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Sun, Apr 04, 2010

Alaska Airman's Association Finalizes Trade Show Plans

Organizers Expecting Numerous Static Displays And "Hundreds" Of Vendors

The Alaska Airmen's Association Tradeshow and Convention is coming up May 1st and 2nd, and expects to draw over 21,000 people to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport for the free event.

The trade show offers static displays of popular Alaskan aircraft such as various models of the Piper Super Cub and others. Other popular vendors offer add-ons like tundra tires, skis, floats and all the modifications possible for Bush flying in the north.

Alaska Airman's Association Executive Director Dee Hanson (pictured, above) says the GA business in Alaska has not felt the effects of the slow economy. "Things may have slowed down for the rest of the country but we are not seeing it here in Alaska," she said. "Last year we had 250 vendors and five of those grossed between $50-100,000 in sales, so you can see Alaskans are spending money on aviation related items."

Aircraft manufacturers like Aviat, Beechcraft, Cessna, Pilatus to name a few are regular aircraft static displays. The show also features military aircraft used in Alaska by the 11th Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard and FedEx and UPS aircraft open for public viewing. To support the Begich Build-a-plane project, this year students from Begich Middle School will learn rib-stitching and how to use Cekonite fabric from John Goldenbaum using Poly Fiber techniques in booths set up next to each other on the trade show floor.

The 2010 Trade Show is supported by FedEx, UPS, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and Alaskan Brewing Company and a host of other sponsors. This year the trade show will offer wi-fi Internet provided by Clearwire for exhibitors and participants at the show.

The highlight of the weekend is the raffle of a Piper Super Cub rebuilt by Dan's Aircraft repair on Sunday May 2nd. The Cub, valued at $140,000, will be raffled at 5 p.m. "This aircraft comes with Tundra Tires, Landis skis, Aerocet floats and lots of other modification," said Hanson, who indicated that ticket sales are brisk. She said 7,500 tickets will be printed with single ticket prices of $50 or a special five tickets for $225. "Some people are reluctant to buy tickets because they are afraid of the winner's tax on the airplane," said Hanson. " But shoot all you have to do is sell the floats, or skis, or get a loan from the bank to pay the tax."

Alaska is the "flyingest" state in the union with more pilots and aircraft per capita than anywhere in the world. The Alaska Airmen's Association Trade Show and Convention is the largest and best known aviation trade show in Alaska. Now in its 14th season, Hanson says this is Alaska's premier, must-see aviation event with attendance for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.



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