Fly-in gets state award

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Socorro’s M Mountain Fly-In has been named “Airshow of the Year” by the New Mexico Airport Managers Association, according to a report by the New Mexico Aviation Division.

Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain: The UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter made an appearance for Socorro aviation fans at this year’s M Mountain Fly-in.

The Fly-In, held at Socorro Municipal Airport last Sept. 29-30, featured a World War II B-17G bomber, a U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter, airplane rides and numerous vintage and homebuilt aircraft.

The 2012 Socorro event also was the final stop for the New Mexico Centennial Air Tour, organized by the New Mexico Pilots Association.

In this air tour, pilots visited numerous airports around the state to celebrate New Mexico’s statehood centennial. Over the Fly-In’s two days, hundreds of visitors enjoyed the aircraft displays, flights by the B-17G and other aircraft, demonstrations by skydivers from Skydive New Mexico, and other attractions.

“We had a huge crowd this year and they enjoyed many great features, so it’s very gratifying to see this award recognizing the hard work of the many volunteers who made it possible,” said Fly-in co-organizer Laura Haines.

“We feel honored to receive such an award after only five years of this event. The award is an honor for those who work for months in advance to make the event happen, and also for the great support we get from the city and other organizations in town,” co-organizer Dave Finley said.

In addition to the city, the event received strong support from the Socorro Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, New Mexico Tech and the Socorro Chile Proppers.

Socorro Municipal Airport Manager Jay Santillanes accepted the award from Jim Montman, president of the New Mexico Airport Managers Association, at the annual New Mexico Aviation Conference in Ruidoso.