Cottage Grove 2012

Photo's and story provided by
Don Thomson and Gerry Hampton


July 6, 2012 - July 9, 2012

Kent Koester and Tom Richardson hosted/coordinated the Northwest Swift Fly-In held at Cottage Grove, Oregon this year using the same successful format as the 2010 fly-in. As many of us remember, this is a beautiful part of Oregon with lots to do and a charming old town that welcomed us with open arms. The Oregon Aviation Historical Museum and their parking ramp was Swift Central for the weekend. The Village Green Resort is just across the street enabling Swifters easy access to their room, lounge, etc.

There were 11 Swifts parked around the hangar on Friday evening and an additional 6 came in on Saturday for a total of 18 Swifts. In addition, there were 5 “other” aircraft attendees.

Friday evening we had Mexican food at a local restaurant with good Margaritas. At dusk, we were treated to and Ernest Gann/John Wayne movie “An Island in the Sky” which all present enjoyed

The “Burrito Brothers treated us to a formation demonstration Saturday morning, and, except for arrivals, that was the extent of the flying with folks looking to stay cool and out of hot cockpits.

All weekend the weather was great—hot for Oregon with temps near 90 degrees. This made it great for one of the non-flying activities, kayaking the river around the airport. No casualties except for holes in one of the inflatable kayaks and a couple of folks getting wet after getting sideways on the rapids.

Late in the afternoon, a group shot of all the Swifts and pilots was taken with a surprise twist of a local pilot and son taking a shot from their Aeronca orbiting over the group. Don Thomson gave the young photographer a lesson in economics, marketing, and salesmanship resulting in the young man selling the 8x10 photos to the Swifters at a $5 profit per picture. Made enough to put him through college?

That evening Kent had a BBQ set up with hamburgers and salmon, both of which were very tasty. Libations were Oregon brews and vino—all also very good. Entertainment was karaoke led by the Bombshell Sisters. They were joined by most of the female Swift folk in the audience who were immediately dubbed Rosie and the Riveters. They all danced and sang, hooted and hollered, and generally had a great time much to the amusement and delight of the audience.

Departures for some on Sunday, and for others on Monday—all had a great time and are looking forward to this event 2 years hence. Job well done Kent, Tom, and crew.