View Full Version : Valdez Dates

Paul Claus
11-30-2010, 02:53 PM
Hello Fellow Valdez Fly In enthusiast!

I thought I would take a bit of a liberty to solicit some feed back on this years dates for the Valdez Fly In. I recently found out that the Dates have been changed and I wanted to see if I were the only one who was a little concerned with the new dates.......

I have copied a letter that I sent to some of the powers at be, so read that and I think it will explain my position, I'm very curious to see what you all think......

Good morning!

I got a call this morning from Bill Duncan, and it wasn't until I got
this call that the change of dates for the fly in soaked in, Joe, I
know you sent out a notice a while back, but I guess I really never
stopped to think about the ramifications........

I think that by doing this you will make it so that most of the
"Outside" flyer's and spectators will not come, having the Airman's
and Valdez only a week apart attacks more people that want to do both
and make the effort to come but they won't come if they can only
attend one event and can't stay for over 2 weeks......

Sponsors like Alaska Bushwheel and Mike Olson Dodge, will probably not
attend because they can not stay for both shows. Bill also inferred
that if he was not able to be there personally, He would probably not
sponsor the event as well!
I don't think that the top competitors come to Valdez just because
there is a chance to win great prizes, but it does add a huge validity
factor, and takes the event from just a backyard fun gathering to a
"World Class" event which it has become, It is certainly a combination
of things that make this event "Big" but I would rank sponsors right
up there at the top!! It seems like they should have been asked first
before any dates were changed!

Another factor in moving the date to the next week is the Alaska
contingency. By the time mid May rolls around, most of us are getting
pretty well into the start of our season's, Bear hunting is well
underway and Commercial fishing is starting to pop, We have heavy
climber bookings at this time and it Is doubtful if I would be able to
attend, I'm sure that the Ellis's and the McMann's will have the same

The Airman's show and Valdez complement each other greatly and the
only competition I see is the date, Obviously they can't be on the
same weekend, but neither can they be 2 weeks apart!!!

Valdez Fly In has become a World class event, due to a lot of factors
but to me the largest among them being the close proximity to the
Airman's Show and the International group that that attracts. Many
people come only because they can attend both events!!

I understand that there is a Mothers Day issue, and that you may loose
a few folks due to that but I'm sure you will loose far more people
due to the fact of being too far removed from the Airman's and too far
into the start of the Alaska season. There are 3 mothers here at the
Lodge at the moment, that have attended the Fly In on Mothers day and
they all say it was one of the best Mother's Day they can

You Folks do an incredible amount of work and have put on a great
event for numerous years and Valdez Fly In has grown every year (even
being Mothers Day) and become a "World Class" event. I'm asking you to
not shoot this event in the foot, I'm asking you to reconsider the
dates and not move them so far away from the Airman's!

Feel free to forward this on to anyone you think should see this and
see what response you get, I didn't know who all should get it so I
just sent it to you.

I hope the winter is going well for you all and that you have a great
holiday season!!!

Best regards,


Paul Claus

11-30-2010, 03:28 PM

Well said. An organization I'm a member of is planning a workshop in ANC for the week after the Airmen's show, specifically to "capture" both the Airmen's Show and the Valdez Fly In. Our thought was that this would offer the attendees of our meeting a great opportunity to attend both those events.

We probably won't change the date of the workshop, but it would have the potential to draw more folks if the Fly In were the weekend after.


11-30-2010, 04:13 PM
We have attended the past 4 flyins specifically because it was the following weekend from the Airman's show. We would not be able to attend if it was two weekends apart. In fact, we now have 6-8 people that come up with us for both events. It would be a shame to miss the event, but more importantly, those that could attend will surely miss Paul, Mike, Ellis's, etc. The Friday night talks and get togethers are special. Sure hope they reconsider and have it the week following the Airman's Show.

Gary & Sue Drean

11-30-2010, 04:15 PM
I agree with Paul that two weeks apart will stop a lot from outside Alaska from attending, The cost alone for staying another week will stop most.
Just my thoughts.


11-30-2010, 04:51 PM
I and my wife (Mother of two) have attended the last several years. She has always enjoyed the event even as it were Mothers Day. It has been a family event for our family.
I spoke with Wupp the other day and when asked, mentioned that they could not make it a two week spread.
In my business, if you can realize a return on an investment, it's worth doing. I wouldn't blame ABW if they did not sponsor as it wouldn't pencil. They have been a cornerstone not only of the event but the industry as well. I for one would truly miss their participation and support. I believe that they are if not the largest, then one of the top five sponsors of the event. I agree with Paul, you think they would have checked with the sponsors before writing it in stone. Perhaps some mitigating factors are at hand? Maybe we could hear from someone associated with the event?
Here's a contact

Paul Claus
11-30-2010, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the the good feed back, I hope that more throw in their 2 cents!

