Enter Now For Chance To Land At Edwards AFB

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The dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base in California has seen lots of aviation history in the making, and on Oct. 1 another first will take place there -- a fly-in for general aviation aircraft. Just 100 pilots will be drawn by lottery to land on the 21-square-mile Rosamond Dry Lake, which has been the site of aviation research and testing for more than 50 years. Historic events at Edwards include the Bell X-1 tests that first broke the sound barrier and the first landings of the space shuttle. Pilots can enter the lottery online, but must meet strict criteria, including a minimum of 200 hours of flight time, liability insurance, and a background check. Only single- and twin-engine GA aircraft are permitted, no jets, gliders, LSAs or helicopters; warbirds will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Pilots must be prepared for high and gusty winds, and must be willing to land on dry packed mud. Click here to review the requirements and enter; the drawing will be held Sept. 10, but due to the overwhelming response, applications for most pilots must be in by 5 p.m. California time on Thursday, Aug. 26.

The only exceptions to that deadline are warbird and Civil Air Patrol applicants. The fly-in will feature a pancake breakfast, a briefing from the Air Force Flight Test Center commander on the mission and current programs, a detailed explanation of the R-2508 airspace surrounding the base, techniques on navigating the airspace and avoiding traffic conflicts, a presentation on women in the flight test community, and a catered lunch. The only fee is $25 for the two meals. There is a possibility of a military aerial demonstration and static display. Drive-in visitors are also welcome to the event, but each person in the car also must pre-register online by Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. Those applications also may have to be capped, so don't delay. Anyone attempting to enter without prior permission, by either land or air, will be turned away, the Air Force says.

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