Flying Frenzy: Utah Back-country pilots visit Huntington airport
The Back Country Pilots Association annual Fly-In and the Ward 4X4 Vintage Auto Show was held September 27-29 at the Huntington Airport.
Forty to 50 airplanes from around Utah and surrounding states flew in and out of the Huntington Airport. To add to the excitement 15 or more vintage autos were on display along with six vintage motorcycles from Carbon and Emery counties.
Tory Killian of Wards 4X4 in Huntington was in charge of the vintage car show. This is the third year for the car show. She said this is a fun thing to do. The people are all so nice and we get to know the pilots. Late Saturday afternoon Tory organized a photo of cars and airplanes close together with Dennis Ward and Rose Ward in the center of the photo. She invited the public to come again next year.
Airport manager Leon Defriez, Commissioner Jeff Horrocks, Flight Instructor Jody Cox and Back Country Pilots Association president Steve Durtschi were seen throughout the day greeting new arrivals and assisting them in finding a place to park their airplane or auto. They arranged for the Friday evening meal, the Saturday morning breakfast, a noon lunch and an evening meal. The meals were catered by Ralene Larsen of R-Pizza from Castle Dale. Ralene said she and her staff fed 100 people at lunch Saturday and 125 at the Saturday evening dinner.
Gary Burnham from Price has a 1958 Cessna 172 and volunteered to give bus rides to the San Rafael Museum, the trap shooting range and other places. Mervin and Gail Miles were displaying their photos of the scenic views from all over Emery County and describing how to locate those sites.
Jody Cox helped new arrivals to the Huntington Airport locate the new 10,000-gallon aviation fuel tank and pump for refueling. This new fuel tank has large illuminated numbers that displays the gallons pumped and price.
Jody Cox took some student pilots McKlayne Moss, Justin Potter, Kristin Potter, Brooklyn Potter, Chris Cox, Tom Potter, Jody Cox and Page Cox on a tour of the various types of planes on the field and discussed with them the merits of each plane. He also found time to give pre-flight instruction to McKlayne Moss prior to their flying out over the valley.
Several Back Country Flyers commented on how much they appreciated the Huntington Airport facilities of new restrooms with warm water showers, ready access to gasoline and the lawn grass to camp on. During the Fly-In this airport was being used as a base of operations for many of these flyers. From this airport they flew out over the San Rafael Swell, the Canyonlands, and other scenic places in Eastern Utah and returned. The Back Country pilots flew to and landed on several small dirt airstrips found here in Emery County where they explored first hand the countryside, viewed the petroglyphs, hiked some of the trails or camped for the night.
Rob Hunter a Back Country Flyers Association board member said we really appreciate what the city of Huntington and the Emery County Commissioners have done to promote backcountry aviation. This is a great place for pilots to come when they are on their way to or from the backcountry to take a break and go into town or take a shower. We really appreciate this.
Steve Durtschi the founder of the Back Country Pilots Association said this organization started in 1996 and has approximately 300 members from all over the nation. Steve said Emery County is very aviation friendly and we are so glad that they hold this event every year and invite us here. This is a neat place to be. Some of the best backcountry airstrips are found in this county. If we can champion those airstrips, take care of them and keep them open to flyers hopefully for years to come. The Back Country Pilots Association has three goals. The first is to promote safety by sharing ideas and information. The second is to champion and protect our airstrips. A lot of people want to see these airstrips closed and keep pilots out of the backcountry. We do not have a lot of airstrips that have been here since the 1950s and 1960s. They are gems and wonderful places to go. Our goal is to keep them open and active. Our third goal is: leave no trace camping. When you fly in somewhere you should fly out with more trash than you came in with. Take everything out that you brought with you. We want to preserve these areas and keep them as pristine and beautiful as they are now. We are glad to be here and it is a great day. Their web site is utahbackcountrypilots.org.
Back Country pilot Wendy Lessig reported that on Thursday she had flown to Mexican Mountain. Wendy camped two nights by the airstrip near Mexican Mountain before arriving Saturday morning at the Huntington Airport for this Fly-In and Car Show event.
Mahesh Iyer brought his Kolb Fire Star II Experimental Aircraft over the mountains in a trailer from Draper on Friday to the Huntington airport. Where he, his wife and children then camped for the night. Mahesh and his wife Bahnu are originally from India. He has lived in Utah 13 years with his wife Bhanu Iyer, children Sidhart and Angeline.
