By Tasha Anderson
ALASKA THIS MONTH
This year’s annual Valdez Fly-In and Air Show will take place May 8 through May 10, attracting pilots and enthusiasts from Alaska and the Lower 48. “The
big event is the short take-off and landing competition, or
STOL,” says Joe Prax, Valdez Fly-In president. Other events
include a beach landing, officially called the Poker Run,
where participants get a hand of cards and the best hand
wins a prize; a Flour Bombing competition, which involves
bags of flour being dropped onto targets; and other aerobatics and sky divers. Prax says that this year Marcus Paine will
perform aerobatics in his 450hp Stearman biplane. “It will
be an exciting show and a major draw for people,” he says.
In addition to the action in the air, there are great events
happening on land. “Sunday we give out balsa wood and rubber band planes to kids and do contests for them; that’s very
popular,” Prax says. There’s an airshow on Sunday afternoon,
and on Sunday night there’s an awards banquet for the STOL
contest, which includes various classes of planes.
Prax, a pilot himself, says that the event began more than
ten years ago as an effort to provide an activity in a slow
month as well as “a way for pilots to dust off their airplanes
and get ready for the summer flying season.”
He says that the event isn’t just fun for the spectators. “It’s
a very social events and it’s great to see the pilots and every-
body getting together and sharing stories,” Prax says.
Admission for the weekend is $5, which does not include
admission to the awards banquet. More information and a
detailed schedule of events can be found online.
Photo by Joe Prax
60 years serving Alaska's
- Commercial fleets
- Car Sales