Van's Aircraft Total Performance RV Kit Planes

Van's Homecoming

2017 Independence Fly-In and Vans Homecoming
Will be held on August 18-21, 2017

It is hosted by EAA Chapter 292 and Van's Aircraft
at the
Independence State Airport (7S5)
Independence, Oregon

EAA Chapter 292 Homecoming information page


Aerial views of Idependence Fly In site.
Photos courtesy of Jim Hubele


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Van's Homecoming Heritage

Jeremy Benedict

Van’s Homecoming Fly-in is the centerpiece of the RV pilot’s year. It was usually held on the Labor Day weekend, pilots and builders of RVs were invited to Sunset Airpark for three days of food, fellowship and flying. In 1998, one hundred and thirty one RVs arrived from all over the USA and Canada (for the first time in three years an RV did NOT fly in from Australia!) Some had flown from the East Coast, others from the Maritime Provinces, some from airports four miles away.

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Saturday night, Van’s backyard was filled with RV builders who had flown or driven in with their families for the catered Backyard Buffet. Hundreds of people ate, talked and walked up and down the strip, examining airplanes. It was easy to see who was building what! New builders clustered around the tail, those partially through their wing kits were looking at both the top and bottom of the wings and builders deep into the Finishing Kit were pleading for owners to take their cowls off and show how they’d installed the engine. Photos were taken, sketches made, techniques explained.

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Sunday, the day was filled with organized fly-outs to Mt. St. Helens, the Oregon Coast, and various scenic spots, usually with restaurants. By evening, everyone was back and getting cleaned up for the more formal Banquet, held at a near-by club. Van and several members of his staff spoke, talking about their roles in the company and what the future might hold. Many builders were recognized for outstanding achievements or workmanship. (Several had flown their second or third RV projects.) At least one wedding was announced.

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Monday was get-away day. Many pilots were planning trips of 1500 miles or more, but there was still time for saying good-bye to old friends and exchanging addresses and phone numbers with new ones. All morning long, RVs departed into a bright blue Oregon sky and turned for home, wings waggling.




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