Sun N FUn

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by 4RNB, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. 4RNB

    4RNB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What is the big deal? I looked online, all I could find were a few speeches and air shows. I am not that interested in watching other planes flying. What benefit would I get as a new pilot if I attended? I'd likely just drive. Is it kind of like a flying convention? Might there be manufacturers showing off their planes? Might I get to sit in them to see if I fit? How do non flying spouses enjoy themselves?

    I am willing to drive the 12 hours, but want it to be worth the time.
    What is the utility of attending this, considering I am a new pilot.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    There are 4 hangars full of aircraft related vendors plus more outside displaying their products. Most every GA manufacturer has static displays of their popular planes. Static displays of many military and vintage aircraft. Lots of LSA static displays.

    If walking around all day looking at planes and plane stuff doesn’t thrill you, don’t go.
     
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  3. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait

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    The air show is just one part of the event. There will be about 400 companies with aviation products on display. Plenty to see.

    Another option is to fly there. Do you have any pilot friends who are flying to SnF in their own aircraft?
     
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  4. Tools

    Tools Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Calling it an air show is like calling Woodstock a concert.

    That’s all I got to say about that.

    THANKS for the letter. Just got it yesterday, my fault, just haven’t been out there in a while... And again CONGRATS!

    Flying in is worthwhile as well. I believe your wife would find it entertaining. I don’t really know how pandemic issues are gonna affect it, each year is so different anyway, likely just not a big deal.
     
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  5. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    In over 20 years of Sun-n-Fun, I don't think I ever watched more than 10 minutes of "air show". It was all spent talking to vendors, looking at new products, buying parts and tools.
     
  6. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    To answer your questions, yes it’s like a fly-in convention. Basically it’s a smaller, more compact version of EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. Yes, the aircraft manufacturers will let you sit in their aircraft (at least they used to, don’t know if there will be any COVID restrictions in that regard). There are also hands on workshops as well as forums on a variety of aviation related topics. This is all in addition to the hundreds of venders and the daily air shows (which will feature the Blue Angels this year). To be honest, there’s not a whole lot catering to someone not interested in airplanes. Best bet, since you’ll be in the heart of Florida is to plan an excursion for your spouse that’s non-aviation related. Tampa-St Pete is 30-60 min to the West and Orlando is 30-45 min to the Northeast from Lakeland. Lots to do at either place.
     
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  7. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Reading your post is like hearing someone say, “sitting in the cockpit controlling an airplane, taking off and landing, what’s so exciting about that?”

    Sun-n-Fun, it’s getting immersed in aviation, breathing it, seeing it, experiencing it. It’s what you make of it and almost any pilot that goes can enjoy it. The only things I ever disliked was any traffic going in or getting drowned by thunderstorms and then walking in mud.
     
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  8. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Other than aircraft manufacturers and vendors and the air show itself, there are tons of seminars. Want to learn to weld or lay fiberglass or construct part of a wood wing? They have those. There are seminars on various flight safety topics, talks with veterans or people who flew interesting airplanes like SR-71 pilots or the Concorde, how to get better at using different avionics, interviews with air show and aerobatic pilots, tips on monitoring maintenance of your airplane, tips on writing a sales contract, probably some seminars on insurance, all that kind of stuff.

    They have a daily schedule of the events at https://dailyschedule.flysnf.org/ but, warning, it's horrible trying to filter the thing by date and time, unless I'm just not seeing an easy way to do it. Hopefully they'll work that out quickly.
     
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  9. 4RNB

    4RNB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think it is and was a valid question, especially when searching the web site. This is the list of current exhibitors, seems to be mostly numbers: https://flysnf.org/exhibits/current-exhibitors/
    And considering I have not been there, it is again valid.
    I can see the lectures here: https://dailyschedule.flysnf.org/
    But overall, I have nothing else to build an opinion on. So I asked.

    I enjoy the NC Farm Show, the exhibitors are easy to find and understand https://southernshows.com/sfs/exhibitors/past/
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  10. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Scroll down a bit.

    Current count is 317
     
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  11. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "mostly numbers". At the bottom of that page it lists all the exhibitors.
     
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  12. 4RNB

    4RNB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    LOL, OOPS.
     
  13. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My comment was an observation not a criticism. Hard to express that in a post. Just like “what’s the big deal” can come across as knocking the notoriety of SNF. Back in the day when I first went we didn’t have the Internet to research or evaluate. Maybe it was reading about it in the flying magazines that got everyone’s attention. Times have changed and perceptions change too. Go, you’ll have fun!
     
  14. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you like going out to the airport and gawking at airplanes, go. If you like going to aviation museums and seeing cool/old/military planes, go. If you like seeing (or buying!) all the neat gadgets, go. If you like learning new things about airplanes or aviation, go. If you like hanging around other people/pilots crazy about airplanes, go. :D

    Maybe plan a day or two before/after to go to the beach or wherever for your non-flying travel buddy. If they like airplanes at all, though, I think they'd find it interesting for at least for a day or so.

    (Disclaimer - I've never actually got to go, but I would absolutely love to go. I was going to go this year, but life is just crazy right now. Maybe next year!)
     
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  15. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    The scary part is you might bump into some of them POA people down there!

