UCA Hosts Fly-in

The tiny town of Spangle, Wash., and surrounding community recently woke to an unusual number of low-flying aircraft. The planes were landing at Upper Columbia Academy’s (UCA) grassy airstrip to participate in what has become a delightful tradition. UCA’s fifth annual fly-in, organized by Chuck Paulson, head of UCA’s technology department, attracted more than a dozen planes, including one of four Speedmail planes left in the world. Other planes included one that had been designed and built by the pilot, a low-wing Russian YAK, and a restored bi-plane used for crop dusting in the early 1940s.

At previous fly-ins, about half of the pilots have been Adventists. However, none of the pilots who flew in this year were Adventists or affiliated with UCA in any way. Many of them have participated in the school’s fly-in before and have enjoyed visiting with the students and learning more about the school and its mission. This year, one of the pilots just happened to be flying by and, when he realized what was going on, decided to land. He was impressed that a school this size could offer such a wealth of opportunities for the students.

One family stopped on their way to Sunday morning church services to see the planes. They enjoyed visiting with the pilots and the UCA students so much that they just couldn’t pull themselves away. “They never made it to church,” Paulson noted a little sheepishly.

The pilots put on their own miniature air show, performing hammerheads, loops, smoke trails and several formations. A number of the pilots also gave rides to students.

The fly-in has generated an interest among students in UCA's ground school, which will be offered later this fall. Most importantly, the fly-in gave the school another opportunity make new friends for Christian education.

October 01, 2004 / Upper Columbia Conference