An expert in recreational destinations for pilots will kick-off the 14th annual Idaho Aviation Festival, Friday and Saturday, March 10, 11. The festival, presented by the Idaho Transportation Department's Division of Aeronautics, will be at the Boise Centre on the Grove in downtown Boise.
John Kounis, editor of "Pilot Getaways" magazine and an avid pilot, will be featured at a luncheon on March 10. He personally flies most of the photo missions for "Pilot Getaways" and frequently gives speeches about the best fly-in destinations. He has amassed more than 3,600 flight hours over the past 20 years, visiting more than 40 countries from Zimbabwe to Norway.
His destination research draws on experience in mountain flying, international operations, over-water procedures and long-distance navigation. Before entering the publishing world, Kounis worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Most recently, he was a lead system engineer for a component of the Cassini Spacecraft Ground Data System, which made a successful rendezvous with Saturn in July 2004.
The festival's March 11 banquet will feature Bill Lishman, best known for his work that inspired the feature film "Fly Away Home." Lishman raised a flock of Canada geese, imprinted them to an ultralight aircraft that he designed and built, and flew with the birds around Ontario, Canada.
The success of this work resulted in a migration experiment that led flocks on their journey south by serving as surrogate parents. The experiment was documented by ABC's "20/20" and captured the attention of biologists around the world.
Lishman documented his flights with Canada geese in the award winning video "C'mon Geese." A book he authored about the work is part of many American public schools' curriculum.
More than 800 aviation enthusiasts are expected to gather for the two-day festival, sponsored by R&M Steel Company and "Pilot Getaways" magazine. Event activities will include:
The public is invited to attend. Although many activities are free, registration fees will apply to some training and workshops, as well as meals.
Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibit space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sponsorship opportunities include an option of tailoring a package to meet specific needs.