Los Andes Air Club fly-in and air festival circles Aconcagua valley
|Wednesday 23 October 2013||Text by Carlos Ay under Air shows & aviation events|
Sponsored by the Los Andes City and Valparaiso Region governments, Los Andes Air Club (Club Aéreo de Los Andes) held a two-day fly-in and air festival on 5-6 October 2013. The event was part of a crowded civil aviation weekend in Central Chile, coinciding with people’s flight rides at Curacaví (80 km. to the Southwest) and nearby “Victory of Chacabuco” (27 Km. to the South, see also “People’s flying rides at Chacabuco raise funds for charities”).
The hosting institution was flying Cessna 172s CC-KAD, CC-PJL and CC-PKQ and Cessna 206 CC-KAJ. Other residents noted included Rafael Reyes Ltd. PA-36 Pawnee Braves CC-CVQ (static display) and CC-CFR plus an unidentified Cessna 188 (the last two were stored at the local crop spraying firm’s home base).
Visitors from other airfields included American Champion Decathlon CC-KSQ (Santiago Air Club, flew aerobatic demonstrations), Cessna 150s CC-KFA (San Felipe Air Club) and CC-KWR (Vitacura Glider Club), Cessna 172s CC-ADH (Santiago Air Club), CC-CGV, CC-CIT and CC-KNB (San Antonio Air Club), Cessna 182 CC-AHM (Carabineers Personnel Air Club), PA-22 Colt CC-PAG, PA-32 Saratoga CC-NEA (Calama Air Club, c/n 32R-8529011 checked), PA-28 Cherokee CC-PPQ plus one registration not noted, Rans RV-8 CC-PXG (assembled locally by Fernando Abasolo Santibañez), and T-34 Mentors CC-KST (c/n CG19 checked) plus one registration not noted (both Santiago Air Club).
Officially named the “2nd Los Andes Air and People’s Flights Festival” (“Segundo Festival Aéreo y Vuelos Populares de Los Andes”), the show took place at the air club’s home base in “San Rafael” airfield (SCAN), bordering the old international route to Argentina in the Northeastern outskirst of Los Andes (70 Km. North of Santiago). Tickets sold for US $ 2 and car parking fees (right under final approach to runway 23!) were also charged US $ 2, with visitors being able to visit a general interest exhibition, witness fly-in activities, watch several aircraft on static display and eventually purchase US $ 18 tickets for flight rides on board local or visiting three-passenger aircraft. Flights were made in blocks of four aircraft taking off sequentially from runway 23, flying Southwest to the Auco sanctuary, then Northeast towards the Eastern outskirsts of Los Andes, next Northwest over San Esteban so as to get into final apporach to San Rafael field across river Aconcagua.
Even though it brought no aircraft to the show, Air Force (FACH, or Fuerza Aérea de Chile) also made a token presentation by showing Mistral anti-aircraft missiles systems (both tripod-based and vehicle-mounted) from Quintero Air Base and a Search and Rescue Service stand inside the club’s hangar. Also participating were radio-controlled modellers from “Aconcaguan Condors Club” (“Club Cóndores del Aconcagua”), local artisans and merchants and a family-run food court selling sandwiches, Chilean-style patties (“empanadas”) and non-alcoholic beverages. According to Sergio Díaz W., pilot member and boarding area coordinator for the show, 1,200 tickets were sold to people attending the show, with 540 of them taking part in people’s flying rides throughout the weekend. Proceeds from the event are destined to fund acquisition of one more Cessna 172SP for the club.
Bibliography: R. W. Simpson: Airlife’s General Aviation (Airlife Publishing, England, 1995). Internet sources: Club Aéreo de Los Andes (official), DGAC Chile (official), ModoCharlie and Virtualiners (Carlos Valle blog). Acnowledgements: Guillermo Acerbi contributed to this report.