Friday, January 11, 2013

Aviation Events in 2013 - by Marilyn Dash

submitted by Marilyn Dash

Big things are happening this year in Aviation. Before we get too far into the New Year, I wanted to help you plan your vacation time. So, get out your Ruby Aviation Calendar and a pen and let’s get started.

Reno Air Races

Priority #1 to Air Race fans will be the 50th Annual National Championship Air Races, which will be held September 11-15, 2013. If you only make one event this year, I am pretty sure this is the one to make.

The planning has started to have many old time racers in attendance. I will continue to update as plans become more solid throughout the year. But, circle this one, and consider coming for the entire week. Qualifying starts on Monday, September 9th.

With all the rumors floating around for the last few years about this being the final Reno, if your bucket list contains, “Race at Reno” – you need to go to the Pylon Racing Seminar, PRS, aka Rookie School. This will likely be held the week of June 10th. You need to attend PRS if you want to race, so to check that box on the Bucket List; you need to be here in June to be there in September. 

I should also mention that I don’t believe the rumors, I didn’t believe the rumor about the Mayans either – and they were wrong too.

Reno Air Races action, where else can you see racing Mustangs

Paris Air Show

Speaking of 50th Anniversaries, the Paris Air Show also celebrates this milestone June 17-23. The Paris Air Show is a biannual event which is much more focused on the business side of Aviation. You will see the latest from companies like AirBus, Sukhoi, Dassault and Bombardier. You probably won’t see a Pitts or an RV-6 in the bunch.

The Solar Impulse is scheduled to be there. This is a long-range solar powered aircraft being used to prove the concept of solar flight at night. The ultimate goal is to fly around the world – stopping only to change pilots. The Around the World flight will likely take place in 2014 or 2015, but several more test flights are scheduled – so keep an eye on this energetic crew.

Air Race Teams tossing t-shirts to the fans – only at Reno!

WAC 2013 – USA

The World Aerobatic Championships, also known as the WAC, will be held in the United States for the first time since 2003. The site will be North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI) situated between Sherman and Denison in Grayson County. This is basically the Olympics for Unlimited Aerobatic Competitors.

So, what can you expect to see at WAC2013?  Projections initially indicate that at least 12 countries will be represented with up to 75 pilots in competing. Because the event takes place in the USA, we also expect to see several Independent pilots flying outside of their national teams.

The USA hasn't won a championship since 1988 when the team of Henry Haigh, Kermit Weeks and Clint McHenry won it all in Red Deer, Canada. We have won the 4-minute Freestyle two of the last three events. Rob Holland won it in 2011 and Zach Heffley in 2009.

The team needs sponsorship, volunteers, spectators, and donations. So, check out for more information and to follow the action. Head over to to meet the US Team.

US Aerobatic Team headed to WAC in October
Credit: US Aerobatic Team 


The USAF Thunderbirds announced that the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo has been included on this year’s schedule. The announcement was made last month at the International Council of Airshows Convention in Las Vegas, NV. 

The 2013 SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo will be held April 9 – 14 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL. Most new Airshow Acts try out their new routines at this event each year. So, if you’re in need of Aviation, Sun, and Fun in April, Lakeland is your place.

Oshkosh - Airventure

This year Oshkosh, the EAA Fly-in known as Airventure will take place from July 29, 2013 - August 4, 2013. As a pilot, if you’ve never been you must go. Fly-in, drive-in, hitchhike if you have to – do whatever it takes, but get there, at least once in your lifetime.

There is something for everyone at Airventure, from the homebuilder workshops to the exhibits to the amazing airshow. You will be among your people, talking, living and breathing everything Aviation.

Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford

And if you want to see something completely different, try the Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford which takes place July 13 – 14, 2013. The event takes place at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, a branch of the Imperial War Museum in London, near the village of Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England.

This event is exactly what it sounds like, a celebration of legendary aircraft which fly most of the afternoon. The mornings are free to wander around the museum and explore the aircraft and other exhibits available. This is definitely one for that Bucket List.

If you can’t make any of these events, look for a local Aerobatic Competition or Airshow in your neighborhood. Take a friend and make a commitment to introduce someone else to the world of Aviation this year.

Happy 2013! See you at the show!

Early morning biplane action at Reno

Photo Credits
Anthony D. Taylor

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