Mt. Vernon Register-News


May 15, 2013

Airport to host AirVenture Cup Race


Racers’ time of takeoff will be recorded and will be recorded again at two turn points in the competition. To finish the race, each aircraft will fly over PCZ at Waupaca, Wis. Municipal Airport, about 30 miles northwest of Oshkosh, Wis., in time for the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wis.

AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wis., has been dubbed “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and is the Experimental Aircraft Association’s yearly membership convention.

Each year more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from more than 60 countries attend AirVenture which has more than 10,000 aircraft flying in and landing at what becomes the busiest airport in the world. The convention features daily air shows, aerobatics, pyrotechnics, a concert, forums, workshops, demonstrations and children’s events.

“We encourage everyone to come out Saturday and see the planes and pilots, but also to come out Sunday morning for the start of the race,” Collins said.

Collins said Mt. Vernon Outland Airport was chosen as a result of contacts made through the LSA Expo.

“Having two runways, a huge ramp and logistics with the hotels and the Shell service we provide, that all stacked up together and made us hard to beat.”

This year was the first time airport officials made a try to get the race starting point.

“We want to impress them and get this opportunity again in 2015,” Collins said. “So, we need volunteers.”

Collins said volunteers won’t be called on for helping on the runway to land planes, but as “ambassadors for Mt. Vernon and Southern Illinois.”

“We need people who can work with the racers and other pilots, give directions, make sure they have everything they need while they are here,” Collins said. “We want to make sure they get all the information they need about the community, hotels, restaurants and invite them to come back. That’s something that sets us apart from other airports and areas. ... I hear it all the time when I’m at events. The pilots remember us as the place where people check on them and make them feel welcome. That goes a long way. It doesn’t happen anywhere else.”

Collins said organizational meetings are in the works to identify roles and needs for the event to utilize the volunteers.

“Much like at the LSA Expo, we will need people helping in the buildings, terminal and static areas,” Collins said.

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