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The first Fly-In Musicfest held by the The Flying Musicians Association on November 7, 2009 at the Fort Worth (TX) Spinks Airport was a huge success, according to its organizers and attendees.
Lead organization FMA enlisted the cooperation of the cities of Fort Worth and Burleson, the Burleson Chamber of Commerce, Harrison Aviation, Texas Jet and the Fort Worth Spinks Airport (KFWS).
In spite of the low clouds early in the morning, there were several aircraft on display, including the B-25 named Pacific Prowler, a C-47 Skytrain, a huge Russian Antonov AN 2 biplane, an Extra 300LP acrobatic plane, and many more, including a Duo Discus sailplane and its launch vehicle, a Piper Pawnee – courtesy the Texas Soaring Association.
Flying is part – music is the other part – of the Flying Musicians Association, and there were 130 musicians performing on two stages throughout the day. Among the flying musicians performing was Ravi the Raviator, fresh from a speaking engagement at the AOPA Summit in Tampa. Also pleasing the crowds were Bradley Leighton, jazz flutist, who flew a four-seat Cessna 172 from San Diego; Jay Carpenter (aka Slim Zimmerman) and his wife who flew in from Austin; and from Oklahoma, Ramblin' Ray Ricketts and his wife arrived. He told stories and also played familiar hymns and tunes on the saw. Local talent, Paul Karmy and his Advent Brass, also blew the audience away.
In addition to the "flying” musicians, several area groups showcased their talent: the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir; Flutasia; James Michael Taylor; Blaming Grace; Daggett Montessori Middle School Orchestra; Zizzlebolt; Cheiron; Over the Hill Band; Cowtown Music Club; and Barefoot in Texas. A Native American Flute and Drum Circle brought another flavor to the festival, even as the Fort Worth Songwriters Association maintained two jamming tents. The event culminated with a performance by Grammy Award winner Brave Combo.
There were vendors, bounce houses, clowns, the Ballet Folklorico, an old-fashioned ice cream vendor on a bike. In case the food and fun got people wondering about getting into flying (and for the pilots already in the group), an aviation medical examiner and Colony Home Health provided blood pressure screening and bone density scans for everybody.
Jerry Johnson (a board member of the Mooney Pilots Association) presented an FAA Wings Seminar on Communicating with ATC. Author Denis Murphy arrived from Florida and presented his book: Pan, Pan, Pan. (That’s the pilots’ version of “SOS.”) The FAA Runway Safety Program and the Vintage Flying Museum also had displays.
Said FMA co-founder Aileen Hummel: "We have a assembled a great committee that worked hard, relentlessly, for many months. These great folks are the pilots, aviation enthusiasts, and musicians who have embraced the mission of the Flying Musicians Association. Without their help and support, this event could not have been a success."
(John Zapp and Aileen Hummell)
Fellow co-founder John Zapp said, “What a wonderful blending of the two passions, aviation and music!” Ignoring the obvious pun, he added, “With so much positive feedback this event is sure to take off.”
Many of the attendees have expressed enjoyment of the event and that they are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Fly-In Musicfest tentatively set for November 13 and 14, 2010.
The Flying Musicians Association, Inc. was formed in 2009 by blending two passions, flying and music. Founded by two pilot/musicians, John Zapp and Aileen Hummel who have made it their quest to encourage, promote, educate and support these two passions, and especially to encourage adventure, awe, and experience through flying and music, generating and fostering the yearning for both amongst young people.
The FMA is now composing its first quarterly newsletter, and is actively orchestrating a presentation to give to school music programs. Already over 100 members strong, the FMA is bestowing the title “Founding Member” on anyone who joins during 2009.