The 2017 High-Desert Fly-In took place at the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport, 701 Airport Road, on Saturday, September 16, from 7 am to 12 noon. Admission was free and residents, tourists, and pilots were invited to Winslow’s historic airport to enjoy airplanes, history, food, and more!

Once again, the High Desert Fly-In Committee kicked off this year’s event with the Fly Back in Time Gala in the airport’s historic hangar on Friday, September 15, the evening before the Fly-In. Gala tickets were available for $25 at the Winslow Visitors Center or from a link on the High Desert Fly-In Website.

Guests entered the hangar — beautifully decorated by the Winslow Public Library – and were greeted and given door-prize tickets by members of the Helldorado Girls, a nonprofit women’s group.

Gala attendees were invited to travel back in time by dressing in period attire and trying for a prize in the Vintage Threads Contest. Awards were given to an individual, a couple, and a group. Guests also listened and danced to the nostalgic sounds of the Big Band Connection from Flagstaff. Since the early 1990s, some of Northern Arizona’s most outstanding musicians have entertained audiences with swing and jazz classics made famous by band leaders such as Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Harry James, and Glenn Miller.

A catered buffet dinner was served at 7 pm, and the band performed until 9 pm. Guests helped themselves to free retro candy at the Candy Terminal provided by the Winslow Chamber of Commerce. The City of Winslow provided free photos by Deborah Allen Photography that became available online after the gala. Guests also bid in the High Desert Silent Auction on items donated by local businesses and individuals. The Auction closed the next morning at 11 am, during the Fly-In.

The next morning, attendees took a shuttle from the free parking along Airport Road to the free High Desert Fly-In. The Winslow Rotary Club hosted a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9 am for $6 per person. High Desert Fly-In polo shirts were also be on sale.

Attendees were allowed on the tarmac to view the visiting aircraft, which included general aviation planes and medical transport aircraft owned by Guardian Air and Aerocare. The Just Cruis’n Car Club host a Mini Show-and-Shine of vintage automobiles, including the 1940 Seagraves fire truck owned by the Winslow Historical Society. The airport also offered First Flights, complimentary plane rides that introduced 41 youngsters to aviation. There was also a 9 am ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Runway 4-22.

Inside the historic hangar, the Flying Fun Kids Area included several hands-on activities provided by the Winslow Public Library, a telescope from the Winslow-Homolovi Observatory, and an interactive World Travel Map where kids of all ages pinned their favorite travel destinations. The High Desert Silent Auction continued from 7 to 11 am, when the bidding closed and bidders collected their items.

The Flying Through History Area included the Old Trails Museum’s Flying through History: The Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport exhibit and The Swamp Ghost and World War II exhibit. Historian Erik Berg talked with attendees about his artifacts and writings on aviation in the Southwest; former Civil Air Patrol instructor Dale Mansfield talked about his display of World War I aircraft models; and Steve Owens from the Grants Museum talked about his display .

Find us on Facebook, or go to High Desert Fly-In Website at for the latest details on all the happenings, where you can check out Venuti Film’s video of the 2016 Fly Back in Time Gala. Thank you for your support!













In conjunction with the 2017 Fly Back in Time Gala and High Desert Fly-In on September 15 and 16, the Old Trails Museum offered its 2017 Fall History Highlight on Thursday, September 14, at 7 pm at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, 523 West Second Street. Historian Erik Berg gave a free presentation of Coast to Coast in 48 Hours!: Winslow and America’s First Transcontinental Airline Service.

Berg’s presentation examined Winslow’s pioneering role in Southwest aviation using original research and featuring rarely-seen historic photographs and movie clips. In 1928, famous aviators Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart joined businessmen Clement Keys and Paul Henderson to revolutionize America’s air passenger service with an ambitious new firm called the Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) Company. Known as the “Lindbergh Line” and promising the nation’s first cross-country passenger service from New York to Los Angeles, TAT laid the foundation for many aspects of modern air travel and would later evolve into Trans World Airlines (TWA).

As a key stop on TAT’s cross-country route, Winslow was the site of one of the Southwest’s most advanced early airports and hosted a steady stream of wealthy and famous passengers. Over the course of the following year, Winslow’s airport played a part in many important TAT-related events: the development of one of the world’s most famous aircraft; the tragic wreck of the City of San Francisco on Mount Taylor; the pioneering use of aircraft for archaeology; and the little-known flying monkey publicity stunt. Today, the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport is the best preserved of the original TAT airfields and an important landmark in aviation history.

Erik Berg is an award-winning writer and historian with a special interest in science and technology in the early twentieth century Southwest. His work has been featured in Astronomy, Arizona Highways, Journal of Arizona History, Journal of the Society of Commercial Archaeology, Sedona Magazine, and the book Arizona Goes to War: The Home Front and the Front Lines during World War II.  Raised in Flagstaff and based in Phoenix, Berg is a graduate of the University of Arizona and a past president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society. He has been exploring, hiking, and researching the Southwest for over thirty years.

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