The Stearman Fly-In will not be held in June, 2012. It is taking a summer vacation again this year.
Below are some FAQs about the future of the event:
Is the Stearman Fly-In over?
It is possible, but we aren't sure. We have contemplated other options, including a scaled-down fall event, but we simply have not made a final decision. If we decide to have an event in Fall, 2012, we will update this website as soon as we decide.
Why the summer vacation for the event?
Several reasons: In 2010, Grace Flying Service's work season had a serious collision with the June date. For many years, our workload had at least waned during these dates, but in 2010, it was the busiest period of the summer. This made preparation for a major event very difficult.
Additionally, despite declining attendance, the amount of time and money that Grace Flying Service is required to expend has steadily grown. Hosting the Fly-In is a very large undertaking, which begins in February and goes through June. It is not simply one long weekend of work.
Demographically, our participants--the Stearman pilots, balloonists, and skydivers--are all getting older. For a variety of reasons, we don't attract younger participants, and this means that the passage of time weakens the attendance. Ultimately, this fact might be the most significant in driving change.
Will we miss the Fly-In?
Yes, of course! We have made many friends, and seen many wonderful things, including the smiles on the faces of a multitude of children. The Fly-In has been a singular event in our lives, and a major focus of our summer for many, many years. The decision to announce a "summer vacation" for the event was a difficult one, achieved after many hours of thought and discussion.
Was the bad weather in 2010 a major factor in this decision?
No. Over more than a quarter of a century, we have had good weather, great weather, bad weather, and terrible weather. We work daily in a business where weather is a major factor, so we are used to weather delays and cancellations. This decision would have been the same had the 28th annual been the recipient of light winds and sunshine.