LSA Mall, Splash In highlight Arlington show

You know it’s July when legions of aviators head north toward Arlington, Wash, for the annual Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-in and Convention. This year it’s slated for July 5-9.

One of the first things visitors will see when they enter the grounds is a display of Light Sport Aircraft.

“It is patterned after the Light Sport Mall that was at EAA AirVenture last year,” explains Barbara Tolbert, the fly-in’s executive director. “Instead of having to go tent to tent and exhibit to exhibit to do comparison shopping, it will be laid out in one location. There is no Sport Pilot tour in the Pacific Northwest this year so this is a good chance for manufacturers and importers to show off their wares.”

The LSA Mall also will have a tent staffed with EAA representatives, as well as a Designated Pilot Examiner for Sport Pilot candidates.

Also new this year is a Splash In organized by the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association.

“That will happen Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Lake Goodwin at the end of the lake that has the resort,” said Tolbert. “That is seven miles to the west of the airport by car and we will have buses to shuttle people back and forth between the venues.”

The Paul Allen Flying Heritage Collection will make its second appearance at the show. Last year a few fully restored pieces of the eclectic collection were on display under a large canvas tent.

The exhibit will be slightly different this year, says Tolbert.

“It is an interpretive display of the restoration process,” she explained. “The Heritage Collection is also offering half-price tours for fly-in guests at the main collection facility on the other side of the airport. There will be shuttle buses to go between the two venues.”

In addition to aircraft and vendor displays, the fly-in will host a slew of informational forums and workshops where visitors can learn about different aspects of aviation and perhaps even pick up a new skill like rib stitching.

For those who are shopping for their next aircraft there is a flying showcase during the day. Rides also will be available from private vendors.

There also is an air show planned for each afternoon.

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