The Huntington Airport Fly-In and Wings and Wheels Show and Shine Sept. 28-29 was the largest event in its three year history. The show featured the largest number of planes, antique autos and visitors ever. At the Saturday morning breakfast, Emery County Commissioner Jeff Horrocks and Leon Defriez Airport Manager welcomed everyone to Emery County and hoped their visit would be enjoyable. At that time Mike Guarino chairman of EAA Chapter 23 explained the Young Eagle program and asked for volunteer pilots to fly the Young Eagles (young people that want to learn to fly). Many different organizations were involved in this event. The Huntington Airport, The Back Country Flyers Association, The Experimental Aircraft Association, The Antique Cars sponsored by Wards 4X4 of Huntington and the Par-O-Dice Auto Club of Price.
This event gave Leon Defriez the airport manager an opportunity to show the public the improvements that have been made at the Huntington Airport over the past year and of future plans. Defriez said he tried to keep track of the number of planes flying in and out of the airport all weekend and finally gave up. Approximately 30 planes and pilots camped at the airport Friday night.
There were many more planes this year flying into and out of the airport than in past years events. Many of the visiting pilots camped at the airport participated in the activities Friday and Saturday. Some of those activities were flights to nearby backcountry airstrips, bus tours to the Buckhorn Panel, the Wedge Overlook and the San Rafael Museum, trap shooting of clay pigeons, meals, displayed photos and histories of Emery County, antique cars and different types of aircraft. A few of the airstrips available for pilots to fly into from the Huntington Airport were Cedar Mountain, Hidden Splendor, and Mexican Mountain.
The Utah Back Country Flyers Association president and secretary Steve and Cathy Durtschi, wearing official red vests, were actively engaged around the airport directing airplane traffic and other activities. Jody Cox a Huntington Airport flight instructor was assisting with airplane fueling and traffic control.
Mike Guarino chairman of EAA Chapter 23 from Salt Lake said the EAA does Young Eagle rallies all over the state. Guarino said he has been doing these for the chapter for 15 years. Many of the Young Eagles will grow up to become certified pilots.
The Experimental Aircraft Association pilots were excited to be introducing young people to the fun of flying. The program started off by giving the Young Eagles a short pre-flight orientation about how and why a plane is able to fly and a certificate of attendance. After Young Eagles attended the short pre-flight school they were given a 20 minute flight in a plane out over Cleveland, Elmo and back to the airport. In the orientation the instructor explained the fun and the danger associated with flying. Parents and guardians were required to sign a waiver before their children were allowed to fly with a pilot. Plane rides were given to more than 90 children ages 8 to 18.
One enthusiastic young man, after his flight, said he was able to fly the plane and then proceeded to demonstrate how he turned the wheel of the plane. Brock Johansen a Scout leader from Castle Dale said there were boys from nine scout troops and about 79 scouts taking advantage of the opportunity to fly in these light planes. The scouts camped at Huntington Reservoir Friday night. At that camp Steve Durtschi presented a fireside for the scouts and a movie entitled Back Country Flying and Back Country Airstrips. The film showed pilots flying back country airstrips from California to Malad, Idaho.
Visitors were from Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and California.
One of the pilots Wally Brown from Spanish Fork, has been a pilot since 2009 and became a member of the Utah Back Country Flyers Association last summer. He said he loves the outdoors, camping and flying.
Rose and Dennis Ward the owners of Wards 4X4 from Huntington said they had two cars in this Antique Car show and were instrumental in building up the car clubs in Carbon and Emery County. Rose said, in Emery County they are called the San Rafael Swells and in Carbon County they have the Par-O-Dice Auto Club.
Tory Killian and daughter Chelsea from Wards 4X4 were responsible for organizing this year's Antique Auto and Motorcycle Show at the airport. Tory said there were 30 vehicles displayed in front of the Huntington Airport main hangar.
Gordon Ungerman of Huntington was in charge of setting up the trap shooting range and was responsible for providing eight clay pigeon throwers for the skeet shooting range east of the airport. Ungerman said he sets up a skeet shooting range somewhere every weekend. He said the eight throwers give the shooter birds coming from eight different angles. He goes to family reunions, outings like this and company parties with his usual portable five stand sporting clays traps. He also owns Ungerman Meat Shop in Huntington.
Some of those participating in the trap shooting were Patrick Doyle, Steve Durtschi, Dennis Blazard, Gordon Ungerman, Bart Jones, Cole Davis, Cathy Durtschi and Larry Luckinbill. Emery County Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth was seen at the airport visiting with Jan Marker from Albuquerque, John Edison, Santa Paula Calif. and Mary K Jones from Colorado Springs all attendees at the Huntington Airport Fly-In.
Mervin and Gale Miles were in the Airport main hangar describing things to be seen in the deserts of Emery County, displaying Petroglyphs photos, rock art, archeological sites and telling of adventures to be had in Emery County. Mervin Miles worked for the BLM 35 years traveling around and over the hills and valleys of Emery County. He said he either walked, rode a horse or drove a vehicle to examine the BLM lands.
Mary and Bart Jones came to Huntington Airport from Colorado Springs, Colo. and said Commissioner Jeff Horrocks took them to the wonderful San Rafael Museum and Jeff even gave them a book about Emery County History. She said the museum was very well done and was excited to get the book. She thought more people should tour the museum.
The Friday and Saturday meals provided to the pilots and antique car owners were catered by Ralene Larsen, her daughter Tiffany and Ralene's nieces Shauna and Sarah from R-Pizza in Castle Dale. The Saturdays breakfast was served in the airport hangar, the lunch was served under the airport pavilion and dinner was served at the Huntington State Park.