Monday, September 7, 2015

Not Your Typical Fly-In

The Lee Bottom Fly-In, The Aviation Migration, is not your typical fly-in.  Where most are comprised of local pilots, this event is largely filled with aviators from 100 miles away or more.  Being fairly remote, there aren't local chapters of (insert name here) organizations to cook food or handle car parking.  Parking attendants typically come from 30 miles away or more and caterers have to be brought in for food.  There are so many things made difficult by our distance from civilization.
Yet, one of the biggest differences of the Lee Bottom event, a thing many people mention, is its attitude.  Where many events are held as a party for locals, our fly-in has come to stand for so much more.  It isn't a celebration of the field or those who host it.  Attendees of The Aviation Migration know that when this gathering rolls around, it is a celebration of the freedom of flight; a gathering of generals where they are the generals.
Aviators who journey to Lee Bottom in September know and understand the importance of standing up for aviation.  They also know they are responsible for its future.  The expectation that others will stand up for aviation is rare.  Instead, the attendees of this event are typically the type always on watch and standing up for our sport.  In short, they are great people.
Perhaps it is for this reason our sponsors are not your typical sponsors.  Local businesses supporting local events is fairly common.  But to have some of the most well known aviation businesses sponsoring your event speaks volumes; not only about the event but the sponsors themselves.
In past years sponsors have taken it on the chin at some events.  Oshkosh attendees started to see sponsors as corporate buyouts.   That wasn't necessarily true but it didn't stop people from getting wrapped around the axles.  On the other hand, some sponsors of events did seem to be too obvious, almost to the point of overpowering.  Yet, all these issues almost always occurred at very large flagship events.  It didn't happen at fly-ins because fly-ins are rarely sponsored by large or recognized aviation business.
The Lee Bottom event is different.  Our sponsors are known to almost everyone in aviation but they don't expect us to rename the food court or the event after their business.  Instead, our sponsors are general aviation minded people who want aviation to thrive, not just because GA is the market for their products, but because it is in their blood.  Because of this, we hope you'll take any opportunity you get to thank them for supporting this event.
Events that challenge the status quo, boldly champion aviators, and always push back against the forces attempting to ground aviation have it tough.  There's a reason more of them don't exist.  And yet, our sponsors believe in what we're doing and have thrown in their support.  That deserves a huge round of applause.


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