Gearing up for the Fly-In

34th Annual Sentimental Journey Fly-In begins Tuesday


LOCK HAVEN — Volunteers, community members, vendors, and pilots from across the country are preparing for the 2019 Sentimental Journey Fly-In at the William T. Piper Memorial Airport, which takes place Tuesday through Saturday, June 18 to June 22.

The theme for the 34th annual fly-in is the 75th birthday of Smokey the Bear – and this year’s featured planes are the Piper PA-12 and PA-14.

With an abundance of events and entertainment at the Sentimental Journey Fly-In, there is sure to be something to entertain all ages — from the golf ball drop to the enthralling Greg Koontz flying show.

Gates open at 9 a.m. every day, and daily admission remains $10 for ages 18 and older, $5 for ages 13 to 17, and free for ages 12 and under. This fee includes parking and admission to the food court, vendor building and the flight line.

Though organizers aren’t expecting as many planes as usual to attend the fly-in, due to possible bad weather in the western U.S. where many pilots hail from, there will still be plenty of aircraft for spectators to ogle at throughout the week — on the field and in the sky.

All kinds of aircraft are welcome at the annual fly-in.

Some pilots camp under their plane wings for the duration of the week, while others choose to stay in the camping area or hotels in the area.

Though reservations are not accepted for camping, anyone who is interested may pay upon arrival at the Piper Airport. Daily camping fees are $20 for tent camping and under-wing camping, and $25 for RVs.

For all those who are attending the fly-in, whether you are an aviation enthusiast or not, the Piper Aviation Museum is another must-see attraction, though the admission fee is separate from the entrance fee to the fly-in. The museum will be open daily through the fly-in from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Be sure to bring your lawn chair and find a good spot out on the flight line for a week of plane watching. The Greg Koontz show will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 1 p.m., and Friday at 12 p.m.

This notorious show entertains fly-in attendees year after year, with its mix of zany comedy and exhilarating flying.

T-shirts featuring art celebrating this year’s theme, the 75th birthday of Smokey the Bear, are available for sale at the Fly-In – priced at $20.

Smokey the Bear himself will be making an appearance at the fly-in, so anyone who would like a picture taken with Smokey should bring their camera around 12 p.m. on Friday to the birthday celebration.

Indoor and outdoor commercial vendors, including food stands, will open at 9 a.m. each day – with plenty of options to choose from, including Sunset Ice-Cream and the Sugar Valley Lions Club food truck.

In addition, the annual corn boil, which is open to the public, will take place Tuesday through Friday evenings, beginning at 5 p.m.

Admission to the fly-in is free of charge after 5 p.m., for those who would like to join in on the evening festivities.

Gary’s Cub Pub will also be open at 5 p.m., Tuesday though Saturday — so be sure to grab an ear of corn and a drink to enjoy while hanging out with friendly faces, familiar and new, each night.

The musical entertainment will start at 7 p.m. each night, including a new addition, a country billy band from the State College area called “Kristi Jean and the Ne’er Do Wells” who will perform Tuesday evening.

Other bands include The Keystone Cats (pop, jazz & variety) on Wednesday, The Lindy Sisters (WWII, 40s era) on Thursday, and the Keystone Society of Swing on Friday.

For kids ages 8 to 17, the Young Eagles plane rides will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will be taught the basic ins and outs of the plane and then will be given an actual plane ride. Those interested should meet at Piper Museum.

For anyone else seeking the thrill of a plane ride over Lock Haven, check out the AvSport Discovery Flights, which will be offered everyday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The price is $70.00 for a half hour in the air.

The spot landing, flour bomb drop and golf ball drop will take place as always, and for the golf ball drop, you don’t have to be a pilot to enter. Stop by the Little Yellow Cub House to buy a ball!

Throughout the week, a variety of topics will be discussed in forums to be held in the Piper Aviation Museum — from how to prepare for cross country flight to how to repair a classic Piper wing. These discussions are sure to be insightful for all attendees, whether you are an expert or a newcomer to the aviation world.

The Sentimental Journey Fly-In is always seeking new volunteers, so if you are interested in volunteering, even if just for a few hours per year, call 570-893-4200 — it’s a great way to form lasting friendships and bond with fellow community members.

For further details on the Sentimental Journey Fly-In’s daily activities schedule, visit, grab a schedule in person, or keep checking the Express for a list of events each day.