An old tradition brought back to Fowler Air Field.
For the first time in over 20 years, members of the Fowler Air Field Association hosted a fly-in, or gathering of area pilots. Individuals and families from all over southeastern Colorado flew into the Fowler Air Field Saturday morning where they visited and enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage. Fifty-two people from locales including Lamar, Pueblo and Ellicot attended arriving in 17 planes as well as a few who drove in. Rocky DeVencenty, Pueblo businessman, made an entrance in his PT17 Steerman, using the smoke function on his plane and soaring over the airstrip a couple of times before landing. Later in the day his farewell was even more spectacular with three barrel rolls on his way out.
One of the youngest flyers on Saturday was 10 year-old Dominic Bellino who came with his dad, Nick from Florence. The youngster took his turn at the controls for a short time, flying from Penrose to Pueblo. The oldest pilot in attendance, at 82 years old, was Fowler man, Emil Rogge who has been flying since 1950. The pilot traveling the farthest was Dan Farmer from Ellicot, a frequent visitor to the air field.
Many years ago, fly-ins were regular events at the airport located south of Fowler on Highway 167. “It was pretty exciting to see all those planes landing out there,” says Larry White whose father was a member of the Association.
More recently though, the Fowler Air Field is associated with Doss Aviation, a company based out of Colorado Springs specializing in, among other things, flight training. Fowler Air Field contracted with Doss Aviation several years ago to provide a runway for student pilots. Now, on almost any given weekday visitors to the airport may watch training planes take off and land throughout the day. However, many local residents still own hangars there and fly out of the facility.
Saturday's breakfast was hosted in the Jet Stream Ag hangar, belonging to Sam Rogge. Cooks were Gary Rogge, his mother Olive, and Jill Rogge. Olive said she recognized one of the attendees Saturday morning from fly-ins years ago and was told the family still has a Fowler Air Field Association t-shirt. They promised to send the shirt to the Rogges as a keepsake. The Association says they hope to bring fly-ins back as a regular event at the airport.