By Bill Stansbeary
Children and adults of all ages had fun at the Platte Valley Airpark (18V) annual fly-in on October 14, in Hudson, Colo.
The day’s activities included an early morning pancake breakfast and a BBQ lunch buffet in the main hangar. The tower building was used for flight attractions such as a high position viewing of airport activities, television video presentations and flight simulation, using Microsoft Flight Simulator for the USAF Thunderbird F-16 Falcon and USN Blue Angel F-18 aircraft.
Many homebuilt and factory built aircraft that arrived for the event were lined up on the ramp for everyone to enjoy. They included fine examples of Lancair, Long EZ, RV, Cessna, Piper, Ercoupe and Swift aircraft. Pilots from the Vintage Aero Flying Museum, based at Platte Valley Airpark, flew several WWI replica fighter aircraft such as the Fokker Dr.1 and SE5.
Marilyn Taylor, airport manager, mingled with the guests throughout the day and made sure that everyone had a good time. Children of all ages were helpful in setting up displays, reenacting parts of aviation history and keeping activities safe.
The presence of military personnel highlighted the serious side of the event. One special guest was Bill Bower, of the WWII Doolittle Raiders. While in the Army Air Corps, Lt. Bower was one of 80 airmen who took off in 16 North American B-25 “Mitchell” bombers from the USS Hornet, for a daring raid over Tokyo, Japan, on April 18, 1942. The raid, led by Lt. Col. “Jimmy” Doolittle, was in retaliation for Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the 80 Doolittle Raiders who flew on this mission, only 16 are still living today. Bower piloted one of the aircraft.
Dan Emich, a serious collector of WWII military memorabilia, was in the uniform of the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which fought in WWII during the Normandy Drop. Other attendees included Allan Lockheed Jr., whose father was a founder of the Lockheed Aircraft Company (now Lockheed Martin Corporation), and Karin Marshall, SeaGlass Films producer. Marshall brought talented college students to help in the creation of a new film/video on WWI aviation.