The 23rd annual Stearman Fly-In had a near
perfect day on Saturday, June 11, with lovely weather and large
crowds. At sunrise, three hot-air balloons flew as spectators
enjoyed breakfast on the Cheyenne County Airport in St. Francis.
Nearly 90 aircraft attended the event, including nine of the
featured Stearman biplanes. One Stearman flew in from Florida,
another from California.
The Stearman was a basic trainer in
World War II, and the fabric covered, open-cockpit biplanes,
powered by radial engines, are both a lovely sight in the air
and a pleasure to hear.
Twenty skydivers made 60 skydives, including 11 tandem skydives.
On a tandem skydive, novice passengers ride with an experienced
tandem master. Some of the experienced skydivers did canopy
relative work, including a downplane maneuver which thrilled the
Many experimental and vintage aircraft attended, including a
rare Stinson Reliant and an immaculate Beech Staggerwing.
More than 2 inches of rain on Friday and Sunday cancelled some
of the planned events, but the precipitation was welcomed by
area residents, since the area is still being adversely affected by a