Throughout last week, I spent a fair amount of time out at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field covering the National Aerobatic Championships. While there was the ever-present sense of excitement that comes with the sport, this year’s festivities were muted slightly by the fact that was the last here in Texoma.
Earlier this year, organizers for the event announced plans to move it to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the 2017 contest, bringing a close to over 40 years of history at NTRA.
Over the last three years, I’ve had the privilege to cover the event each time the pilots come into town.
I always enjoyed covering the event in part because of the mood of the pilots and the people who were there to watch, especially on Friday during the freestyle contests. Even after going up in one of the planes this year, I still don’t fully understand the thrill of the sport, but the pilots’ enthusiasm was always infectious.
As I spoke to some of the more seasoned pilots and some of the spectators, there was an unspoken tone of finality to this year’s event. They didn’t speak in depth on it, but many said they’d grown used to the event here in Texoma. However, many said they understood why the change was necessary.
As the airport has grown, with the increase of traffic generated by the US Aviation flight school, the event has been crowded. While this might seem bad for the contest almost everyone admitted that this is a good thing for the airport.
Still very few were willing to call it an end just yet, who knows what might come over the horizon in later years.
Happy Birthday to Marvin Shilling, Charles Greene, Don Phelps, and Earl Jackson, all of Sherman; Michael Coker; Carrol Oliphint of Dallas; Patricia Hagood of Denison; James Mulkey of Aubrey; Delores Reeves of Ada, Oklahoma; Tony Orcutt of Windsor Heights, Iowa; Betty Weimer of Southmayd;
Happy anniversary Thursday to Charlie and Joyce Huddleston of Luella, 60 years.