Been back home for a few days and it’s time to give my impressions of Sun ‘n Fun 2012. The Aeroshell team in their T-6 Texans starts us off.
Fun ‘n Sun is the 2nd largest aviation fly-in in North America and perhaps the world. About 1/2 the size of Oshkosh according to John “Lites” Leenhouts, president and CEO. 2012 marked the 38th year of SnF and follows on last year’s tornado marred event where a number of aircraft and exhibits were damaged or destroyed. Luckily the weather this year was much better.
I arrived right at the opening on Tuesday with online ticket in hand. I had splurged for their exclusive VIP ticket called the “9/27 Circle” that came with special parking. Unfortunately no one had told the rent-a-cop on the gate so I had an hour of BS to go through before it was straightened out.
Note #1 to Sun ‘n Fun – get that taken care of for next year. At the price you charge, it should go much, much smoother.
Without a doubt FIFI was the star of this year’s show. The B28 lovingly restored by the Commemorative Air Force is the only example of her type still flying. Majestic like you wouldn’t believe. When FIFI flies overhead, everything stops.
Even got to see a couple of friends perform. On the left, Jane Wicker and her Stearman and on the right, Dan Marcotte in his Ultimate 10-200 biplane. I’ve met both at NECAS meetings but this was the first time I got to see their shows live. Very impressive.
The VIP tent was right along the showline but the sightlines to watch low-level performers were terrible due to the aircraft parking right in front of the seating. High level work was very visible and both cameras got a good workout. Some examples:
There was also lots going on all around the grounds on static display and in the fly-in parking and camping areas.
Will I go again? Probably but I don’t think I’ll be shelling out for the VIP package. Of course, that means I wouldn’t get spoiled by Nan.
Nan took such good care of me all week that I probably will at least investigate the 9/27 Circle cost for 2013.