formation Smoke Planes fly over around 10 a.m. followed by the Blackjacks at 11 a.m. Paragliders and sky divers are expected to round out Saturday morning’s activities, too.

The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit which honors seniors and veterans, will offer free flights for the second year with more information available at www.agelessaviationdreams.org.

“Bunky” Larson of Snohomish provides biplane rides in his 1928 Travel Air to locals for a fee, too.

Three radio control clubs will split their time both days of the Air Affaire.

Sequim R/C Aeronauts and Port Angeles’ Olympic RC Modelers host their fifth annual fly-in at the Air Affaire on Saturday with fliers’ $5 entry fees, raffle tickets and donations supporting Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County. The Tri-Area R/C fliers out of Chimacum will fly on Sunday.

The Air Affaire continues its Car Show and Shine with any type of vehicle able to participate both days. On Saturday, a $10 entry fee registers your vehicle with a chance at trophies in a number of categorizes and prizes. On Sunday, vehicles are welcomed back for free with no trophies.

Throughout both days, airplanes — experimental and not — will be on display, with live music and vendors on site, too.

Hawaiian band Naki’i opens the event at 10 a.m. Saturday with sing-alongs and hula encouraged.

For more information on the Air Affaire, visit olympicpeninsulaairaffaire.com or call 670-6294 or 461-3950.

 

 

 

 

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