SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo - March 31 - April 5, 2020

Warbird Activities 2019-04-12T22:07:21+00:00

Warbird Activities


SUN’ N FUN FLY-IN, LAKELAND, FL. April 2 – 7, 2019


Greetings, Fellow Warbirds!

The SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus is already buzzing, getting ready for the 45th annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are returning this year, and we have a great lineup of some of the world’s finest military and civilian performers to round out what promises to be another record-breaking year. Naturally, we’ll need a big representation of WARBIRDS to satisfy our audience, so make your plans now to come on down and enjoy Aviation’s Season Opener with us here in Lakeland!

To update you on the evolution of SUN ‘n FUN’ Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), consider this: with your help, we have awarded more than 170 primary flight training full scholarships to local high school students. Over 150 have soloed, and more than 80 have achieved their private pilot’s license to date at no cost to them! SUN ‘n FUN awards two of these scholarships every month at a value of $12,000 each, then we mentor each recipient closely to ensure their success. We also have awarded more than 50 4-year college scholarships at a value of $5000/year each. 

If you have not had the chance to meet some of these remarkable young people, I encourage you to ask! They are right here alongside you during the Fly-In, volunteering as ambassadors and showcasing the positive impact that your contributions are having as we develop the next generation of aerospace professionals. I also highly recommend a tour of the Lakeland Aero Club while you are here. The members of the largest high school flying club in the world have several vintage aircraft restoration projects underway, and you might even get a turn in their $125,000 full-motion Redbird Simulator that they built themselves!

The changes here over the past few years are dramatic, and only the beginning of our potential. Your ongoing support has been critical in this new era, and on behalf of everyone here at SUN ‘n FUN / ACE I’d like to extend our warmest thanks and an enthusiastic invitation to join us again in 2019. SUN ‘n FUN is proud to be your partner, and we remain committed to building the Warbirds community and sharing your efforts to Keep ‘em Flying!

Blue Skies,

Greg Gibson
CMO / Airshow Director
SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In
(863) 904-4041



Pilots can find the 2019 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In NOTAM, several weeks before the event, online at: or, or phone the SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In at 863-644-2431.

Lakeland ATC will operate from 07:00 – 19:30 EDT. The SUN ‘n FUN aircraft parking area (south side of the airport) is closed from 19:30 – 07:00 EDT. Warbird type aircraft arriving after 19:15 EDT will be parked at the FBO ramp until the following morning. Consult the NOTAM for more information.

Contact Lakeland Tower on frequency 118.65 MHz when ten (10) nm miles south of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Pilot should state “Warbird south arrival, color and type aircraft, position”.  The FAA asks that all pilots do a final radio check upon arrival to check for inadvertent ELT activation. All aircraft at the fly-in must be tied down, or chocked if on paved areas. Pilots must place tie-down augers into the ground if parked in turf areas. NOTE: BRING YOUR OWN TIE-DOWN EQUIPMENT AND/OR CHOCKS…ALL AIRCRAFT MUST BE TIED DOWN or CHOCKED.

Pilots flying large, multi-engine warbird type aircraft to the 2019 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In are asked to contact the Warbirds Line Chief, Doug Freeman at (863) 397-5957 for aircraft parking configuration.


Enterprise Car Rental’s onsite office will be located on the south side of James C. Ray Dr. (formerly Doolittle Road), just south of the Onsite Tram Depot and SUN ‘n FUN Drive (Subject to change, updated info will be available at Warbirds Registration upon arrival.)

Enterprise Rental Car Lakeland Branch Office: 863-647-0866 – Option #4, SUN ‘n FUN account code is   XZ42H23

Visit: for online rental car reservation information.


EAA Warbirds of America has secured a room block at the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites Conference Center, 4141 S. Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL.  Contact the hotel at (863) 647-3000.  Ask for the EAA Warbirds room block/rate, using the code:  SUN EAA.  Call as soon as possible – space is limited.   

