October 1, 2010: Edwards AFB Safety Fly-In

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

For the first time in Edwards AFB history, almost 100 civilian general aviation aircraft, as well as 15 civilian-owned retired military aircraft, flew to the base and touched down on the Rosamond Dry Lake for the Flight Test Nation 2010 Lakebed Fly-In. Some 325 people flew in for the occasion (most airplanes had three or more on board), whose primary purpose was to educate the civilian flying public on R-2508 airspace and restricted area flight operations, along with safe methods of navigating the airspace. The attendees were welcomed by outgoing Air Force Flight Test Center commander, Maj Gen David Eichhorn and treated to a movie about the X-15 test program. Col Dawn Dunlop, 412 TW/CC, presented a briefing on the role of women in the history of Edwards AFB. Interrupting the show was Pancho Barnes herself, actually, thespian Leslie Dinius, who showed up in a bright yellow Bucker Jungmann 103 bi-plane. Civilian aircraft at the event ranged from several decades-old single-engine Pipers, Cessnas, Beechcrafts and Stinsons to relatively new models of the same and new aircraft types such as Cirrus and Pilatus. With the wide variety of aircraft, not to mention impending thunderstorms, the aircraft made an early departure, the last fly-in aircraft leaving the base about 2:30 PM local time.

Local pilots flew over the hallowed skies of Edwards and landed on historic Rosamond Dry Lakebed.  The Air Force Flight Test Center hosted a general aviation fly-in Oct.1. The 2010 Flight Test Nation Lakebed Fly-in ave 100 civilian aviators the chance to fly their private aircraft into Edwards' airspace and land on the lakebed.  The purpose of the event was to inform Edwards' flying neighbors about safely flying in the base's airspace and learning the history of Edwards.  "We want to reduce the risk of military and civilian aircraft possibly coming into contact with one another in the R-2508 Complex (Edwards' airspace)," said Bill Koukourikos, Air Force Flight Test Center Flight Safety Office. "We also want to foster goodwill and camaraderie between military and civilian flyers in the Southern California and Nevada area."  Those flying in were greeted by Maj. Gen. David J. Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander, and enjoyed a pancake breakfast.  Aviators were given several presentations discussing Edwards' current programs and the history of women in aviation.  Mr. Koukourikos described the military airspace and instruct flyers how to avoid any conflict with Edwards' aircraft. The presentations, which included videos, also informed the local flyers about how to navigate around the base's large airspace.  The Air Force Flight Test Center held a lottery Sept. 10 to select the fly-in participants. Of those selected, 100 will be given the opportunity to land on the historic Rosamond Dry Lakebed and 20 will be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.  Those people who drove in to the 2010 Lakebed Fly-in took part in the event. They registered online for a parking pass and paid for lunch on-site. Those who were not registered or do not have a parking pass were not allowed into the event.

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