2010 AK Aviation Trade Show

I had a chance to attend the 2010 Alaska Aviation Trade Show over the weekend of May 1-2. The Alaska Airmen’s Association holds this event once a year in (and around) the FedEx maintenance hangar at ANC. It’s become quite the event; there’s a significant crowd, and quite a few of the attendees are making a trip from the lower 48 to attend. For the locals, it kicks off the beginning of their summer flying season.

This isn’t your average aviation show. While there are a few pavement-pounder airplanes (and stuff for them) on display, the show is predominated by the fact that much of the business and fun of local flying has to do with getting as far away from pavement and civilization as possible. That makes it distinctly unique.

Arguably, the most popular display on the main floor was the video display in AK Bushwheel’s product booth; it showed a nearly continuous loop of the takeoff/landing contest from the Valdez Fly-In from the prior year. Guys seems to be able to stand and watch this for hours on end.

Two things in the news seemed to stand out in discussions:

  1. The errant Intelsat satellite that carries much of the west-coast WAAS data downlink was a big topic of discussion. It has a distinct impact on operations in western AK. The FAA does have a workaround underway using an alternate satellite, but it will take time to get this working.
  2. The possibility of the end of leaded avgas is a hot issue. It makes sense when one realizes that there are quite a few airplanes working up here that still use high-performance piston engines (many of them radials). The guys that still operate them are justifiably concerned, and don’t want to see service stop where some of these airplanes go. These airplane often go where the jets just can’t…

It’s an enjoyable show. There are some really unique machines on display, and the people that own and fly them are some of the most approachable folks you will find anywhere. It’s definitely worth dropping into if you’re ever in the area in early May.


1 Response to “2010 AK Aviation Trade Show”

  1. 1 Michelle May 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Liked the angle of the shot for the B-18. Good post and photos! Felt (almost) like I was there!

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