Close Calls: Aviation Celebrations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Anthony Nalli   
Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:03

Public aviation events, such as air shows, exhibits, and expos, are very important to the continued viability of aviation. They are an opportunity for enthusiasts, young and old, to get up close and personal with any number of fascinating flying machines. Each event is an experience that stokes the flames of the passion burning within us all.

The crew of “The Aviators” just returned from a successful trip to Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., (our first time there) and are, of course, looking forward to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., in July. These are two, well-known, large events, but you might be surprised to know that at least monthly, if not weekly, there are smaller air shows that take place across North America. Several are, likely, not too far away from where you may be right now.

In the Toronto area, for example, within a four-month period, we have the Canadian Aviation Expo, Wings and Wheels, the Waterloo Aviation Expo & Airshow, the Borden Airshow, and the Canadian International Air Show, to name a few. The latest to be added to that local list is the Battle of Britain Airshow. This event is held in the heart cottage country at the Midland/Huronia Airport July 17-18, 2010.

Like many air shows and exhibitions, the Battle of Britain Airshow has a mandate to educate, preserve, and protect aviation, as well as honor war veterans and aviation pioneers. These shows cater to history buffs and aviation enthusiasts numbering in the tens of millions throughout North America. These figures are according to the International Council of Air Shows, which also reports that air-show attendance is encouragingly on the rise.

The show returns after a decade-and-a-half-long hiatus, thanks to (not surprisingly) the tireless work of countless volunteers, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Norway. Most of the warbirds on display on the ground will also be putting on a show in the air. Organizers claim to have assembled the largest number of flying British World War II warbirds and trainers in North America, including a Spitfire, a Hurricane, and the only currently flying BF 109E Messerschmitt.

Air shows are the places where negative media depictions of aviation can be counterbalanced. They are where a tragic (though spectacular and newsworthy) incident can be seen as an unfortunate rarity, not to diminish or overshadow the great and important things aviation does for us all each and every day.

They are celebrations of the wonder of aviation for fans of all ages. But, there’s an extra-special importance when it comes to tomorrow’s aviators, which are today’s children. The future of aviation lies with them. How about taking the kids out to a nearby air show next weekend?

Eyes to the skies.

Fly safe(r).

From the August 2010 issue of Cessna Owner