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Catalina’s Airport in the Sky

By Erik McCarthy

The city of Avalon surrounds beautiful Avalon Bay on the southeast end of Catalina Island.It was an ominous start to the day. I thought I had left early enough to get to the airport by the appointed time, but I forgot that every weekend everyone from LA goes to San Diego, and everyone from San Diego goes to LA, and there’s really only one way to get there: the 5 Freeway which, despite its 4 to 6 lanes, can’t adequately handle that much traffic; southbound traffic came to a screeching halt at the Oceanside VOR. 

My gracious host waited patiently by his Cherokee Six for my delayed arrival - “No worries…”The weather, while passable VFR (read: marginal) at Palomar (KCRQ), was improving as my tardiness wore on – an acceptable trade off. 

Bill and I had been discussing Catalina’s Grand Re-Opening following its runway reconstruction by the Marines, when I casually mentioned that I still hadn’t been there yet. A visit to The Airport in the Sky(KAVX) is seen as a “rite of passage” in Southern California – a must-do – and I’ve been here in California for six years now…

“We’ve got to fix that! Wanna go Saturday?”Um, yes I do!

Bill had made a reservation several weeks in advance of the event, which was expected to draw a hundred or so aircraft, and wanted to get there early to beat the crowd. He’d been there several times, including their “soft” re-opening a couple of weeks earlier, and was very familiar with AVX’s notorious mountaintop runway. This would be a great “introduction” for me.

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The Fort Wayne Air Show Features Thunderbirds

By Mike Heilman 

The Thunderbirds diamond formation make a formation pass in their F-16 on Friday’s practice show at the 2019 Fort Wayne Air Show.The Indiana Air National Guard 122ndFighter Wing based at the Fort Wayne, Ind. International Airport hosted the 2019 Fort Wayne Air Show and Open House. The 122ndknown as the “Blacksnakes” is home to the Fairchild Republic built A-10C “Thunderbolt II” or better known as the “Warthog.” The 2019 show featured the United States Air Force F-16 Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds. 

The Thunderbirds performed at both days of the show. Capt. Michael Brewer is the Right-Wing Pilot for the Thunderbirds and is in his first year. He explains his transition to the F-16C: “I use to fly the F-15E ‘Strike Eagle’ prior to flying the F-16 with the Thunderbirds. Both aircraft are multi-role fighters with air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, but they are two different types of flying. The F-15E is larger and heavier so there are some differences in that respect. 

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Reno-Tahoe USA: Flying and Soaring to High Spirits 

By Annamarie Buonocore 

Tower at Reno-Stead stands tall and proud of rich history. Photo courtesy of Annamarie BuonocoreReno-Tahoe can be many things: fun for the entire family, a walk back in time, a casino trip with friends, or a place to enjoy good food. But for us aviation enthusiasts and pilots, it can be a cherished place in our history. It is home to three wonderful general aviation airports that offer a variety of services and events. It is the home of the Reno Air Races, a historic event that brings this community closer every year. Above all, it is a place of business and progress that people of all ages can enjoy. 

This month, I was fortunate to be able to visit the Reno-Tahoe region. Just three and a half hours from the Bay Area, the ride is a majestic and scenic one as you pass tall trees and the winding Truckee River. During my visit, I was impressed with the lodging, culinary options, and best of all, the three airports that we will elaborate on later in this editorial. The staff here at In Flight USA highly recommends visiting the Reno-Tahoe area, especially for the upcoming Truckee Tahoe Airshow and the September Reno Air Races. 

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