Air Show Provides Real “High” Lights in Lamar

There’s something about, “the wild blue yonder” that draws us in. If we can’t fly with the freedom of birds, then an airplane and air show is the next best thing.  Several hundred area residents flocked to the Lamar Municipal Airport for the annual Fly In Air Show this past Saturday, September 20.  Fly ins have been held at the airport before, but this year, organizers and sponsors combined their efforts to produce a professionally-run air performance, complete with barnstorming aerobatics, skydivers and numerous YAK aircraft from the Red Star group.

Peter Page, Lamar Airport Board member, said organizers decided to work on producing an air show similar to ones that had been held years before at the airport. “We hoped to see how it developed with more of a performance from professional aerobatic flyers and we hired two to come to Lamar, complete with an announcing team to help describe some of the action,” he said.  Page commented on Saturday, that he was happy with the way the turnout went.  Because of the windy conditions, though, the radio controlled aircraft display was not held, although a drawing for an RC plane was still held.

Visitors were able to view several dozen airplanes set up for display at the airport, including ten to twelve different cars that were featured in a car show near the BBQ tent. The airport was closed to air traffic for the hour the performance was conducted, between 11am and noon.  The only restriction put upon the crowd was not to climb into any cockpits of the displays and the western area of the airport was cordoned off from the audience for safety reasons.

The Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department took part in one of the aerial displays, setting a contained fire out in the field between runways to showcase how air-sprayer planes are used to help combat some of the wild fires that have occurred in the county in past years.   Everybody, however, stopped what they were doing and kept their eyes on the Steerman Bi-plane that began the aerobatics show along with the smaller, single-winged plane that followed for its performance.

UPDATE: The activities  that involved the filling of the ag sprayer planes and the air drop demonstration was a unified working effort between the Lamar and Prowers County fire departments.

The YAKs, Russian-built propeller aircraft, have been flying over Lamar for years, organized by Lamar resident Allen Tinnes for their annual get-together. More YAKs, part of the Red Star Team, were on hand this year as some of their earlier fly-over displays helped promote the Saturday air show.  The YAKs put on their own display, trailing non-toxic smoke as pilots highlighted their flying skills.

This year’s event also provided an opportunity for residents to get high. A skydiving team displayed some jumping skills through the air show and offered, for a fee, to take some homegrown daredevils up for a tandem jump. Chana Reed, one of the air show’s organizers and promoter and Shawna Hodge, Lamar’s Main Street Director, suited up in their jump gear in the airport terminal and reviewed the procedures needed to make a safe and memorable jump and landing.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedFestivalHot TopicsLamarProwers CountyRecreationTourismTransportation


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