By Ernie Over
The first air show in quite some years at Central Wyoming Regional Airport in Riverton was deemed a success according to Airport Division Manager Paul Griffin. His advice? “Let’s do it again.”
Annually held in Lander, this year the show moved to Riverton and will rotate between the two cities each year in the future. Griffin said he thought the turnout was good, with between 400 and 500 folks in and out over the course of the day. He also noted that the classic car clubs from both towns brought over 35 vehicles for that portion of the event. “After the airplanes left, there was a parade of the vehicles around the general aviation area and back where the prizes were awarded for the best entries,” he Griffin explained.
One of the attractions at the show was Fremont County’s two flight medical services with their respective rotors and fixed-wing aircraft on display. As luck would have it, both helicopters were called out during the show for medical missions.
The “flour bombing” contest among ultra-light pilots was a crowd favorite, according to Griffin. “We had a 55-gallon drum as a target and each pilot had three two-pound bags of flour to try and drop from the air and get closest to the target,” he said of the aerial contest. There was also a spot-landing competition for the ultra lights, and a parade of aircraft narrated by the Peranteaux family that showed off various aircraft and their intended usage.
A Warbird fighter aircraft from World War II based in Idaho flew in and gave a ride to a veteran at the show, and there was a kids’ coloring contest and a drawing for two round-trip tickets to Denver on SkyWest Airline’s United Express service courtesy of the Fremont Air Service Team. The ticket winners and the best coloring contest winners will be announced at this coming week’s Riverton Airport Board meeting Friday at city hall.
Wyoming Modeler’s Park representatives were also there to explain their new location, which is being developed north of CWRA’s main east/west runway adjacent to the Fremont Racing Association’s Moto Cross Track. The former location of the Modeler’s Park, across Highway 789 from the Hampton Inn and Suites north of Riverton, is now the site for the city’s new hospital. Rick and Josephine Gilpatrick donated a parcel of land there for the new Modeler’s Park.
Griffin said the Experimental Aircraft Association hosted a “Young Eagles” event for youth from 8 to 18. On Sunday, Griffin said 21 young folks had signed up for the event and each was given a ride in an aircraft to familiarize themselves with flying and perhaps spark an interest to become a future pilot.
“For our first time, I think it was a success, a great event,” Griffin said. “It gives us something to build upon for our next turn in two years.”