You can scratch the Southwest Regional Fly-In, also known as the Texas Fly-In, off your to-do list in 2008.
The fly-in’s directors recently decided to cancel the event, which was slated for Oct. 10-11 at Hondo, Texas. It had been a staple in the southwestern aviation community since the 1960s.
Fly-In Chairman and CEO Stan Shannon said the decision to cancel was made after taking into account changes in the insurance environment for fly-ins, specifically a move by the EAA to stop insuring regional fly-ins.
EAA officials noted there was confusion among fly-in attendees that EAA was responsible for operating the regional fly-ins. “This apparent misunderstanding was a significant factor in a recent judgment and damage award arising from an accident at a regional fly-in,” EAA officials said in a prepared statement.
EAA officials said they would introduce fly-in organizers to insurers who can provide quotes independently. “Fortunately, there are brokers and underwriters willing and capable of serving the regional fly-ins as independent events at what we anticipate will be affordable and sustainable rates,” the EAA statement continued.
While the Texas Fly-In won’t happen this year, pilots in the area say they will still gather every year, just as they have for the past 46 years.
“We are planning to have a gathering on the same date of the fly-in every year,” Shannon said. “It may be at a different airport each year. It will be a little event, a chance to see our friends.”
Shannon was quick to note that the SWRFI organization is financially sound and its members remain eager to support events encouraging youth in aviation.
“We are taking most of our assets and turning those into scholarships for young people to get into aviation,” he said. “We feel like we can do more that way than putting on a fly-in every year.”