I reread my post and I was mortified to see that I called Mike Olson, Mike Dodge, if you read this Mike, my apologies, I meant Mike Olson Dodge! And once again thankyou for your long time support of this event!!


11-30-2010, 06:47 PM

At first I was ok with dates only because I did not think about what it might mean in terms of attendance. Your post puts it in terms that I failed to consider when Joe sent out the announcement, but you are right, it will be a different and somewhat diminished show.

I cannot make it this year because of totally separate issue (son's college graduation is on May 14th) and was not going to even raise the issue of the date change. But your post has some very valid points that extend beyond my own self interest and I have to agree that the folks in Valdez may want to reconsider the date change for the reasons you have brought up.



11-30-2010, 06:50 PM
I have to agree with Paul. Having it in close proximity to the Airmen's show is vendor and sponsor friendly to a huge degree. Vendors and sponsors can be a make or break item in event planning, perhaps I will look at the new Wikileaks files ,this thing could be bigger than all of us.

11-30-2010, 07:34 PM
I too am in agreement with Paul, having your major sponsor back out would really diminish the show. It would be a real shame to lose the attendance of some of the best pilots in the country. There is so much to learn from these guys. I hope it can be rescheduled to coincide with the airmans association show.

11-30-2010, 07:51 PM
i have to agree with paul. i own a small business and jump through hoops to organize the trip to alaska. last year was my first and until hearing this alarming news, i was very excited about this years trip. My wife and i will not be able to attend if we will miss one of the events or if we have to extend beyond a 10 day trip. I hope you guys figure this out and decide to go back to the winning combination of one weekend of the airman show and the next the valdez show!!!

11-30-2010, 08:11 PM
Never been, but I had an invite this year and was planning on going, at least to Valdez. Paul makes some good points, but just curious, were there some good reasons why they changed the dates?

Gary Fields
11-30-2010, 10:09 PM
I sent a note to the email address given above. Hopefully they will reconsider. If they do I will be in attendance. If not, I hope to meet some of you at the Airmen's Show. This will be my first time for either or hopefully both.

Rick Papp
11-30-2010, 10:45 PM
For a working or business man it would be difficult to budget 2 weeks away. For a retired person or working guide it would be difficult to budget financially. Paul, That was a very well written letter. Is there a major reason to move the date?? Rick Papp :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

11-30-2010, 11:14 PM
Wow, this is dissapointing news. Heck, I finally moved to Alaska to experience stuff like this, but that is to deep into spring hunting season for me to attend. I hope they reconsider. :-?

Paul Claus
11-30-2010, 11:20 PM
The Only reason that I have heard is Mothers Day......


11-30-2010, 11:28 PM
I figured this year I could get out for the week plus...

But with it two weeks apart???? :cry:

Hydroseed season starts May 15th in Alaska, which means that we spend the week before getting ready.... so if it stays, I get one of the events only.

11-30-2010, 11:56 PM
Nobody likes change ! Myself I've attended or had my airplane compete every year but the first one , I've been a sponsor all those years I won't be attending with this date change to far to go for two landings without the airmens show to attend also Paul is right Bill Duncan cant stay an extra 10 days it does not pencil Met a lot of fun people over the years always enjoyed it And Paul I sell cars for a living I've been called a whole lot worse!!! Mike Olson Mike Olson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Yakima Wa

Flying Ds
12-01-2010, 12:00 AM
I have had the privilege and honor to fly Mike Olson's experimental cub, Cuzoom, to Alaska for the last three years. This is the highlight of my year to attend the Airman's Show and Valdez. This trip takes three weeks to complete from Kansas to Yakima, Washington, to Anchorage; have some fun with friends, then Valdez and the trip home. It would not be possible for me to extend my "kitchen pass" any longer than that! Thank you, Paul, for bringing this to our attention. I hope this "World Class Event" can continue to grow and prosper as you have so eloquently stated. This flatlander has been greatly honored to come up and fly with the best of the best; I hope to be able to continue to attend both the Airman's Show and Valdez.
Ed Doyle

Gary Reeves
12-01-2010, 12:25 AM
How about an event connected with the Airmens show instead?


12-01-2010, 12:30 AM
I have not seemed to be able to make it anyway the last several years because of spring bear hunts.
But when something all of us in Alaska have wanted for a long time (since the Gulkana Airshow stopped) when it (Valdez) started going so well I wonder why would anyone screw it up making by it diffucult for most people, vendors and sponsors to attend, and impossible for some to attend? Sponsors, competitors, vendors and "bystanders" are the people that MAKE the entire event; so keep it rolling with the flow with what works best for the majority of these very people.

Whenever it does happen, have fun when you get there watching Paul win...Again! :D

Andy Flack

J Pyle
12-01-2010, 12:46 AM
It would work better for my schedule if they moved it, but I have already made arrangements to be off work that week. My wife and I have attended the last two years and had a blast. Trying to get more of the family to go with us.

