Sun 'n Fun 2004

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The Best Roll Out Their Best

A bit damp, a bit breezy, but well worth the wait. Revised figures for past years' attendance suggest we'll see about 160,000 aircraft lovers wandering the grounds of Lakeland Linder Regional airport this year. The impact on the local economy should reach toward $27 million ... on the positive side. And while there will be no roll-out of the Sport Pilot rule at the air show, and the economy (plus nasty world-changing events we've grown tired of mentioning) has flushed the fields of those brand new design hopefuls so prevalent in years past, still, the scene this year is uniquely refreshing. If it's true that the strong survive, recent history mandates that pretty much all that made it to this year's show is the cream that's risen to the top ... or maybe just those that managed to not sink to the bottom. There are exceptions to prove the rule, but for the most part, those that are left are the real deal. To kick off the air show season in the East, it just doesn't get much better than Sun 'n Fun.