Unofficial Pinckneyville Fly-In FAQ


The opinions expressed in the FAQ are mine alone.
Any resemblance to an actual fact is probably coincidence.

What is the Pinckneyville Fly-In anyway?
 This legendary event occurred annualy from 1998 through 2008.  Read the FAQ to discover what you missed.
What is Pinckneyville?
  A small town in Southern Illinois, the county seat of Perry Co.

What about Pinckneyville anyway?
  Just as folks say "Oshkosh" when they actually mean the EAA Airventure Fly-in in Oshkosh, WI, when many pilots say "Pinckneyville" what they actually mean is the rec.aviation fly-in at the Pinckneyville-DuQuoin airport.

PJY is the identifier for the Pinckneyville-DuQuoin IL airport.
  PBJ is the identifier for Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich.

When is this Fly-In?
  The weekend before the Memorial day weekend.  The official event for 2008 is Friday through Sunday, May 16-18.  Most participants arrive during the day Friday and leave during the day Sunday.  Some of the hard-core arrive early and stay late.  Their reward is setting up the folding tables and chairs and putting them away again.

Why Pinckneyville?
  Because that's where John Johnson has a hangar.  John and Mary Johnson are the only ones who have EVER offered to host the event.  They clean the hangar, they set up the chairs and tables, they sweep the ramp, they buy the food, they chill the beer, they cook the food, they handle the complaints from the neighbors, they toe-tag the drunks, and they fly as many attendees as possible in "The Red Lady," John's classic radial engine Stinson.  Any of you sports want to volunteer for next year?  Some of the Ilk tried to hold Fly-Ins in other locations, but only John and Mary follow through every year.

What Organizations is this Fly-In affiliated with?
  No reputable organization would have anything to do with the motley crew that attend this event.  The PJY Fly-In is NOT affiliated with any of these groups: EAA, AOPA, OPA, FAA, FFA, EIEIO.  On the other hand, no affiliations means no silly rules such as prohibiting lawn chairs and alcoholic beverages on the ramp.

What is the Fly-In frequency?
  Once a year.

OK, Smart Ass.  What is the Fly-In RADIO frequency?
  There is no Fly-In radio frequency, but the Airport CTAF is 122.8.   A low pass will clear any wildlife from the runway and vermin from the hangar. Occasionally (sorry Paul) some drunk with a handheld is monitoring and will verbally abuse incoming traffic, especially if an aircraft has just made a low pass, and awakened him or her or distracted him or her from one of the many scintillating hangar conversations.

Where is Pinckneyville?
  Pinckneyville is quite easy to find.
   From Fairbanks: course 099, 2572 Miles.
   From London: course 296, 3656 Miles.
   From Rio de Janerio: course 323, 4474 Miles.
   From Moscow: course 320, 4571 Miles.
   From Hong Kong: course 021, 6972 Miles.
   From Johannesburg: course 299, 7598 Miles.
   From Sydney: course 067, 7900 Miles.

Are there hotels and restaurants within walking distance?
  Yes. As long as you consider six miles “walking distance.”

  NOTE:  Although it has been several years since it last occurred, there is always a danger of finding your bed (or even all the beds in the motel) short-sheeted.

Is there a shuttle service?
  Shuttle service to restaurants and local bars is available by shouting out, "Hey, I'm buying!"  Drive-in attendees sometimes fill motels for miles around, so it's easy to share a ride to lodging.

How did this Fly-In start?
  After a long round of Bravo-Sierra on rec.aviation.homebuilt in 1996 and 1997 -- where everyone said it would be great to have a Fly-In so we could all meet in person -- John Johnson, aka Highflyer, graciously volunteered.  John was the only volunteer and has been stuck with the event ever since.

Is everyone invited?
  Almost.  The following people are specifically not invited.
  "Captain Zoom", aka Jim Campbell

What is the cost?
  All of your common sense, often your dignity and/or reputation.  Folks are asked to chip in at least twenty-five bucks to help John pay for the food and beer.  Otherwise, there is no entry fee, landing fee, parking fee, departure fee, camping fee, or Archie McPhee.  Those present when a beer cooler or snack table is emptied are expected to dip into their wallets and buy some more without whining about it.