Saturday morning Mahesh unloaded his plane from the enclosed trailer and re-assembled the plane while a curious crowd watched. After attaching the wings to his plane Mahesh used a battery powered pump to transfer gasoline from a gas can to the planes fuel tank.
The airplane Kolb Fire Star II comes in a kit from from The New Kolb Aircraft Co.,Â 8375 Russell Dyche Highway,Â London KY 40741Â and this particular plane was put together from the kit by Mahesh Iyer of Draper. The Kolb is a unique airplane design with removable wings. The plane carries only the pilot. The Kolb has a cruise speed of 60 to 65 m.p.h. and is noted for being able to take off and land on short runways. The plane has a pusher propeller and is a tail dragger.
Gordon Ungerman of Huntington was in charge of setting up the trap and sporting clay shooting range and was responsible for providing 10 clay remote controlled pigeon throwers for the skeet shooting range east of the airport. Gordon said he sets up a skeet shooting range somewhere every weekend.
He said the 10 throwers give the shooter birds coming from 10 different angles. Gordon said he goes to family reunions, outings like this and company parties with his usual portable five stand sporting clays traps. He also owns Ungerman Meat Shop in Huntington.
David Torkelson and Dan Stucker from Hotchkiss Colo. were the first to take advantage of the trap shooting.
The Huntington Airport had a special war memorial display set up by the Gadsden Air Corps of Utah to honor veterans of the United States of America who fell in battle and those who survived.
Jim Johnson, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2379 Price Utah with his grandchildren David Gutierrez and Zoey Gutierrez visited this memorial Saturday afternoon at the Huntington Airport.
Thomas Jensen, Jason Jensen, Ben Roundy from the Huntington Fire Department brought an old 1949 Ford Huntington Fire Truck to Vintage Car Show. Thomas Jensen said his father Vernon Jensen a former fire chief worked with that fire truck for eight years.
In 1949 the Huntington City Fire Committee a group of volunteer firemen purchased this fire truck.
This truck was Huntington Cities second fire truck. The first fire truck was a 1937 Chevrolet. Some members of the committee donated money to raise the money for the purchase. Members of the committee were: J.B. Johnson, C. L. Guymon, Maurice Jensen, Derrell Rowley, R.L. Jones, Joseph Potter, Walter Mortensen, Henry Kartchner, Errol Litster and D.L. Larson.
Cory Robin of Salt Lake City created a lot of excitement as he demonstrated a small remote controlled Wildebeest drone with video camera. He said the Quad Rotor drone with all the accessories cost about $2,700. One of the features of this drone was the autopilot, which provided the drone with a memory for the take off location.
When the power in the remote control is turned off the drone returns to the take off point. As Cory flew the drone over the airfield the audience could see on a video screen the cars, the planes, the hangers and the people around the cars and planes. This drone will fly for about 12 to 15 minutes on a battery charge.
Cory said he purchased the drone from Atlanta Hobbies. Atlanta Hobbies assembled and test flew the drone before he took delivery.
Cory used to fly toy remote controlled airplanes and helicopters. This drone is basically a toy for big kids.
Due to the unfortunate accident last year the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Back Country Pilots Association decided not to offer free rides to interested children this year.
It was reported that the pilot of that damaged airplane would have his airplane repaired and flying again next summer. However Jacob Fauver was able to get an airplane ride with his Castle Dale neighbor Vincent Jefferies.
Tom Holdaway of Huntington was riding what looked like a German Military motorcycle with a sidecar and a mounted machine gun in the Vintage Auto Show. The Motorcycle had been built by the Chinese based on a 1938 BMW motorcycle design.
The Chinese got the license from the Russians and Russians got it from the Germans. The Chinese built several million of these motorcycles and put them in War Surplus for sale. Tom got this Motorcycle from Larry Randall of Elmo. Larry imported the Motorcycle from China in August 2007. On the Motorcycle sidecar is a Browning M2 Machine Gun. Tom said, when the jeep was invented this type of motorcycle became obsolete.
Tom Holdaway owned most of the motorcycles at this years Auto Show. This years Wings and Wheel show at the Huntington Airport was outstanding.