Coolidge Fly-In 2/1/2014
Article and Photos by Steven Valinski
February 1, 2014 was the date of the latest Coolidge Breakfast Fly-In at Coolidge Municipal Airport in Coolidge, Arizona. It was another gorgeous Arizona morning which was perfect for a Fly-In. Typically, the first aircraft arrive at the airport sometime around 8am. Anticipating this, I arrived to the airport early to make my way out to runway 5 to catch the arrivals as they came in. My early arrival advantage was quickly negated. The first few arrivals began to come in, but not where I expected them. It appeared to be one of those, not too common, occasions where runway 23 was in use for the Fly-In. I hiked to the other end of the runway and my morning began with a little more exercise than I anticipated.
The Fly-In was another enjoyable experience for me at Coolidge Municipal Airport. The use of runway 23 provided a more mountainous backdrop for photographing aircraft. The steady flow of aircraft keeps aviation photographers busy with managing, aperture, exposure, and shutter speed while composing the shot. One of the best aspects of the Fly-In is meeting and socializing with fellow aviation enthusiasts and photographers.
The list of aircraft that participated in the Fly-In included a 1960 Beech M35, 1946 Cessna 140, Aviat A1-B, and a Bellanca 8KCAB. The surprise aircraft of the morning included a Romanian IAR-823 fitted with an ejector rack for carrying ordinance and a Willy Messerschmitt- designed Hispano HA-200 SAETA (Spanish CASA Jet). Also, there is a nice Douglas DC-7 on the airport premises that is currently be made operational. This aircraft makes a nice static model for aviation photographers.
Despite the extra exercise walking from one end of the runway to the other, it was another wonderful morning at the Coolidge Monthly Fly-In. The steady volume of aircraft, great weather, and the company of fellow aviation enthusiasts/photographers makes these monthly Saturday morning Fly-In’s a wonderful experience.