    Good Lord & weather permitting we'll arrive Thursday and depart Sunday. Will be parked in GAC ...
     
  16. Marshall Alexander

    Marshall Alexander Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey Sky;
    Maybe you should try to get to OSH this year. You're not that far away. :)
     
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  17. Samuel Seidel

    Samuel Seidel Pre-Flight

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    Will it be easy to get a tie down at an outlying airport? I’m wanting to fly in but don’t want to deal with the traffic.
     
  18. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Plant city, Tampa exec are fairly close and have space. They’ve been jacking their rates the last few years though.
     
  19. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    Was looking at Winter Haven myself...
     
  20. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    It’s a nice airport, with a great restaurant, but I don’t have intel on how busy or expensive they are for sun n fun.
     
  21. SethV

    SethV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We are flying in, made ramp reservation at Sheltair. Not bad prices at all. Flying in Thursday morning, departing Sunday morning! Looking forward to it!
     
  22. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    In the past Wtr Hvn has been pretty full during SNF.
     
  23. FlyingElvii

    FlyingElvii Line Up and Wait

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    Likewise, once you have seen 55-60 airshows, even the military teams, it takes something really new and innovative to draw my attention.
     
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  24. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I haven’t seen any big product announcements, don’t they usually happen just before SNF?
     
  25. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    You will absolutely bump into POAers there but fortunately they will look like everyone else and you won’t know. It’s not like we have a uniform.

    I will be there Thursday and probably Friday, but driving.
     
  26. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We were in Florida for spring break in 2005. We were staying in Orlando and one day my wife stayed at the pool at the hotel while I drove down to SnF. I had a ball looking a planes, talking to vendors and buying a few things. A great day. Go, you'll have fun!
     
  27. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'll be the guy with the legs that are "inmate white" ... :p
     
  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    You didn’t receive your uniform? You must have PO’d the new management council....
     
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  29. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Thought I was the only one with this modus operandi
     
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  30. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some people are watchers, some are doers. :D
     
  31. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nasty WX this am in Florida. T-storms, heavy rain for most of the day.
     
  32. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    We had tornados yesterday and more destruction.
     
  33. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    I’m a one day every 10 years type. I don’t feel the need to rush down there. Yeah great vendors, for stuff most pilots can’t afford. Lectures? I really don’t want to sit and listen to someone talk. And flying in with a bunch of pilots that rarely fly more than 10 miles from their own airport, or don’t know how to listen to controllers gets scary. I don’t knock anyone for wanting to go, it’s just not my thing.
     
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  34. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Certainly not. I did see that the Blue Angels are making their first show ever in the new super hornets Thursday, so maybe I'll stop for 20 minutes to see what they're doing.

    Very modest goals for Thursday/Friday
    Attend a few seminars...still planning
    Talk to Vans and Zenith and see what's up with their kits
    Evaluate other kits
    Not set my arthritis off again and not get sunburned.

    If anyone here who has an early Mooney (C/E/F) is going, i'd love to get the insider information on the airplane, but that's a stretch
     
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  35. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    get there early in the morning and the traffic is not bad. most the time, i have to call the guys at the powerplant on the radio and wake them up. two years ago, i was the only one in the pattern when I arrived, now 20 minutes later it was a bee hive.......
     
  36. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have only missed one since 1990, being an avid plane watcher I wouldn’t miss it.if your a new pilot it would be well worth a visit.
     
  37. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The weather was sporty yesterday. When we drove through the field this morning on our way to the volunteer kitchen a number of porta potties (empty) and a guard shack were blown over. When we were done with today’s shift another line of t-storms was just starting to kick off. The next few days look pretty good but then becomes more unsettled as the week progresses into the weekend. My advice is make sure you have good tie downs and control locks, at least one extra pair of footwear, and sunscreen.
    165B744A-1139-4D5E-8FB5-820D9F4C997A.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  38. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    Plan on flying down Thursday, weather dependent. Talk to Vans...maybe they'll have something on the rv-15, talk to Dynon...maybe give them a kick in the pants and offer them use of the PA32 if they throw in the A/P. Avidyne, BK and a few others. The airshows last too long. The aerobatic stuff is too similar. Military stuff is cool. But after the 10th different snap roll...
     
  39. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    I'll wave from 11k on my way to KFPR on Thursday. Got an ocean crossing to tend to that weekend :D
     
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  40. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I agree. I guess the airshows are what brings in the general public, but as someone who has gone to a ton of airshows, they’re just all the same anymore. Plus the airshows close the airspace for so long every day that it makes it difficult to fly in, in one day, from anywhere more than a few hours away (without getting up really early).

    I guess we all get different things out of it, but the number of people and the amount they’re spending at the vendors certainly seems to disagree with your first point. Heck, one of the largest vendors is Foreflight, and that’s something that 100% of the pilots I’ve flown with in the last several years have.

    As for lectures, well that’s kind of a negative term implying “sit down, shut up and listen”, whereas I find most of the seminars to be very interactive with good information and questions and answers on all kinds of important topics. I mean, when’s the last time you got to actually ask an SR-71 pilot or an astronaut or an airshow pilot or a WASP or Tuskegee Airman a question that you’ve always wondered about? Or the seminars with experts in various avionics, or legal issues, or medical issues, or how to repair a wood rib or whatever else.