Sanpete fly-in gets crowds ‘excited about flying’

Flight instructors Jenna Odenkirk (right) of Salt Lake City and Kayla Nichols of Layton


Sanpete fly-in gets crowds ‘excited about flying’


By Ben Lasseter

Staff writer



Industrial drones, a hot air balloon and a helicopter shared a crowded runway with commuter, paper and remote-controlled airplanes at the Manti-Ephraim Airport Open House and Fly-In on Saturday.

“We came to stir up excitement about flying,” said Kayla Nichols, a flight instructor with Flight-crew Lead Training (FLT) Academy in Woods Cross, Utah.

Henry (left) and Lander Hart of Bluff, Utah have been flying planes their whole lives. Lander said he practices a difficult “stol” bush landing technique, a way of landing at low speed that does not require a runway. The brothers often fly the planes in a backcountry area near their home, where the bush landings allow for more freedom to land in more treacherous spots.

The event offered breakfast, food trucks and drinks to visitors, who visited activity booths and walked through the dozens of air and land vehicles on display. People from around the state flew in, while others drove to show off model collections of historic, sport and war aircraft they had assembled.

Classic rock played over loudspeakers as spectators watched planes come and go and the helicopter took people on rides. Flight instructors and owners talked about their planes to passers-by, who came from around the country.

Model airplanes from Sanpete R/C Aero Squadron include emulations of historic planes, such as the American WWII-era Stearman PT17, and creative interpretations of other types.

Among local aviation enthusiasts present, Ralph Derico of Sanpete R/C Aero Squadron in Gunnison showed off his gallery of model planes. The organization is part of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, whose website describes the non-profit as open to anyone interested in its competitions and recreational activity.

To follow Sanpete R/C Aero Squadron, visit their Facebook page @Gunnison RC Airfield. FLT Academy asks that anyone interested in flight lessons contact Rachel Stuckman at 801-648-4010.


Visitors from around the state came to the Manti-Ephraim Airport to see an array of aircraft, including brightly-colored commuter planes.