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Tue, Aug. 04

'Thunder Over the Coconino' is Aug. 28 at Valle Airport
Sixth annual event to feature warbirds, car show, antique tractors and more

VALLE, Ariz. - Working with local EAA Chapter 856, Grand Canyon Valle Airport (40G) will hold its sixth annual "Thunder Over the Coconino" Fly-In and Car Show on Aug. 28 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. This superb northern Arizona aviation event will feature among other unique airplanes, the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor N414H, which is housed at Valle Airport.

N414H is one of a handful of Ford Tri-Motors still flying today, and was acquired in 1977 by John Seibold, owner of Grand Canyon Valle Airport, former co-owner of Grand Canyon Airlines and founder of the modern Scenic Airlines.

This plane has seen a lot of history along its 80 years in service. Some of which was, being featured in the movie "To Be Or Not To Be" starring Mel Brooks. Also, in November of 2003, at the request of the city of Phoenix, N414H participated in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the first flight in a Ford Tri-Motor from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport where Grand Canyon Airlines (originally known as Scenic Airways) flew on November 18, 1928.

Not only is there the excitement of the annual fly-in, but also featured will be antique airplanes, warbirds, homebuilt planes, and a car show with tons of great vehicles, antique tractor display, vendors and much more family fun. Also available at the event will be free plane rides for youth, ages 8-17, sponsored by the EAA Young Eagles Program. This is a fantastic introductory program for youth interested in getting into the world of aviation.

Valle Airport (40G) is just 25 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park located at the junction of SR 64 and US 180 (32 miles north of Interstate 40 and Old Route 66). Valle Airport is on the main road to Grand Canyon's South Rim - the scenic heart of the canyon, and includes not only the deepest part of the canyon, but the majestic grandeur of one of the Natural Wonders of the World.

This year's fly-in will feature an appearance by Sport Pilot Jessica Cox, of Tucson. At birth, Cox was born without arms, and from infancy her feet became her hands. She now flies airplanes, drives cars, and otherwise lives a normal life using her feet as others use their hands. She is the first and only sport pilot in aviation to fly with no arms. Cox will share her amazing story and how her fearlessness helped her to achieve a sport pilot license. Visit her website at

Included in the event admission fee is free entry to the famous Planes of Fame Air Museum, located at Valle Airport. The museum houses a fascinating collection of some antiques, warbirds and homebuilts, including "Bataan", the Lockheed C-121A Constellation that once served as General Douglas MacArthur's personal transport plane.

Also at the event, for a separate fee, rides will be offered to the public on N414H Ford Tri-Motor, a P-51 Mustang and helicopters. Early arrivals will be able to take advantage of a pancake breakfast, proceeds that will benefit the local Volunteer Fire Department.

For more information contact Norm Gobeil at Valle Airport (928) 635-5280 or visit their website at

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