Like airplanes? Have I got a deal for you.
The skies over Gainesville will have 150 of the coolest planes you’ve ever seen coming in for a landing at the 44th Annual Cracker Fly-In at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport at 1137 Aviation Way.
It all takes place on Saturday, July 7, 2012 from 7:30 in the morning with a $5 pancake breakfast, until some time around 2:30 PM.
Kids under 12 get in free, if they bring an adult. Grown-ups – which are very hard to find around all the excitement – pay only two bucks to hang out with pilots and look over the planes. This, guys, is a cheap date and a great way to make a hit with future aviators.
John Pittman — President of Chapter 611 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. (EAA) in Gainesville – invites you to join the brave souls who build experimental airplanes in their basements.
(No, Mr. Pittman did not explain how creative pilots get the finished airplanes out of the basements.)
These home-built experimental airplanes are, in Mr. Pittman’s words “the pride and joy of their builders.”
At the very least, you have to give these guys credit for talking their wives into letting them spend so much time and money on something that might be too big to fly through the basement window.
If you are brave and/or crazy enough, you can spend your hard-earned money to go for a ride in an open cockpit bi-plane.
I know what you’re thinking, “Ooooh! Does it have a machine gun?”
But you can pretend you’re in a MASH program (kids, ask your parents) and hop aboard a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter for a spin around Gainesville for a terrific view of Lake Lanier. Yes, they really will let you sit next to the open door of the helicopter, just like in the movies.
While we watch you from good old terra firma, munching on delicious food and sipping cold drinks, saying “That dude is crazy!”
Just in case you do not have your own 1936 Lockheed Electra – like the one used in the movie “Amelia” – you can take a look at one restored by Joe Shepherd of Fayetteville. Joe’s plane is one of the few Electras still flying out of the original 121 built in the 1930s.
Dreamers, restorers and daredevils will all have a good time at the Cracker Fly-In, as will every kid and everyone who is a kid at heart.
(There are unconfirmed rumors that UFOs will attend this year’s event. Unfortunately, due to advanced cloaking devices, these spaceships can only be seen by a select few.)