Should Your Fly-In Have A Rain Date?

by Dave Weiman
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2023 Digital Issue

I recently planned to attend a fly-in, but weather was a factor. Visibility was good, but the ceilings were 800 overcast, and it was raining. I would have flown 350 nm with the chance of not getting in, and if I arrived, I would have been wet the entire day. Not what I consider a great way to spend a Saturday. So, I opted not to go, as did many others. Had Sunday or the following Saturday been a “rain date,” chances are I would have attended.

That brings up an interesting question… Should fly-ins have a rain date?

Airshows have long realized the importance of holding two-day, rather than one-day events, partially because some spectators can attend on Saturday and others on Sunday… partially because the cost of production is so great that the event needs to spread its costs – and risks – over two days and a larger crowd… and partially in the event of poor weather on one of the two days. But I have also been to airshows where the entire weekend has been rained out. Those airshows really take a hit, because they still have fixed costs, such as performer fees and lodging, insurance, and food.

Recruiting volunteers for a fly-in can be a concern, but if the event is held once a year, and the fundraising cause worthy, most organizations should be able to recruit and retain volunteers for a rain date if the volunteers know that date in advance.

In no way am I suggesting that fly-ins hold two-day events, although we are seeing more and more organizations holding more than one fly-in each year, which certainly puts the odds of having good weather for at least one of the two events in their favor.

Whether or not your fly-in has a rain-date, “communication” is essential.

Posting updates on a website helps, but when in doubt, the event sponsor should have a telephone number for pilots to call to confirm.

We welcome your feedback and willingness to share your opinion or fly-in’s policy with fellow readers.

Does your fly-in have a raindate, and if so, is that raindate the following day or the following weekend or when, or does your organization hold more than one fly-in each year?

Please email me your comments at, and include your name, the name of the event, sponsoring organization, airport, city, and state.

Thank you!

This entry was posted in Columns, Columns, Columns, Dialogue, June/July 2023 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.