By: Susan Erler | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: October 2010
Claremore Regional Airport hosts monthly fly-ins the whole family will enjoy.
What do you do when you feel as though there is never anything new to do? The kids are tired of the mall and movie theaters, and don’t even think about taking them to another museum after a summer filled with those activities. How about taking them out for a day full of food, fun, and really cool planes, and introduce them to the wonderful world of aviation?
Claremore has a wonderful, well-kept secret called the Claremore Regional Airport, and they host monthly fly-ins designed to give local pilots the chance to come together and share stories and insight, as well as educate the non-flying public. “We want everyone, especially the youth in the area, to see that flying a plane and becoming a pilot is an attainable dream,” says airport manager Eric Winn. “If we can generate a love for aviation and planes at a young age, then there is a really good chance that they will follow that dream and become a pilot.”
This is the third year that the regional airport has offered these once-a-month opportunities to visit the airport and see all types of aircraft up close. Fly-ins are usually held the last Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled for October 30. Food is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but Eric suggests that everyone get there early. “Trust me, the food goes fast. We feed everyone really well and we have a reputation for that, so come out early to eat and then stay to spend time talking to the pilots, kicking the tires, and asking all the questions you want.”
The whole premise for creating an event of this type started with the initiative and donations from a group of airport tenants. “I couldn't keep this going without their support,” says Eric.
Oklahoma has a reputation for having a large number of private pilots, and the number of planes that attend this event each month will attest to that. Eric says it is not unusual for over 50 planes to show up, usually from the three state areas. Everything from light sport to classics to antiques and even helicopters show up, so you just never know what you will see each month, and that is part of the fun! “Every month we will have some different planes show up, and each plane and each pilot has a story to tell, so coming out to these monthly fly-ins never gets old,” Eric adds.
Finding the airport is easier than you might think too. Located at 19502 E. Rogers Post Rd., it is just 30 minutes northeast of Tulsa and seven miles east of I-44. A detailed map can be found on their website at www.claremoreairport.com.
As we enter into the fall and winter months, Eric encourages everyone to call ahead before coming out when the weather or winds may make flying in too dangerous for the pilots. “Every once in awhile, especially during the December and January time frames, we have had to cancel the event for these months,” explains Eric. “Although it rarely happens, I like to give everyone a heads up to that possibility.”
For anyone interested in obtaining more information about the Claremore Regional Airport or to inquire about private pilot lessons, you may contact Eric Winn at (918) 343-0931. Flying is not for everyone, but to those who do enjoy this hobby, it is an adventure beyond description. As one unknown pilot once said, “Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man – the first is landing!”