This is the first time I've heard of the schedule change. I am always checking the Valdez Chamber of Commerce web site for confirmation of the dates.

Has the change or dates been annouced??


12-01-2010, 01:20 AM
Paul is right on the money on all points. Moving back is a mistake. As it has been it fills a nice spring weekend void and on average the weather is at its best for Valdez. You can not underestimate the significance of having Valdez follow the trade show the following weekend. Pushing it later really interferes with life. But hey, if nobody goes then maybe I might have a chance at placing :wink:

Paul Claus
12-01-2010, 02:06 AM
Thanks for all the great feed back, Keep em coming, maybe we can get this thing turned around!!

Another thought, if they are worried about Mothers Day, why not have it Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 5th, 6th, 7th???


12-01-2010, 02:06 AM
Are the powers to be of the Valdez May Day event reading this forum thread? I see a full concensous, and I agree that it is a real detriment to make the event two weeks from the Airman's Trade Show. I won't be able to do the 15th.

BTW, there was only one Mike Dodge, they threw the mold away after Mikey hatched... RIP...

Steve Pierce
12-01-2010, 08:22 AM
Wow, I was lucky enough to get to attend the Airmans show last year because very generous friends. I really wanted to attend Valdez as well and was able to make that happen by turning wrenches the week between the two events. It was a very memorable 10 days in my life. The May Day Fly-In is like no other event I have ever attended and is truly a compliment to everything Alaskan. I hope to come back but I could not afford the time away from my shop and expenses between the two events. Hope the powers that be will reconsider.

12-01-2010, 10:35 AM
Ed won't those dates conflict with your waterfoul surveys? :o Tom

12-01-2010, 05:36 PM
I would agree as well. However if the date must be moved, maybe they could consider the weekend prior to airmans instead of 2 weeks after?

Or maybe I missed the boat and got the move mixed up.

12-01-2010, 07:25 PM
Ed won't those dates conflict with your waterfoul surveys? :o Tom

HA! Now THAT is funny.... 8)

12-01-2010, 08:47 PM
Thanks for all the great feed back, Keep em coming, maybe we can get this thing turned around!!

Another thought, if they are worried about Mothers Day, why not have it Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 5th, 6th, 7th???


Paul I personally like those dates. I don't think the fact that the Valdez Fly In was on Mother's Day weekend made a difference. I have been one of the Flight Service controllers to work the event for the past two years. Both years the field was saturated with airplanes and people. I swear if any more planes showed up there wouldn't be any place to park them. So, by changing the dates, my question is why change them. The participation in the Fly In is maxed out now. I remember one time when I was a kid. I decided I was going to take apart my fly reel and recondition it. When I put it back together it didn't work correctly. I took it to my father and he replied, "Son, if it wasn't broke why did you try to fix it?" Valdez Fly In ain't broke so don't try to fix it. Oh and for those that haven't made it in the past few years. The waitresses over at the Totem are dayum good lookin. Especially the lady in red with the sombrero. :o :o :o

12-01-2010, 09:08 PM
Ed, i'm baiting you. no comment?

Paul Claus
12-01-2010, 09:14 PM

Paul I personally like those dates. I don't think the fact that the Valdez Fly In was on Mother's Day weekend made a difference.

Hi Torch,

The only negative I have ever heard of was Mothers Day, Thursday-Saturday would cure that. We might loose a few due to the weekend thing but I bet not many.

Are you still in the FSS in Kotz? If so keep your eye out for my son, he is flying for Ryan Air this winter.



12-01-2010, 09:33 PM
Ed, i'm baiting you. no comment?

He's busy getting a new paint job.. :lol:

12-01-2010, 09:37 PM

Matt 7GCBC
12-01-2010, 10:51 PM
I figured this year I could get out for the week plus...

But with it two weeks apart???? :cry:

Hydroseed season starts May 15th in Alaska, which means that we spend the week before getting ready.... so if it stays, I get one of the events only.

George, you were the one always saying you couldn't make it because of Mother's Day! Now they went and changed it just for you and you still can't get there? Pretty unappreciative you are. :)

I too would have an easier time returning to both events if they were on adjoining weekends. Don't add much to the competition tho...

12-01-2010, 11:03 PM
Spring just sucks for me...

sooooo many fish/bears/birds to chase, soooooo little time.

If I could just be indipendently wealthy and own rights to a web site :P :P :P

Maybe we should all do our own thing on Birchwood after the airman's show... Maybe Dale would do a crab cook, (that will bring Bill Duncan and Steve Pierce) and have a great time!

12-02-2010, 12:59 AM

Sounds like a good time at Birchwood :P

12-02-2010, 02:10 AM
Hi All
All the "powers that be" need to get together and discuss this. I will attend and tell you what is decided.

