Flying Fun At Airport Open House

Experimental planes on display Saturday at the Los Alamos Airport Open House. Photo by Phil Schembi

Visitors gather around the Classic Air Medical helicopter Saturday. Photo by Phil Schembri

A National Guard Medvac helicopter at the Los Alamos Airport open house Saturday. Photo by Geoff Rodgers

BY DAVID NORTH
Chair
Los Alamos County Transportation Board

Several hundred people had a great time at Saturday’s Los Alamos Airport Open House. Weather was only a bit warmer than ideal, but that didn’t stop anybody.

Two helicopters and several planes were out for inspection, along with an incredible collection of UAVs (drones and a huge remote operated helicopter) used for aerial reconnaissance, hazardous material robots, and a collection of remote control airplanes — some of which were flown in an exhibition — and perhaps most fun of all, a flight simulator where visitors could try their hand at remote piloting … and inevitably crashing, with no harm done.

During the show several planes took off and landed. Those nearby could hear the radio traffic, and see the procedures up close and personal. One takeoff had a crosswind gust and it was interesting to watch the pilot adjust.

Huge shout out to the Civil Air Patrol, especially Maj. Dave McClard and all of the cadets for their organizational efforts and protecting the flight line. Also big thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association for showing their projects both in progress and currently flying. Other contributors were the New Mexico Pilots Association, Classic Air Medical and the New Mexico National Guard for helicopter exhibits, LANL Hazmat and Robotics, Centerra Security, the Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club, the Los Alamos Aero Modelers, and especially all the pilots who rolled their planes out so people could get a close look.

This was the first show since the COVID shut down, and also the first since Geoff Rodgers took over as Airport Director. It was great, and will only get better!

The Los Alamos Radio Club was on hand Saturday at Los Alamos Airport, seen here in front of the terminal entrance from the flight line. Photo by Geoff Rodgers

A ‘rocket car’, actually an outrigger motorcycle, at Los Alamos Airport Saturday. Photo by Geoff Rodgers

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Hazardous Devices Team brought some equipment to the open house Saturday at Los Alamos Airport. Photo by Geoff Rodgers