Severe Storms Ground Airport Fly-in Contest

June 28--ENID, Okla. -- A spot landing contest has been postponed to next month's fly-in at Enid Woodring Regional Airport.

Severe storms threatened general aviation craft that might have attended the fly-in Saturday morning. By 8:30 a.m., the airport's restaurant, Barnstormer's, was full for the breakfast buffet, but it was mainly locals.

Airport Director Dan Ohnesorge said most of the pilots who would have flown to Enid for fun Saturday aren't certified for bad weather conditions.

A line of thunderstorms was on its way toward Enid, and those who could have made it likely didn't want to take the risk. "It's no big deal. People can still fly in anyway if they want to, but we're just not having the spot landing contest," he said.

The airport hosts a fly-in every month from March through October, and it's usually on the fourth Saturday of the month.

"Of course in the winter months, it's very counterproductive to try to do it," Ohnesorge said.

If the weather hadn't turned bad, the pilots could have competed in a precision landing competition. Ohnesorge said a chalk line, similar to those put on a baseball field, would be drawn across a runway.

"The pilots are in the pattern," he said. "It's usually three or four aircraft, and they're allowed to do three approaches to try to touch down."

The landings are filmed and then graded; the pilot who put their plane down nearest the line wins. Ohnesorge joked that he doesn't allow bouncing to the chalk line. "If they touched and then touch, it's got to be the first touch. None of that cheatin' stuff," he said.

The spot landing competition will be held July 26 at the next fly-in. A poker run, with pilots acquiring a hand over several airports, will be in September.

On good fly-in days, the airport can see 30 visiting craft landing in Enid, Ohnesorge said.

Copyright 2014 - Enid News & Eagle, Okla.