2013 COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo a Big (Non-Towered) Hit!

More than 6,000 attendees, volunteers, vendors and pilots enjoyed a wide variety of aircraft at the 2013 COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo — the 41st annual event’s first year as a non-towered operation.


CASA GRANDE, ARIZ. (Nov. 20, 2013) — More than 500 aircraft and 6,100 attendees from 12 countries and 37 U.S. states converged on the 41st-annual COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport (Casa Grande, Ariz.) a few weeks ago. This attendance figure tops the 2012 number by more than 600.

This year’s fly-in took place Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 through Sat., Oct. 26, 2013. Notably, it was the first year in which Casa Grande Municipal — site of the fly-in — has operated as a non-towered airport.

All board directors and chairmen are pleased by how smoothly the event functioned in a non-towered environment. “I monitor the aviation forums, and I can’t find any complaints,” says Denny Cunningham, Air Operations Chairman.

Additionally, a total of 929 people attended COPPERSTATE’s forums — the highest attendance level in five years. Seventy-three kids participated in the wing rib-building workshop (up from 48 in 2012), and 95 people attended the aircraft judging awards banquet on Saturday night.

This year, 329 volunteers were on hand — an increase of about 100 people compared to the 2012 fly-in. “I very pleased with the volunteer turnout this year,” says COPPERSTATE Fly-In President Stephen Bass. “From what I understand, there was no job that was lacking for a volunteer during the fly-in. Next year, however, we’ll need a few more hands during set-up and teardown.”

Sixty-one exhibitors (an increase from last year’s event) — including a handful of food vendors — were also onsite for all three days of the fly-in. “On Saturday afternoon, I had a chance to get around and speak with some of our exhibitors, and they were extremely pleased with this year’s COPPERSTATE,” Bass says. “They especially appreciated the sack lunches given out on Friday and Saturday of the event.”

A Diverse Mix of Aircraft

Since 1971, the COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo has been a great place to see a diverse blend of aircraft in action, attend informative workshops and check out the latest, greatest aviation products. This year’s event was no exception.


This year’s award-winning aircraft are:


Grand Champion:

N356AZ Just Aircraft Escapade

Dennis and Barb Crowley (Tucson, AZ)


Reserve Grand Champion:

N568RV Vans RV-8

Barry Neumayer and William Cheesman (Redlands, CA)


Custom-Built Metal:

1st Place — N568RV

Vans RV-8

Barry Neumayer and William Cheesman (Redlands, CA)


2nd Place — N600RP

Vans RV-7A

Richard Petty (Gold Canyon,  AZ)


3rd Place — N77RM

Harmon Rocket II

Ryan Bendure (Brighton, CO)


Custom-Built — Best Tube and Fabric:


Just Aircraft Escapade

Dennis and Barb Crowley (Tucson, AZ)


Custom-Built Composite:

1st Place — N843P

Arion Lightning

Stan Peternel (Solvang, CA)


2nd Place — N867TC

Giles 202

Taylor Callen (Milliken, CO)


3rd Place — N26KF

Lancair 360

Jake Wolfe (Sonoita, AZ)


Custom-Built Best Replica:


Pike 1929XF Ghost

Larry Dustman (Chandler, AZ)


Custom-Built — Best Rotorcraft:


Rotorway Intl Exec 162F

Mike Doles (Phoenix)



1st Place — NC94196

1946 Ercoupe 415-D

Sydney Cohen (Wausau, WI)


2nd Place — N1126D

1951 Cessna 140A

Carl Bradenburg, Jr. (Goodyear, AZ)



1st Place — N542T

1961 Beechcraft N35 Bonanza

J. Michael Dudley (San Manuel, AZ)


2nd Place — N712L

1956 Piper PA-18-150

Allan Otto (Mesa, AZ)



1st Place — N17154

1941 Stinson SR-9B

John and Teri Nance (San Diego, CA)


2nd Place — N9599H

1943 Howard DGA-15P

Jeffrey Pino (Easton, CT)



1st Place — N818PJ

1978 Yakovlev Yak-18T

Patrick Ashura (Elbert, CO)


2nd Place —N391ZA

1981 Aero Vodochovy L-39ZA

Arnie Evdokimo (Chandler, AZ)


Best Cessna Showplane:

Sponsored by Cessna Flyer Magazine


1951 Cessna 140A

Carl Bradenburg (Goodyear, AZ)


Best Piper Showplane:

Sponsored by Piper Flyer Magazine


1956 Piper PA-18-150

Allan Otto (Mesa, AZ)


People’s Choice:


1943 Howard DGA-15P

Jeffrey Pino (Easton, CT)



For day-by-day event highlights, lots of photos and a list of the 2013 aircraft judging awards recipients, please visit the COPPERSTATE Fly-In website and Facebook page.

The COPPERSTATE Board of Directors will meet on Sat., Jan. 11, 2013 at the Chandler Municipal Airport in Chandler, Ariz. to begin planning the 2014 fly-in.


Since its first event in 1972, the COPPERSTATE Fly-In has been bringing together aviation enthusiasts in the southwest United States.

COPPERSTATE Fly-In, Inc. is a totally volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting recreational and general aviation through events, scholarships and public education. Proceeds from the COPPERSTATE Fly-In help support scholarship programs for youth seeking careers in the aerospace industry.

COPPERSTATE is the largest Fly-In of its type in the western United States and the fourth largest Fly-In in the United States. It is held at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport (KCGZ) in Casa Grande, AZ. Casa Grande is located approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.


(press release by RaeAnn Slaybaugh)

Joe Kates

Joe Kates is the founder of Photorecon. Joe has been into aviation since he was a child and has a incredible amount of knowledge to do with planes or aviation in general. Today Joe is the owner and Managing Editor of Photorecon.

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