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Hydros on the lake, planes in the air

Pilots flying in for barbecue, race boats to hit Banks Lake this weekend


Small hydroplane race boats maneuver a corner on the course at Osborne Bay in 2009. - Star file photo

If you like to watch small and fast, you're in luck this weekend.

Small plane pilots will flock to the local airport and organized hydroplane races will hit Osborne Bay on Banks Lake, both free for spectators.

The Stateline Outboard Racing Association will hold races on Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, on Osborne Bay at Sunbanks Lake Resort.

Spectators are welcome to watch at the resort.

If you enjoy small planes and like to watch them land, then Saturday is the day, and our local airport is the place to be.

Pilots from Eastern Washington will fly into the Grand Coulee Dam Airport here Saturday for an invitational barbecue, officials said late last week.

The invite went out to pilots belonging to the Washington Pilots Association from Eastern Washington, according to vice president Tom Morris of Spokane.

Handling things on this end of the event is Dave Whitelaw, a local pilot, who is planning the barbecue. Whitelaw said visiting pilots were asked to bring their own food and he will have two large barbecue grills available for them to use.

Morris said he expects at least 20 pilots will respond to the invitation.

The arrangements were worked through with airport Manager Bob Babler.

The public can go to the airport and watch the planes come in, but the barbecue is for invited pilots only.

There are about 800 pilot members of the WPA, most of them living in Western Washington.

Morris stated that his goal was to get pilots in the Eastern Washington area to get to know each other in a social setting.

It will be a busy day for Grant County Port District 7 commissioners. The port district manages both the airport and Banks Lake Golf Course. Both places plan barbecues the same day.

The barbecue at the golf course will be later in the day, running from 5 to 6:30 p.m., costs $15 per person and will feature live music.

"We are happy to have visiting pilots get acquainted with our airport," said district President James Keene. The local airport has a 4,200-foot-long paved runway.

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