Approximately 35 aircraft from around the region flew into the Falls of Rough airport for the three-day event, which included friendly competition, meals, camaraderie and, of course, lots of flying.
Several local EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) chapters participated in the fly-in and pilots from at least three states were represented.
Many of the participants are frequent visitors to Rough River Dam State Resort Park. One Evansville, Indiana pilot explained, “We come here all the time. It’s a nice place to visit on a Sunday afternoon.”
Organizer Norman Hoagland explained that years ago, it was typical to see around 150 planes at the yearly event, but in 2011, the event was scheduled just days after the 9/11 terror attacks, and had to be cancelled because all planes were grounded.
Hoagland says many of the pilots drove to Rough River that year instead, and the group has been steadily building back up in numbers ever since.
“We’re hoping that we’ll be back at 50 to 75 planes on an annual basis,” Hoagland said.
Many of the planes seen at the event are either built from kits or factory-built aircrafts whose owners have made some adjustments to the original design.
“They’re legal planes,” Hoagland points out, “They’ve been through inspections. It’s just instead of being built in a factory, they were built in someone’s garage.”
Hoagland finished by pointing out that the goal of the EAA is “to promote the importance of general aviation to the public.”