It just maybe the quintessential "Old-Style" Fly-In... a
beautiful airstrip, hundreds of planes, no agendas, no schedules...
just lots of airplane lovers enjoying the company of airplane
loving people and their planes. It may be the closest thing to
airplane heaven on this side of eternity... or so we've been told.
And now that we've been there... seen the sights, caught the vibe,
enjoyed the company and just plain goofed off for the whole annual
weekend event, we gotta tell you, we can't argue with that
Every year aficionados of these antique aircraft gather at Lee
Bottom on the last Saturday of September for the Wood, Fabric and
Tailwheels Fly-In. This year marked the twelfth anniversary of the
event. The airport, near Hanover, IN, sports a newly-lengthened
4000 ft turf runway, which seems natural for the aircraft they're
trying to attract. Nestled up to the Ohio River on the
Indiana-Kentucky border, Lee Bottom resides in some of the
prettiest country in the midwest.
Staggerwings, Great Lakes, Stearmans, Swallows, Tiger Moths...
What do all these aircraft (you did know they're aircraft didn't
you) have in common? Well, they're all made with wood and fabric,
and they all have tailwheels. And, of course, they can all be seen
at Lee Bottom Flying Field (64I) each September (and on many other
A privately-owned airport certified by the FAA, Lee Bottom is
open to the public. Originally established in the 1930's, Lee
Bottom has maintained its reputation as a haven for barnstormers
and those-daring-young-men-in-their-flying-machines kind of pilots
even today. The airport is located at the home of Ginger and Rich
Davidson. They host the event in their back yard (which
happens to be a public use airport) along with help from their
immediate family members and a growing list of volunteers. Rich and
wife Ginger own and manage Lee Bottom -- but "no more than they
have to." According to their website, "We cater to vintage aircraft
and the preservation of our type of airport for the current
generation, the next generation, and those that follow."
Rich and Ginger purchased the airfield from its previous owner
Fritz Hagemann, only after agreeing to a promise. That promise?
Simple, Lee Bottom must always remain an airport. The promise is
what drives the Davidson's to keep the airport's atmosphere true to
All aircraft are welcome at the fly-in. In fact, it's only $10
per person, and that covers the whole darned weekend. There's as
little "organization" as possible... Aircraft will park in order of
arrival and if you 'must' drive, (auto) parking is limited, so one
has to get there early. For those who want to make a weekend out of
it, attendees are welcome to camp on the field. Remember, folks...
It's always the last Saturday of September -- So go ahead and mark
your calendar for the next 10 years (or so).