Fly-In History & Photos
Except for a few sporadic gatherings in the 1980’s the Cessna 150 and 152 were among the few aircraft types that did not have an annual gathering. The Cessna 150-152 Club itself was revitalized when Club president Royson Parsons and Lori Colunga grabbed the bull by the horns and injected a massive dose of energy and innovation. Then they used all that energy and innovation and started the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In.
The Fly-In began as an impromptu event in 2001, when a group of Cessna 150 and 152 pilots met in Clinton, Iowa to discuss issues and items relating to their airplanes. Over the next few years, the event grew as the word got out. In 2005, and subsequent years, the Fly-In took on a life and synergy of its own spurred on by reports of the fun and an ever-growing list of enthusiastic and diverse members.
In 2009, saddled by the immense tasks of year-round planning for the event, the Cessna 150-152 Club leadership announced that it was no longer capable to plan, staff, and run the Fly-In all by itself. A call went out to the membership, and a group of individuals responded and established the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In Foundation. Headed by President Kirk Wennerstrom, the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In Foundation was formed to perpetuate, grow, and improve the annual Cessna 150-152 Fly-In, to make it not only a model to be emulated, but also an event to be anticipated.
Timing of our event
When the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In first started it ran on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the week BEFORE Oshkosh. Clinton was chosen because of its location, near the center of the country away from any major population center, and also because it was only about an hour or so south of Oshkosh. People from all over the country could converge in Clinton on Wednesday, talk about 150s and fly around the Iowa countryside for a few days without having to worry about a lot of traffic. Then on Sunday morning pack up and head home, or head up to OSH for a few days for that other fly-in.
When the Foundation took over the operation of the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In we had several meetings and spent considerable time discussing the calendar. We focused on two main issues:
The first issue: Ending the Fly-In on Saturday night gave our participants one day (Sunday) to get home before going back to work on Monday. For the east coast and Florida guys that was pushing it, especially when you added the usual summer weather in the mix. The west coast guys needed at least two days to get home. The fix for this issue was easy, push the event back a day to start on Wednesday, and end on Friday night. That gave everyone two days (Saturday & Sunday) to get home.
The second issue was a bit more complicated. Members that wanted to attend the 150-152 Fly-In and Oshkosh had to take two weeks off to do it. One week to attend our event, then the next week to attend AirVenture. To fix that we moved the Confab to the same week as AirVenture. That way a pilot could head to OSH on Saturday, get there Saturday afternoon or Sunday, get a good camping spot, and be there for opening day. After a few days of AirVenture, he could head on down to Clinton and attend the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In. Heading home on Saturday after the Confab gets him home for work on Monday, and he only had to take one week off instead of two weeks before the change.
But almost every year we would hear from a few of our participants and the general public regarding the timing of our event. We got calls from pilots that wanted to attend the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In, but also wanted to spend the whole week at AirVenture. We surveyed our members and a vast majority said they like it before Oshkosh or had no opinion. With that data in mind, we switched our event back to the week prior to AirVenture, starting on Wednesday and ending on Friday night. That allows our participants plenty of time to get home or fly up to OSH on Saturday morning and get a good camping spot.
Over the years more of our valued members started arriving in Clinton early for the Fly-In. In response, we decided to add a day to the Confab. The Cessna 150-152 Fly-In now starts on Tuesday and runs through Friday. We are not filling this new day with extra content. There won’t be any seminars, contests, or events on Tuesday. It’s basically a Confab Hang Out Day. Registration will be open so participants can register and that will alleviate the rush and long line on Wednesday. Once registered participants can organize a caravan and fly-out to someplace for lunch or sightseeing, or they can fly the Scavenger Hunt and/or Poker Run, or just relax at the Confab with your friends and fellow Cessna 150 and 152 pilots
The Cessna 150-152 Club Fly-in has been taking place for the past 20+ years. Would you like to see what we’ve been up to? Check out these photos from past Fly-Ins.