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September 24, 2018

Regional aviation ‘fly-in’ will showcase SIU’s program

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Local residents and general aviation enthusiasts have an opportunity to get involved next month when Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation program hosts more than 500 pilots from across the nation at a regional fly-in.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is holding one of its four large regional fly-in events at Southern Illinois Airport, Oct. 5-6.  Officials are expecting up to 500 aircraft and thousands of people will attend.

Community volunteers needed for several areas

While aviation students and certified pilots will be involved with airside operations that involve aircraft airplanes, community volunteers are needed for a variety of other show-side operations that will include exhibits, logistics, food, and hospitality.

Additional information and signup is available on the organization’s volunteer 2018 fly-ins website.  Some volunteer events are full but many more remain available. Setup begins Oct. 2, three days before the start of the event.

“The fly-in will provide a great opportunity for our students to participate in a large aviation event and expose them to new technology and aircraft outside of their normal day-to-day experience,” Michael Burgener, interim chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight and chair of the Department of Aviation Technologies, said.

Numerous activities are planned throughout the event

SIU aviation is planning a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Fair, drone and flight simulator demonstrations and several other activities, Burgener said. SIU aircraft, including the program’s three new Piper Arrow general aviation flight trainer planes, will be on display.

Many events are open to the community and most, particularly on Oct. 6, are free and provide an opportunity to learn more about general aviation.

Registration and fees are required for select Oct. 5 workshops. There are also costs for the “Barnstormers Party” from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 5, and pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., Oct. 6. Additional information is on the event’s website within several tabs.

Free events include:

  • Exhibit hall and aircraft display, Noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 5 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 6.
  • “Back Country Adventure and Skills,” 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 5.
  • Free seminars beginning at 9 a.m., Oct. 6. Topics include “You Can Be A Pilot” at 10 a.m., Oct. 6, in the “You Can Fly Pavilion” at the airport.
  • Third annual Special Olympics Illinois and Law Enforcement Torch Run Plane Pull, 10 a.m., Oct. 6.
  • Pilot Town Hall and Ice Cream Social, 3 p.m., Oct. 6.

Other exciting university-related events open to the public

“Flight and a Bite in Southern Illinois” a workshop hosted by the Fermentation Science Institute, is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 5 and will give visitors an opportunity to see the research and work going on.

Visitors will also be able to hear from SIU Carbondale faculty, local vintners and brew masters about the growing beers and wine tourism in the region. The tour and lunch includes local food, wine and beer, along with transportation to the institute and back to the airport.

The cost is $40 for regular admission, with ID showing proof of age required, or $28 for the non-drinker rate with no age restriction. Additional information is available under the website’s “excursions” tab.

Speakers will include:

  • Matt McCarroll, director, SIU Fermentation Science Institute.
  • Sylvia Smith, associate professor, animal science, food and nutrition.
  • John Farrish, assistant professor, animal science, food and nutrition.
  • Chuck Stuhrenberg, founder and owner, Big Muddy Brewing, Murphysboro, Illinois.
  • Scott Albert, vintner at Kite Hill Vineyards, Carbondale, Illinois.

“Foundations of a Campus: Walking tour of SIU Carbondale,” feature two separate free tours hosted by Jon Davey, distinguished professor, School of Architecture.

The primarily walking tours will showcase the unique and innovative architecture, many of which date back to the 19th century, that are found on the more than 1,100-acre campus, which includes Thompson Woods and campus lake. Weather appropriate attire and comfortable walking shoes are strongly encouraged.

The free tours are:

Tour One:

  • 9-10:30 a.m. – Walking tour of campus architecture.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Travel to and tour of R. Buckminster Fuller dome.

Tour Two

  • 1:30-3 p.m. – Walking tour of campus architecture.
  • 3-4 p.m. – Travel to and tour of R. Buckminster Fuller dome.

AOPA celebrates 80th anniversary in 2019

AOPA, a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to general aviation, started in 1939 and represents the world’s largest aviation community, with more than 300,000 members in 75 countries.

The organization launched the regional fly-ins in 2014 and by the end of this year the association will have held 24 events in states across the country.