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Home2023 CPA Fly-in Events

Colorado Pilots Association

It’s that time again to open your calendars and mark the dates for CPA’s 2023 season of exciting aviation adventures! We recently held our annual Fly-in planning meeting and as usual have a full slate of events in several states.

This long tradition continues with our members stepping up each year to create Fly-ins serving a wide variety of interests. In every venue there’s something for everyone. And in the CPA, everyone includes pilots ranging from retired heavy jet airline captains to private pilots flying single engine airplanes right down to student pilots renting from flight schools or even those just thinking about becoming a pilot. The tent is tall and wide and offers something for everyone. If you are “into” aviation and want to see some beautiful countryside in the process, CPA is one stop shopping!

This year we’re making a concerted effort for members who don’t own airplanes to ride along with those who do on some of these trips. This transfer of knowledge from our more experienced pilots to younger ones just starting up the ratings ladder is part of what we do. Flying airplanes, traveling in them, learning how to operate them safely and getting to know others with similar interests are all integrated into our annual Fly-in program. And for the princely sum of 20 bucks, you can join CPA and step into this world right along with us any time you wish!

2023 events include some very affordable, close-by destinations where density altitude is not a problem, nor is the pain of increased aviation fuel cost. Two are in Nebraska and on the other end of the spectrum are jaunts to several other states as we’ll cross mountains like Superman did “in a single bound.” In between there is a backcountry trip to the ever-popular Johnson Creek, Idaho. Then there’s the tour of historic Trinity Site in New Mexico. Don’t miss the annular eclipse flight for one of those “bucket list” experiences. We’re on it!

Our trips offer not only a lot of fun and great experiences, but also traveling with a group of like-minded fellow aviators who can help out should any aircraft problems occur. We’re a large “family” of members where no one is shunned because they are new in the organization or new to aviation. We’re always here as are our beautiful mountains. Try us out!

Bill Marvel 
CPA Fly-in Chair

Kearney Nebraska Sandhill Crane Fly-in
Event Dates: March 18 - 19, 2023

Registration Deadline: February 18, 2023

Join 30 of your Colorado Pilot Association friends as we view what’s billed as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America. This gathering of over 1 million Sandhill Cranes is the largest in the world and you’ll witness it from our own viewing blind with our own tour guide.

Hosts: Bob and Shawn Kinney

Trinity Site and Spaceport America
Event Dates: March 31, 2023 to April 2, 2023

Trinity Site and Spaceport America tour. A second Fly-in to this venue mid-October will probably occur because attendance is limited, and we have a standby list. Click on the link above to learn about the event and how to attend in October.

Host Bill Marvel 

Gallup NM Fly-In

Event Dates: May 19 - 21, 2023
Registration Deadline: May 12, 2023

We’ll be staying at the historic El Rancho Hotel on Route 66. Friday arrival will feature CPA’s famous Happy Hour followed by dinner on your own in one of many local restaurants. Saturday morning we’ll head to the El Morro National Monument, including the Inscription and Headland Trails, petroglyphs and Atsinna, the 355 room Ancient Ancestral ruin. Saturday afternoon features a visit to the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, plus one or two others, followed by Happy Hour and a group dinner at the hotel. Plus, there’s ice cream too!  

Host: Bill Gust

Creede Colorado

Event Dates: June 9 - 11, 2023

Fly to historic Creede Colorado to take in some of the local attractions of this old mining town. Activities will include seeing a live performance at the Creede Repertory Theatre, touring the historic mining museum, and taking a hike on one of the local trails.

Hosts: Lynn and Shirley McCullough

 Thermopolis Wyoming

Event Dates: June 24 - 25, 2023
Escape to Thermopolis with us!  What’s not to love about a town named Thermopolis?  Its past meets future – Sci-Fi and ancient Greece combined!  Be the envy of your family, friends and neighbors or – just be cool and join us!  This trip will be good for your bones – you’ll have opportunities to Soak your bones (hot springs), Dig for bones (fossils), Fish for bones (fishing) and maybe even tour a whiskey distillery!

Host: Dean Lyle

Johnson Creek, ID

Event Dates: July 14 - 16, 2023

Head into Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains and camp at the beautiful Johnson Creek airstrip, where the long grass runway is known for its smoothness. We’ll be flying to breakfast at Smiley Creek, hiking to the famous hot-spring-fed cast iron bathtub on a mountainside and having a group dinner in the tiny nearby town of Yellow Pine. This is upscale tent camping with hot showers, phone and tablet chargers, picnic tables, fire pits and firewood as well as fresh brewed coffee every morning -- and it’s free! Plan to arrive at Johnson Creek in the morning before potential afternoon winds and consider extending your trip to visit other locations in Idaho and/or Wyoming. More info about extending will be provided to those who are interested.

Hosts: Colleen Leppert

Glenwood Springs via Rifle CO

Event Dates: August 18 - 20, 2023

Ride the gondola to the top of Iron Mountain and tour the King’s Row and Fairy Caves inside Iron Mountain.  Raft the Glenwood Canyon Shoshone whitewater Class II-IV rapids, no previous rafting experience required.  Enjoy dinner with other CPA attendees at one of the many restaurants in Glenwood Springs.  

Hosts: Sue Mathis & Leonard Gurule

Alliance Nebraska

Event Dates: September 16 - 17, 2023

Relax and enjoy a short flight to Alliance, NE. The day will begin with brunch at a local diner on the main drag. Following brunch, we’ll stop at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center followed by Dobby’s Frontier Town Fall Festival. As time permits prior to happy hour, those interested can check out the famous Carhenge (like Stonehenge but made of cars!) or the small military or arts museums. After dinner there’s a peaceful city park for those interested in a relaxing walk before returning to the hotel.

Host: Brent Rognlie

NM Annular Eclipse

Event Dates: October 13 - 14, 2023

Don’t miss this nearby celestial event! After arriving midafternoon in Cortez, we will have dinner at our leisure and spend the night at Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites. Early departure on Saturday morning for a short flight to ShipRock airstrip (5V5), 36 nm from CEZ. There we will park on the taxiway from which to witness the annular eclipse entering New Mexico at approximately 0911h, with obscurity lasting almost 5 minutes. The annular eclipse will be done by noon. Each can then return home.

Host: Philippe Camus

Trinity Site and Spaceport America

Event Dates: October 20, 2023 to October 22, 2023

Trinity Site and Spaceport America weather date and likely a second fly-in there because we have a long standby list.  
Host Bill Marvel