The 22nd Annual Stearman Fly-In in St.
Francis, Kansas, was graced with nearly perfect weather.
Approximately 120 aircraft attended, including 14 Stearmans, the
fabric covered, radial-engined biplanes used in WWII as primary
Many fascinating aircraft flew in, including experimental
aircraft, warbirds, and even a Grumman Widgeon amphibian.
The Stearman formation flight featured seven biplanes in two
groups. The distinctive roar of their radial engines was music
to the ears of the aviation enthusiasts.
The clear blue skies were often decorated with brightly colored
fabric, as 6 hot air balloons flew on both Saturday and Sunday
mornings. Twenty skydivers made 115 skydives, including 19
tandem jumps. In a tandem skydive, a novice passenger rides with
an expert skydiver, both sharing a single ram-air canopy.
The skydivers thrilled the crowd with advanced canopy maneuvers,
including a dragplane and a downplane maneuver. In the dragplane,
the bottom skydiver in a three-stack flies his canopy upside
down, and in a downplane, two attached skydivers fly straight
down at 60 mph.
Some of the crowd took Stearman rides, and many
enjoyed breakfast or lunch on the field.
Eric Baldwin of Henderson, CO, won the annual
Stearman "balloon bust" contest.