The 2013 West Coast Cherokee Fly In, By Wade Sullivan
Photos are by Wade Sullivan unless otherwise stated.
We’ve made things easier on ourselves the past few years by joining the Arlington Fly In at Arlington, WA, the third-largest sport aviation fly-in (behind only Oshkosh and Sun-n-Fun). They provide all the amenities – potties, hot showers, vendors, top-name airshow performances, marshallers, air traffic control, security, electricity, trash pickup, everything, right on down to a barbeque grill and cooking fuel. We truly benefit from all that the Arlington Fly In (AFI) has to offer! So when the AFI shortened it’s show by a day, you might think the West Coast Cherokee Fly In would likewise simplify. But then, that would be against our nature, wouldn’t it? We simply crammed the same amount of fun into the remaining days.
This year’s fly-in was July 10th through the 14th. Our special guest was Pam Mattson, daughter of Art Mattson of AMR&D, who honored us by being there. As you recall, Art died earlier this year. Hopefully, you got a chance to read Ken Davies’ article about Art in July’s issue of “Pipers” magazine. A wonderful and charming lady, Pam was a welcome addition to our usual fly-in crowd. We really enjoyed having her! Bet ya didn’t know, she can land a P-3 Orion, too.
Wednesday: Thanks to a great crew of volunteers, we had “Cherokee Central” set up and camp life moving by 10:30 am as the Cherokees flew in through the day.
We get excellent support from the Civil Air Patrol every year. (photo by Dick Filson)
Thursday: We carpooled to NAS Whidbey Island and flew the P-3 full-motion simulator. We all got the chance to fly, and we all managed to land safely with only occasional minor damage to the airplane, with the help of Ken D, a retired P-3 flight engineer. Of course, my landing was the best…right? Dick F and Garrett T even successfully flew the airplane under the Deception Pass bridge. Following our checkouts in the sim, we toured a real-live EP-3, inside and out. We appreciated candid answers to many questions that our tour guides provided. Although they were unable to talk about everything…one wonders what stories they must have!