2012 Fly-in appears to be a go

By Jason Miller
posted 4.16.12

March was a rollercoaster ride for Town of Concrete officials as the future of this year’s North Cascades Vintage Fly-in moved from certain to doubtful, then back to probable.

Questions earlier this year surrounding insurance for the event and who should pay for that coverage prompted a Feb. 29 special council meeting. During that meeting the council voted to instruct the town’s airport insurance carrier, Ebco Aviation Underwriters, to endorse the fly-in. Town attorney David Day advised the council that it would be wise to draw up a “simple contract” between the town and the fly-in organizers, which would delineate where the town’s coverage ended and the event organizers’ should begin.

Day asked fly-in organizer Jim Jenkins if he would be amenable to that, and Jenkins agreed. The event’s other organizer, Larry Mitchell, was not present at the Feb. 29 meeting.

During the March 12 regular council meeting, the fly-in contract was again discussed with Jenkins. This time Day mentioned that he had been in contact with the attorney for the Skagit Aero Education Museum, which Jenkins manages. Day and the council members believed that the contract would be between the town and the museum.

Jenkins denied this, saying the museum was not associated with the fly-in. He also stated he, personally, would not sign a contract with the town, and added, “I guess there won’t be a fly-in.”

The council deliberated over which entity would enter into the agreement with the town, a discussion that was further complicated by the fact that the fly-in organizers had not submitted an event application to the town. As of April 2, the town still had not received that application.

The tone of the meeting grew tense. At one point, Jenkins uttered an expletive and Mayor Judd Wilson asked him to leave.

After further discussion, the council decided to continue on the same course, directing Day to finish work on the contract so that Jenkins could take a look at it and see if he was willing to sign it.

The council’s regular meeting on March 26 didn’t bring much good news. Airport representative and council member Jack Mears reported that Jenkins had not returned his calls, but it was learned that the museum’s decision-maker, Jim Ladd, had been made aware of the situation. Ladd is the son-in-law of Harold Hanson, who founded the museum. Ladd also is the executor of Hanson’s estate.

Wilson spoke with Ladd during the week of March 26, and said Ladd told him that he and the museum’s attorney were looking over the contract and were likely to sign it. Wilson said the museum’s board of directors also was reviewing the contract.

“[Ladd] was very positive,” said Wilson.

The Concrete fly-in has a 28-year history, but last year the town learned that its airport insurance policy didn’t cover events. The town’s policy that all event-holders provide their own insurance led to a council discussion over whether the town should, in this case, add the event to its insurance policy.

This year’s fly-in is scheduled for July 27–29. It will run concurrently with the Cement City Street Fair.

©2013. All rights reserved.