What kind of food is served at the Fly-In?
   Breakfast:  Barbecue and coffee.
   Lunch:  Barbecue and beer (soda pop is available for anyone planning to perform as PIC).
   Supper:  Barbecue and beer.

Are non-pilots welcome?
  Yes.  Support Group meetings are available.

Can I bring my children?
  Yes.  With the proper sauce, they are delicious barbecued.

May I bring lawn chairs and coolers?
  Yes.  Unless you’d rather sit on the ground and beg others for drinks.

What happens if it rains?
  We get wet.

May I drink beer on the ramp?
  If you're done flying for the day drinking beer on the ramp is recommended.  We only ask that you not throw the empty cans at aircraft.

Will there be medical staff in attendance?
  Among the ilk are Physicians, Nurses, and Paramedics attending -- even a Psychiatrist.  If they're not too drunk they'll help any injured person (after we all stop laughing) such as this tall person who suffered a grievous injury in a brutal unprovoked attack by a high-wing Cessna.

Is there air traffic control at PJY?
  During the Fly-In some drunk with a hand-held radio may harass arriving and departing planes.  On the other hand, these people are often drinking beer and telling stories instead of listening to the radio.  Therefore your radio call to Pinckneyville Unicom may not be answered.  

  If you make a low pass the folks in the hangar may actually look outside and listen to the radio.

 Use this guide to translate ground to air communication:
   Who the hell are you? -- Clear to land.
   Govern yourself accordingly. -- Clear to depart.
   Hey, ya'all look at this. -- Traffic on collision course.
   Holy Shit! -- Go Around
   Uh Oh! -- Below Glide slope
   Chicken? -- Low pass approved.
   Porta-potti -- Glassair, Lancair
   Klingon Bird of Prey -- any EZ.
   Van Can -- RV

What is the PJY pattern altitude?

What's the arrival procedure?
  Land. Park. Tiedown.  Get a cold beer.  Begin telling highly improbable story of cross country adventure flight to PJY.

What types of aircraft attend?
  Spam Cans, Homebuilts, Antiques, Amphibians, Rotorcraft and Ultralights have all attended.  We're looking forward to Light Sport Aircraft this year.  A Jet engined pickup truck once provided a great show.  Some of the ilk arrive in MD-80's or B-757's, but they usually land in St. Louis and rent a car to travel to PJY.  We have it on reliable information that once again Air Force One will not land at PJY.

Is there an airshow?
  A few aircraft perform unusual maneuvers; sometimes on purpose.  It's not unlikely that you will be treated to the annual Stearman ground-loop.  In times of VRF Not recommnded pilots often fly kites - they tried flying Radio Control airplanes but they all crashed immediately after takeoff.

  Many pilots are willing to give others a ride, or even let them fly.

Is handicapped parking available?
  Sure, right in front of the hangar.  During the course of the event nobody has become handicapped -- at least not permanently.

Are there aircraft parking guides?
  Sometimes the "Parking Johns" -- huge men in bright orange T-shirts -- direct taxiing aircraft.  When the Johns are on break (most of the time) many of the others on the ramp may give "hand gestures" to arriving aircraft.  Last year some arrivals were strafed.

  A Follow-Me golf cart may greet arrivals and lead them to parking.  Before following this vehicle pilots should be aware that the folks operating the cart should not be trusted as they have probably been drinking and they have been known to be pranksters.  Do not follow it into the North Forty grassy parking/camping area.  One Cherokee that did a few years ago sank out of sight in the soft ground.

  Someone with a hand-held radio may tell arriving pilots where to go.  New pilots should not be shocked, but instead consider this a welcome gesture from friends thay haven't met yet.

Are there any strange customs that might frighten newcomers?
  Arriving pilots may be mooned as they taxi to the ramp. Alternately they may be greated with a hand gesture that indicates "You're number One."

  Some of the attendees grade landings and hold up score-cards. Don't be discouraged by a poor grade or puffed-up by a good grade -- the judges are usually alcoholically impaired and they're a half mile away from the threshold.

