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Airport hosts international pilot convention
web 0902 Airport fly in
Comanche aircraft decorate the parking lot at MidCoast Regional Airport on Fort Stewart, where the International Comanche Society is hosting its membership convention. - photo by Timothy Byler

The MidCoast Regional Airport is a buzz this week as officials welcome and network with members of the International Comanche Society. Pilots and enthusiasts from around the world gathered at the Hinesville/Fort Stewart airport for the 2011 ICS General Membership Convention.

The Comanche is a four-seater, low-wing airplane with retractable landing gear that is manufactured by Piper Aircraft Inc. It entered production in 1957 and continued in various configurations until 1972, when the production line was destroyed by Hurricane Agnes. It was produced as a single-engine airplane and later was made available as a twin engine.

The 2011 convention drew 25 Comanche airplanes and 80 guests, who traveled from across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, The Isle of Man and Australia. 

ICS President Bernie Mazurek said Fort Stewart’s airport factored into the organization’s decision to meet there. “MidCoast has a beautiful facility that easily accommodated our event. The FBO (fixed-based operations) is fantastic.  Mr. Martin, the FBO manager, has been great. In fact, everyone we have encountered this week has been courteous and friendly,” Mazurek said.

The only drawback, he said, is MidCoast’s distance from Savannah, where many guests are lodging. “But,” he added, “the drive turned out to be very scenic and enjoyable. It was definitely worth the trip.”

Convention activities include a seminar on issues related to Comanche ownership, maintenance and operation; a luncheon catered by Shane’s Rib Shack; and several tours, including a visit to the Grumman Gulfstream plant and Savannah. The convention will conclude with an awards banquet.

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