Scenes from Copperstate

Kiviat9

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — More than 500 aircraft and 6,100 attendees from 12 countries and 37 U.S. states converged on the 41st-annual Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ) in late October.

This attendance figure tops the 2012 number by more than 600, according to fly-in officials.

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Copperstate prepares for takeoff

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Since 1971, Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo has been a great place to see a diverse blend of aircraft in action, attend informative workshops, and check out the latest aviation products. It has grown by about 10% a year since it was established. In 2013 it attracted more than 500 aircraft and 5,100 attendees from 10 countries and 39 states.

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Back in formation

Jordan 7

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh

A retired military and TWA pilot trades in the big jets for his own vintage Chinese training aircraft — and rediscovers a 41-year-old passion for deceptively challenging formation flying.

If you’ve ever attended the annual COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo, held every October at the municipal airport in Casa Grande, Ariz., the sight of pilot Derwin “Dee” Grimm in his green 1969 Nanchang CJ-6 training aircraft, with its red-and-yellow Chinese markings, is a familiar sight on Saturday afternoon.

On those days, Grimm is joined by as many as 17 other warbird-aircraft pilots for a multi-point fly-over. For aviation enthusiasts, it’s incredible to see all those CJ-6s, T-34s, T-38s, T-6s, Yak-52s and more flying in formation — but this spectacle isn’t nearly as effortless as it appears.

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