  The Four-Moon PAPI has often been discussed but never seen, probably because it's a long walk from the hangar down to the North end of the runway.

  Performance artists frequently reenact the 1998 Sun 'n Fun Chicken theft and the alleged Golf Cart assault on Captain Zoom.

What the deal with those garish Hawaiian Shirts anyway?
  The always stylish Hawaiian shirt was popularized by Carl "Gonzo" Johansson at the 1998-2000 Pinckneyville Fly-Ins.  For several years the Hawaiian Shirt contest was a Fly-In highlight.  Carl disappeared sometime in 2001 hunting Jacklope in the wilderness near Mount Shasta, CA.  In honor of Carl, a few hearty souls continue the tradition of Hawaiian Shirts.

Are pets allowed?
  Pets are usually better behaved than pilots.  Also see: "Can I bring my children?"

Are there forums and workshops?
  Yes. Barbecue and Hangar Flying; Occasionally, impromptu aircraft maintenance or even live music.

Is consumption of alcoholic beverages allowed at the Fly-In?
  No: consumption of alcoholic beverages is mandatory.  One may be excused only if one is going to act as PIC in the next eight hours.  Alternately, exceptionally creative hangar flying is accepted as a valid excuse.

What is "hangar flying"?
  Another mandatory activity-- The main pastime at PJY:  A group of pilots consume alcoholic beverages, sit around in or near the hangar and tell flying stories.  See: "All of John's stories are true, even the ones that never happened."

What's the difference between a Fairy tale and a Flying story?
   A Fairy tale begins "Once upon a time..."
   A Flying Story begins "No Shit, this is a true story..."

What is the most unusual event to occur during this event?
   2006:  John getting it right on the numbers Saturday night (proposing to Stella at the end of the runway).

Are the stories true about John Johnson's hangar contents?
  It is believed that most of the stories are apocryphal.  There is a lot of "stuff" in the hangar and each piece has a story.  However it has never been documented that John Johnson actually was Wilbur and Orville’s Tech Counselor.  Nor has it been proven that the wreckage stored over the kitchen is actually an ornithopter.

  Odds are better than even that John's classic Stinson Reliant will actually startRides in the Stinson, and the opportunity to fly it, are prized.

Can I camp with my plane?
  Who you sleep with is nobody else's business.

Is camping allowed on the field?
  There's lots of grass.  If the ground is firm enough to park aircraft it will be too hard to drive tent pegs.  If it's soft enough for tent pegs, then it will be a swamp unsuitable for parking aircraft.  Nevertheless, some hardy souls camp every year... and survive.

Are there showers for campers?
  See:  "What happens if it rains?"

What time do the gates open and close?

Where can I see more?
  There are a bunch of photos from previous Pinckneyville events at

Where can I learn more?
  On Usenet -- rec.aviation.homebuilt, rec.aviation.piloting, and rec.aviation student -- many stories about previous Pinckneyville Fly-Ins are posted.  Some are true.

What is Muzzleloader?
  Homemade liquor allegedly manufactured by Chuck Slusarczyk.  Available in several fruit flavors.  Tested at nearly 200 proof.  Stories of innocent victims overcome by Muzzleloader are rampant in the Fly-In world.

  One of these events actually occurred at PJY in 1998 and has been dubbed The Urban Legend:  Overcome by Muzzleloader, Mr. Bob Urban found a cot in the hangar at Pinckneyville and sank into a stupor.  Pronounced dead by a Paramedic, a funeral service was quickly arranged.  Bob did not awake even when his hands were placed on his chest for the flowers.

  Hours after the service the "dead" man came back to life.  According to eyewitnesses his first words were "Did I miss lunch?"

What are "ILK"?
  The term ilk was first used by Captain Zoom who, while accusing one of the Fly-In participants of "cyberstalking", wrote "you and your ilk."  In an act of solidarity all the Fly-In participants began to identify themselves as "ilk".

Who is Captain Zoom?
  A source of constant amusement and many stories.

Updated 03-10-2009