Cessna L-19 captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

Fly-ins are not airshows even though there is plenty of aircraft in the skies. They are often not advertised to the general public, only to the aviation community so go under the radar for most though there are lots of them every weekend around the country during the flying season. The big difference is at fly-ins there is no schedule of acts taking to the skies just things like the floor drop, there are a whole lot fewer people, often more unique and rare aircraft and they are free (still have the great food though). Fly-ins can be just a morning for a pancake breakfast or a whole weekend with folks camping under their wings. What they are is a whole lot of socializing talking about planes with access to some very cool and often rare aircraft. This was the 44th Three Forks Fly-in put on by the Montana Antique Aircraft Association. Jake’s been going there for years and finally we got to take part in the fun and wow, what a great weekend!

PT-17 Stearman captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

Jake had already worked his magic attending the fly-in for years and knew most of the folks so it was pretty darn easy to meet people. The first morning though we were on our own so Sharon & I did what we normally do at such events, came hours before it started, sat and watched the activity, and when a helping hand was needed, we lent it. Before we knew it, we were invited to the hangar dinner that night for volunteers and volunteered to documents and supply photos for the day. That lead to introductions so when Jake came, we knew some folks but he knew them all, and then was the best part. “Oh, you’re Jake’s parents!” With that, all the doors opened up. There are some great aircraft tucked away in the hangars in Three Forks and neighboring Bozeman. Heck, I got access to the MiG 29 that is now flying out of Bozeman! Yeah, at a small town fly-in in Three Forks I gained access to that amazing aircraft and that’s the point. Yes, there were some good moments for some great aircraft photography at the fly-in. But it’s getting to know the folks and the opportunities that presents and leads to presenting the promise of even grander aviation photography in the future.

I handed out a dozen or so business cards. I sent out about twenty or so images from the event to a number of plane owners. And started to lay the plans for air-to-air events in the near future. The best part, made some new friends of MT neighbors. All in all a great weekend in a small town with big heart and gorgeous aircraft.


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