This weekend trike pilots from all over the Pacific Northwest will be landing at the Stevensville Airport for the seventh annual PNW Fly-In. According to trike pilot and event organizer Tom Tabbert, it promises to be a fun week for all the pilots and the local residents.
The ultra-light Trike is a type of powered hang glider with a fabric flex-wing from which is suspended a tricycle fuselage pod driven by a pusher propeller. The pod accommodates either a solo pilot, or a pilot and a single passenger. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors.
Trike planes will be arriving en masse at the Stevensville Airport on Saturday, July 14, according to Tabbert and an Open House is planned for Sunday, July 15th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. He urged those interested to bring the whole family.
“You’ll get to kick the tires of our trikes and talk to pilots about our sport,” said Tabbert, “and, if you are so inclined, there will be instructors available to sign up for your own introductory flight. You can see for yourself firsthand what all the excitement is about.”
If you weren’t excited about trikes before meeting Tabbert, you most likely will be afterward talking with him. His excitement is contagious.
Tabbert is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Geology but his career led him to a tenure flying in the Navy aboard the USS Nimitz carrier before settling into his current career as a company consultant for knee and hip replacement.
Then he started flying trikes and his passion for flying and for geology collided and, the next thing you know, he’s tracking the flows of Ice Age floods across the Northwest from Montana through Idaho to Washington.
Working with the Ice Age Institute, he has produced a series of videos in which he flies over the area ravaged by the series of floods unleashed by the repeated draining of Glacial Lake Missoula as the ice dam at Lake Pend d’Oreille broke on successive occasions. He offers breathtaking views as he flies over, around and through some of the most profoundly impacted landscapes on the face of the earth.
Although it is available on YouTube, Tabbert is providing a personal presentation on a big screen at The Living Centre in Stevensville on Thursday, July 19, starting at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s geared towards the whole family and is terrific on the big screen,” he said.