Spencer Airshow grounded

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Spencer Municipal Airport announced its Flagfest event, Flight Breakfast, is on for June 15 this year, but the Spencer Airshow is off.

Spencer Airport hasn't conducted an airshow in conjunction with the Flight Breakfast since 2010. According to the chair of the Airport Board of Trustees, Tim Steffen, no one has come forward to lead and organize the once annual event.

"We are still looking for someone to be the chairman of the airshow for 2015," he said. "It's too late now if anyone were to come forward to have an airshow this year. There are a lot of FAA forms to fill out and turn in, and the process is slow from the FAA end."

He added, "You wouldn't be able to do a quality event with the timeframe we have right now."

Gayle Brandt, former chair of the Spencer Airshow, said it was time to pass the responsibility of the airshow to someone else.

"What the scenario is, I've done the airshow for 12 years, and I'm really just burned out on it," she said. "It takes a lot of time and effort, and I am really just ready to pass it on. It was the idea of the board to hold off on the airshow until we find someone to take over. Until then, we will keep looking for a person."

She continued, "I do love the airshow, so I am kind of sad no one has stepped up to do it. Spencer was kind of well-known for the airshow, but since we haven't had it in a while, I think we are losing that."

Whoever comes forward to lead the Spencer Airshow must be willing to take on a large commitment.

"It takes a lot of involvement to make it happen," Brandt said. "We need someone to take over who has a passion for aviation and a passion for organizing events like this."

The chair of the airshow is responsible for raising funds, organizing, marketing, arranging pilots and acts and filling out FAA paperwork for the airshow.

"For the past few years, we have been taking the money raised from the Flight Breakfast and putting it towards our next airshow," Brandt said. "So the amount of funds that still needs to be raised is not as large of an amount, because we always have great support from the community during Flight Breakfast."

The sky will be void of planes during Flight Breakfast, but plenty of different aircraft will be flown in and on display for guests to check out during the event.

While the airshow has stalled out, people are welcome to attend the fourth annual regional aerobatic competition at the Spencer Airport later in July. The Doug Yost Challenge is a three-day event that will test pilots' "precision flying" skills July 18-20.

"It is not really a spectator sport, but people are welcome to come out and people usually do," Brandt said. "Depending on the classification of the aircraft, some pilots aren't allowed to fly their routines close to the ground. It's not the same as an airshow, but people are welcome to come."

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