Originally the date was the first weekend of May. Thus the "Mayday" name. After two years the airmens decided to go on that date and that left us to go to the next weekend.

We have had people and sponsors tell us they can't come because of the Mother's Day weekend and that might be why many people leave on Saturday night and are not around Sunday.

The thinking was that going a weekend later than last year would be better for those folks. Another thought was that there would be less snow, that has limited the parking the last couple years. Going earlier wouldn't work, there is still too much snow and the weather can be a bit cold too.

There certainly are reasons to be close to the Airmen's show and they are a big draw to a lot of people. We have not had much success outside of Bushwheels, Cirrus and Cub Crafters with vendors coming over to demonstrate or sell something. There are many reasons for that, I'm sure. We do get sponsor help with other aspects from Atlee, Northern Avionics, and more and of course Mike Olson Dodge. For the record the biggest sponsor is the City of Valdez. They put in cash to cover the insurance and also provide many resources from electric connections to the trash cans. Their donation allows us to not charge admission. I'm sure I am missing some other sponsors here, I don't have the list in front of me.

There is a bit more to putting this on than a bucket of crab and a runway. Many volunteers put lots of time in planning and organizing. Lots of people, many not even pilots, help during the event. We are always looking for volunteers to lend a hand. Please let me know if interested.

We will be tweaking a couple things this year too, always hoping to improve. Let us know if any of you have more ideas too.

Stand by, we should know what is happening soon on the date. I will pass along all the reasons you all have stated to keep the original date too.

Thanks for the interest and attending the show.

12-02-2010, 06:04 AM

Thanks for the update. I know on a small scale the amount of work that goes into this kind of thing and I think you guys are doing a great job!


Steve Pierce
12-02-2010, 07:11 AM
Joe, Thanks for looking into this and all the hard work you do. It is a great event and I can only imagine the amount of work that goes into it. Shows us lower 48ers a small slice of Alaska. Hope to see you again in May of next year.

12-02-2010, 10:14 PM
In no way did I intend to make lite of the work it takes to put on this event. I apolagize if that is the way my comment sounded.

my thought was that if a bunch of us can not go to Valdez for the real show, maybe we should do a down home fly-in dinner for the fun of it.

(any one remember the Indianapolis 500/cart debacle years ago... we don't need that)

12-02-2010, 11:20 PM
PM sent but would also support keeping the "original" dates for the Valdez show

12-03-2010, 01:37 AM
I too hope that my comment was taken in the spirit it was intended. The Valdez fly in is a lot of fun becasue so many people attend. I really want to see the Valdez fly in stay as close to the airmans association event as possible just so it can be heavily attended. I als got a real kick out of listening to Paul and the Ellis brothers at the fly in last year. I just don't think the event will be nearly as much fun without some of the people who have already said they can't participate with the later dates.

12-03-2010, 02:37 AM

Paul I personally like those dates. I don't think the fact that the Valdez Fly In was on Mother's Day weekend made a difference.

Hi Torch,

The only negative I have ever heard of was Mothers Day, Thursday-Saturday would cure that. We might loose a few due to the weekend thing but I bet not many.

Are you still in the FSS in Kotz? If so keep your eye out for my son, he is flying for Ryan Air this winter.




I am still in Kotzebue. I will be there Monday. Ryan Air is right outside our window. I have met your son several times. Being an old guy I have forgot his name. Tell him to come up and visit. We always have coffee. Boyuk (Wilford Ryan) is a great guy to work for. The Ryan Air pilots are always professional and a pleasure to work with. I hope my co-worker Jim and I are selected to work Valdez again this next year. One last comment, the volunteers that work to put on this show do an outstanding job. I have seen the last two and it is a pleasure for me to work the event. I have to admit that I am a little selfish here, my work schedule permits me to be able to work Valdez and then do my normal rotation in Kotzebue. This is a big deal for the Flight Service personnel to work this event. The four of us that have done it the last two years wind up working a lot of hours and days with no time off to accomplish it. We do it because we enjoy it. If the FAA doesn't see fit to select me to work this event this next year I will be there in the Torch. That would free me up to party with yellowmaule guy. Those Ellis brothers are a hoot too.

Flying Ds
12-03-2010, 10:54 AM
http://www.supercub.org/forum/images/ranks/founder.gif http://www.supercub.org/forum/image.php?u=1365&dateline=2010 (http://www.supercub.org/forum/member.php?1365-tptailwheel)
Ed, i'm baiting you. no comment?

Tom, you have to understand that Ed reads all of these posts several times a day. Poor guy, he can read but he can't "write." Just a few minutes ago he told me about this "issue." Since he can't get himself to hunt and peck, either Steve E has to communicate for him, or he has to let me know what is going on so I can respond. He loves all of you guys. Thanks for your "support."
Charlotte Doyle (writing half of the Flying Ds)