Pilots are requested to carry a copy of the 2019 SUN ‘n FUN NOTAM aboard their aircraft. No radio (NORDO) aircraft are NOT AUTHORIZED (except ultralights).
The airport is closed during the daily air show. Consult the NOTAM for specific dates & times of airport closures, along with air traffic information. Tune to ATIS frequency 118.025 for updates. Warbird pilots can communicate with the Warbirds Line Crew on 125.025 MHz. Please use this frequency to obtain information, directions, and assistance, especially to request the presence of Warbirds Line Crew members before starting engines.

Helicopter operations into/out of the Warbirds area will be kept to a minimum. Those planning to fly warbird type helicopters in for display should follow the NOTAM procedures for helicopters. Plan to arrive at “Choppertown”, and then shut down. Contact Warbirds Line Crew on 125.025 MHZ or phone the Warbirds Line Chief, Doug Freeman at (863) 397-5957, after shut down. All transfers to the warbirds area MUST be coordinated in advance. Note: Pilots should bring all necessary ground movement equipment or towing wheels. (In the event taxiing under power is not available)

The Warbirds Line Crew must be present for engine start-up, both for crowd control and fire fighting purposes. Please contact the Warbirds Line Crew on 125.025 MHz shortly before your planned engine start.

NOTE: The Warbird Ramp is now completely static, with no dedicated active areas at any time. Aircraft participating in the daily airshow that are parked on the Ramp will either be tugged into the pit area prior to the show, or started on the Ramp with crowd control and security in place.

Starting on the ramp for general departures must be arranged with the Line Crew so that the startup area can be sanitized. Please use caution and always get confirmation of your startup approval prior to boarding your aircraft for departure if you are parked on the Warbird Ramp.




For full hookup / general camping information, see

Any individuals who would like to volunteer to work in the Warbird Area at SUN ‘n FUN should contact Robin McFarland, Volunteer Coordinator, at (863) 644-2431, ext. 144, or email

Sheltair Aviation (863) 647-3911 will provide fuel at Lakeland Airport. Fuel trucks are available upon request in the Warbird area and will be available upon recovery to the Warbirds area, after the air show. Pilots are responsible for payment of their fuel purchases.

If pilots wish to be reimbursed for fuel used during the daily air show, be sure that you possess at least a commercial airman certificate with a current 2nd class medical. Acceptance of fuel reimbursement or smoke oil without those certificates could lead to FAA enforcement. If you do not have these certificates, you may still fly in the air shows, but you may not be reimbursed for your fuel or smoke oil.

If you participate in the daily air shows and possess at least a commercial airman certificate and a 2nd class medical, your section leader will record information with the Air Show Fuel Coordinator, in order to reimburse you for the actual time flown in the daily air show(s). Reimbursement checks are mailed to the air show pilots several weeks after the event.

In order to fly in the daily air shows, NEW air show participants are required to attend one of the Warbird briefing sessions entitled “Flying at SUN ‘n FUN for the First Time”. This briefing may also be a good refresher for veteran SUN ‘n FUN pilots. To fly in a warbird formation group, during the show, pilots must be formation qualified through the FAST program or the Joint Liaison Formation program. Note that not all aircraft types will fly formation.

All warbirds air show pilots MUST attend the briefing session(s) on the day(s) he/she wishes to participate. There are time limits and possibly specific themes for each day, so not all aircraft and types may fly every day. During the briefing, pilots will be instructed as to the numbers of specific aircraft types required for that day, flight patterns, etc.

Also, in order to fly in any of the daily shows, participants will be required to provide photocopies of each of the following to the appropriate section leader:

Current Commercial Pilot Certificate
Current FAST card (if flying formation in airshow)
Current medical certificate
Copy of insurance certificate, which includes fly-by coverage
Date of last BFR

The schedule of briefings is published on the schedule below and on the bulletin board outside Warbird Headquarters. Briefing locations may change in order to use the best available facilities. Check with Warbird Headquarters when you arrive on site.


Warbird pilots who participate in the daily air shows are welcomed to join the other performers in the Air Show Performers Tent, located south of the Warbird Ramp. Shade and refreshments are available.

