Sun 'n Fun Takes Off: New Arrivals, New Aircraft

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How It Sounded In The Tower

With the weekend on its way and the sun finally blazing down in all its Florida exuberance, Sun 'n Fun started to live up to its name yesterday as the clouds disappeared, Wednesday's relentless winds died down, and the sky filled with airplanes. "Move! Move! Move!" was the mantra on the tower frequency, as a breathless controller tried to keep the flow going, with arrivals and departures all crowding onto the same busy runway. "Taxi! Taxi! Taxi! As fast as you can without taking off!" And squeak-squeak, there's a little red taildragger touching down and racing by on its front gear, a "mixmaster" hot on its heels, a gallant (certified) Seawind going around, a Cirrus on short final, while a tall yellow crane plucks a sorry warbird by the tail from the grassy verge, where it ran afoul of the runway edge. "No rubbernecking! Move, move, move! YOU, doing the 360, don't EVER do that again!" Just listening to the radio was enough to scare any sane person out of the sky, but the pattern stayed busy till it was time to shut down for the two o'clock airshow. The wisest visitors were those who found a grassy spot by the turnoff from the taxiway, settled in with a cool drink and a shady hat, turned off the radio, and simply watched and listened and soaked in the sun as airplane after airplane after airplane rolled by, props spinning, canopies ajar to catch a fresh breeze, pilots intent, all shapes and sizes and colors and sounds, gleaming under the bright blue sky.