SUN ‘n FUN Invites Warbirds!

SUN ‘n FUN 2024 is right around the corner, and we are busy preparing for the return of some of our favorite aviators – WARBIRDS!!

The mission of our Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is to “Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the next generation of Aerospace Professionals”, and we can’t think of a better way to usher them in than by introducing them to the fantastic history of the servicemen and women who have preserved our freedom with the aircraft you bring to our show. Thanks to your help, we’ve now pinned Private Pilot’s wings on 142 students under our scholarship program!

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. 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!

To showcase the dramatic success we are seeing, I hope you’ll make it over to the south side of the campus to tale a tour of the brand new Ramus SkyLab Innovations Center, a 22,000 square foot expansion of the Florida Air Museum and is home to a convertible environment that will house exhibits, workshops, even Science on Sphere.

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 2024 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!

Warbird pilots will be in close proximity to The Island!  Make sure to drop by and enjoy the refreshments, entertainment, and presentations throughout the day and into the evening.  This area will also provide support services like the Pilot Welcome Center, camp store, ticket sales, shower houses, Rideshare and Publix Instacart grocery delivery.

SUN ’n FUN is pleased to invite WARBIRD owners to participate in an enjoyable experience at SUN ’n FUN. On a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the volume of aircraft types and rarity, warbird attendees may be eligible for some or all of the following benefits. Please register below!

Aircraft that fly in the Warbirds segment of a daily airshow will receive:

  • Admission to Warbird Hospitality Tent (includes daily lunch, personnel limits apply).
  • Fuel reimbursement for fuel burned (during airshow flight ONLY)
  • Specialty/ Exotic Aircraft can receive an upgraded Hospitality package with additional consideration on a case-by-case basis.

Pilot/Aircraft Technical Evaluation Form

This form is required if you plan to fly as an airshow performer or Warbird in the Showcase. Also, please review the Documentation Requirements to insure your participation during the event.

Adult and Minor Flight Waivers

Any person who plans to fly as an airshow performer, as a Warbird in the Showcase, as a participant or as a passenger in any of the above activities must fill out an adult/minor flight waiver.

Military Static Aircraft Request For SUN ‘n FUN

***Subject to availability***
If you are interested in bringing a military static aircraft to SUN ‘n FUN, please contact our Military Liaison,  Rich Hall.

Pilot Notes

For information on the 2024 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, visit:  www.flysnf.org.

Pilots can find the 2024 SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo NOTAM, several weeks before the event, online at: www.faa.gov, or by phone at the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo at 863-644-2431.

Lakeland ATC will operate 24 hours, however, 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. The 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 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In are asked to contact the Warbirds Line Chief, Doug Freeman at afvet001@gmail.com for aircraft parking configuration.

If you have guests driving in to join you, auto parking and ticket sales are now available on the southeast side of the convention site and in close proximity to most airside aircraft parking/camping locations on the east side of the airport. This will provide guests the ability to purchase entry and gain immediate airside access close to the east end of the airport and near aircraft parking and camping areas. Transportation will also be provided.

Air Traffic Procedures

Pilots are requested to carry a copy of the 2024 SUN ‘n FUN NOTAM.

IMPORTANT! Pilots flying aircraft without ADS-B will need to use the FAA’s ADAPT tool to request authorization to deviate from the rule. More information can be found on the FAA website at https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/adapt/

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.

The airport will be closed at 7:00 pm on Wednesday and Saturday to accommodate the night shows.
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 shutdown. 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)

Air Show Line

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 Warbirds Line Crew will try to park all planes being judged or being flown in the Warbirds 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 Warbirds 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.

Quick Flightline Departures

The Warbirds Line Crew must be present for engine start-up, both for crowd control and firefighting 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.

Air Show Briefing Schedules

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 Warbirds Headquarters when you arrive on site.

Aircraft Fueling Procedures

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

Ground Operations

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 a busy air show or fly-in environment.

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

    Notify the aircraft marshaller(s) of your intentions.

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

    Before the 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!

Signing Up To Fly In The Air Show

In order to fly in the daily air shows, NEW air show participants are required to attend one of the Warbirds 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 warbirds 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.

Warbird air show pilots will complete the Pilot/Aircraft Technical Evaluation Form, self-certified by the pilot in command. At the event all documents on the Technical Evaluation Form will be reviewed with the pilot at the aircraft by a Tech Evaluation team member. All Warbird 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.  At the Briefing, pilots will sign the waiver each day flying.

Also, in order to fly in any of the daily shows, participants will be required to provide photocopies of each of the following when checking in at the Warbird building. Note: Copies are only needed at check-in if they were not sent in ahead of time to Airshowsafetysnf@gmail.com

  • Pilot/Aircraft Technical Evaluation Form. (Can be downloaded at the top of this page)
  • Current Pilot Certificate (Both Sides, must be Commercial or higher to receive fuel compensation)
  • Current FAST card (if flying formation in airshow)
  • Current medical certificate
  • Copy of insurance certificate, which includes fly-by coverage

Warbirds Hospitality Tent

Warbird pilots who participate in the daily air shows are welcome to join the other warbirds and the in Military Hospitality Tent, located on the Southeast corner of the Warbird Ramp. Shade and refreshments are available. Daily wristbands are required.

Rental Cars

Rental Cars

Please check back for updated car rental information.


For full hookup / general camping information, see General Camping Information

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

Warbird Arrivals & Registration

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Weekly wristbands will be provided for the following types of aircraft: Bombers – 9 wristbands | Transports – 7 wristbands | Fighters/Jets – 6 wristbands | Trainers/Liaison – 3 wristbands (Subject to type limits, register early!)
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