By FAA requirement, once the daily air show waiver is put into effect, an air show line is established through the Warbird aircraft parking area on runway 5/23. Orange cones, temporary fencing, and Lakeland Police Department personnel mark this area. During the waiver, no one is permitted to proceed beyond that line, other than security and/or rescue personnel. The Warbird Line Crew will try to park all planes being judged or being flown in the Warbird air shows inside of the Air Show Line.

If you are flying in the air show, you may proceed to and from your aircraft within this zone, but once the Warbird air show is completed, we ask that you proceed back behind the show line after you have your airplane secured. In other words, if your aircraft is parked beyond the air show line during the time of the waiver, you may NOT watch the show from your aircraft.

As pilots, we all feel a need to be vigilant regarding safety issues. To that end, we carefully inspect our aircraft during pre-flight. We run up the engine(s). We check the weather. We ask ourselves – am I physically and mentally ready to fly today? In short, we make many critical safety-based decisions before the wheels start to roll.

One area that needs close attention is our understanding of the ground environment in which we operate – especially when operating conventional gear or tail wheel aircraft. These aircraft have unique challenges when it comes to forward visibility. These challenges have a direct impact on safe ground operations. Included in our pre-flight activities should be a self-evaluation of these key points:

Can I see where I’m going? Have I studied the airport diagram? Have I noted any potential safety hotspots?

These are concerns when operating at every airport, every day. Add an aviation event to the mix and you get people, cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, golf carts, tents, displays and lots of aircraft. You can expect to see aircraft of varying sizes, shapes, and operational needs.

Here are a few specific things that can help pilots plan for safe ground operations in conventional or tail wheel aircraft, especially in the busy air show or fly-in environment.

After pre-flight inspection, check your surrounding area for obstructions.

Notify aircraft marshaller(s) of your intentions.

Do not start engine(s) until a marshaller is present and crowd control is in effect.

Before engine start, review your taxi route, noting areas of high traffic.

Ask for help if you are not completely familiar with local ground operations.

Review the standard aircraft marshaller hand signals.

Obey the commands of any aircraft marshaller.

When taxiing, use “S” turns to improve your field of vision.

Keep your eyes moving, scanning outside the cockpit.

Taxi slowly. When in doubt, stop.

Watch for other aircraft entering the taxiway.

During taxi operations, don’t let your guard down when activity on the airport seems to be light. Keeping mentally sharp during ground operations can prevent a tragic accident. Being certain of what lies in front of your aircraft is critical to the safety of other pilots and other bystanders. Even when it seems that “S” turning isn’t necessary, continue to exercise disciplined checks of your surrounding environment, including the use of clearing turns. Pay particular attention to ground marshallers/controllers, as they have a different perspective of the area in front of your aircraft. Using all available resources as you maneuver on the airport is one way to ensure you’re doing your utmost to operate safely. Remember, the pilot in command is responsible for the safe operation of his/her aircraft. Taxi and fly safely!


SAT.  3/30 Set up 08:00 – 18:00
SUN.  3/31 Set up (registration will open when set up is complete) 08:00 – 18:00
MON.  4/1 Registration 08:00 – 18:00
TUE.  4/2 Air Show Briefing – for 1st time pilots @ SUN ‘n FUN

Warbirds Air Show Briefing
Air Show Waiver


14:00 – 17:00

WED.  4/3 Warbirds Air Show Briefing
Air Show Waiver
Night Air Show Waiver
14:00 – 17:00
19:30 – 21:30
THU.  4/4 Warbirds Air Show Briefing
Air Show Waiver
12:00 – 17:30 (Blue Angels Arrival)
FRI.  4/5 Warbirds Air Show Briefing
Air Show Waiver
Warbirds / Air Show Party
13:00 – 17:30
19:30 – 9/27 Club
SAT.  4/6 Warbirds Air Show Briefing
Air Show Waiver
Night Air Show Waiver
13:30 – 17:3019:30 – 21:30
SUN.  4/7 No Activities Planned
Air Show Waiver
13:00 – 17:00
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