“Historic Airfield Rally to the Antique Airfield Homecoming”
by Paul Berge
AAA National Director
Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2019 issue
The Antique Airplane Association (AAA), and the Air Power Museum (APM), are calling on owners of pre-1941 airplanes (certified or homebuilt design) to participate in the inaugural “Historic Airfield Rally to the Antique Airfield Homecoming,” forever after to be known as HARAAH.
Since 1953, AAA has worked to “Keep The Antiques Flying.” In 2008, for instance, AAA/APM achieved great success during its invitational fly-in at their headquarters at Antique Airfield (IA27) near Blakesburg, Iowa, by hosting “Air Mail Days.” Not only did airplanes that once flew the Air Mail attend, but AAA-member crews were sworn in by the United States Postal Service to actually fly the mail in 17 antique/classic airplanes. In 2019, HARAAH will build on this tradition of experiencing historical flight as it really happened…or nearly so.
Between August 28 and September 2, 2019 (Labor Day Weekend), up to 25 pre-registered crews will fly antique/classic aircraft from all over the United States to rendezvous with hundreds of other antique and classic aircraft at famed Antique Airfield. Along the way, these emissaries of aviation’s storied past are being encouraged to stop at airfields of historic significance. Examples include, but are not limited to, former aircraft manufacturing sites, such as Lock Haven, Pennsylvania (KLHV), onetime home to Piper Aircraft; and Iowa City, Iowa (KIOW), which was a stop along the transcontinental Air Mail route. Former military bases, such as Sweetwater, Texas (KSWW) and Ottumwa, Iowa (KOTM) are likely stops, as are private aerodromes with historic roots, such as Koerner Field outside Kankakee, Illinois (3KK). And airfields with aviation museums housing historic airplanes, such as First Flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (KFFA) or Mid America Flight Museum in Mt. Pleasant, Texas (KOSA). The point is, AAA/APM not only want to keep the antiques flying, but also the airfields they once used. The organization wants to bring attention to these historic aerodromes, and in doing so, help keep them open. Speaking of open, AAA/APM says they are open to more suggestions. What’s your favorite historic airport?
How it works: AAA members with appropriate aircraft who wish to participate must register in advance, as well as let AAA/APM know the route and airports they plan to include. Up to 25 aircraft will be designated as official entrants and issued commemorative logbooks in which to record – and later share – their journeys to the 2019 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-In.
If you don’t plan to register as one of the 25 entrants, but still want to fly the routes, great! Anyone, in any aircraft, is welcome to fly the same routes and visit the same historically significant airports enroute to Antique Airfield.
Visitors to the annual fly-in at Blakesburg must be AAA members, but that’s an easily achieved item by going to www.antiqueairfield.com to join and register to attend the 2019 Labor Day Weekend AAA/APM Invitational Fly-In, where aviation history is alive and flying!
More details will follow, including a listing of possible stops, but anyone interested in participating, as pilot or sponsor, in the first-ever HARAAH, are urged to contact Brent Taylor by email at AntiqueAirfield@sirisonline.com, phone (641) 938-2773 or mail: AAA Headquarters, 22001 Bluegrass Rd., Ottumwa, Iowa.