Tailwheel Fly-In 2016

There are few things I enjoy more than a group of tailwheel aircraft getting together. So when this year’s Tailwheel Fly-In at the Independence Municipal Airport rolled around, it was a no-brainer to attend. This is the second year for the event following an eventful first fly-in last year.

In fact, this year I ended up on a team helping to judge aircraft as they arrived. More on that in a bit.

These Airplanes Have Stories

One of the best things about any fly-in is the variety of aircraft that show up, and this event was no disappointment. Despite some visibility problems in the early hours, many aircraft made the trip. And the stories came with them!

As a young aircraft owner, it’s impressive to me to see the longevity that some of these owners have with their airplane. We’re hoping for a similar outcome.

The Lifelong Friend

For example, this Decathlon was purchased new in the 1970s by this owner and remains his pride-and-joy still today. It was a beautiful example of a Decathlon and you could tell the owner was proud to have taken care of her for so many years.

A Decathlon and its life-long owner.
A Decathlon and its life-long owner.

The Rare Biplane

The star of this fly-in was no contest. This 1942 Meyers OTW-145 biplane created a stir as it rolled up. Beautifully restored, it demanded everyone’s attention and attendees had plenty of questions for the owners, too. Icing on the cake? The display even included old-time music playing as you strolled around this massive bird!

The husband and wife team that owns her was certainly ready to be on the ground. After all, it was fairly cool for this time of year, even in Iowa. Be sure to click on the photos below for a closer look.

The Majestic Cessna

Despite the Meyers OTW-145 being the star of the show, there is always room for a Cessna 195. And this one is a beauty. There is something majestic about the Cessna 195 and the sound its radial engine makes. I have yet to fly in/fly a C-195, but it’s on my list of bucket list airplanes that I must fly!

A Cessna 195 commands attention on the flight line.
A Cessna 195 commands attention on the flight line.

Don’t Forget Our Pacer!

And yes, our Piper Pacer was also on display for the tailwheel fly-in. Since I was busy helping with the event, I didn’t fly, but it’s always nice to let the airplane tell its story and let others enjoy it.

Our 1950 Piper Pacer stands tall in the grass.
Our 1950 Piper Pacer stands tall in the grass.

This event is a great way to start each flying season and, with good weather, provides a great fly-in for many unique aircraft. Add it to your calendar if you’re in our part of the sectional chart!

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