SHERIDAN — The first Props and Rods Show, an event co-hosted by the Sheridan Pilots Association and the Sheridan KARZ Club, drew a strong turnout Saturday and highlighted two active local groups of hobbyists.

Sheridan Pilots Association

Tom Civin, who has been a pilot in Sheridan for 20 years, said the Sheridan Pilots Association organized the event as a way to promote general aviation in the community and highlight the opportunities available at Sheridan County Airport.

Civin has been flying for more than 40 years, mostly to travel between clients for his development company, but also as a hobby. He owns a four-seat turbo plane that can reach as high as 20,000 feet and travel as fast as 200 mph.

“It’s an efficient way to travel; I can get to Gillette in 30 minutes and I don’t have to worry about hitting any antelope along the way,” Civin said.

He said operating his plane, and others like it, can cost up to $150 an hour, but Saturday all of the pilots donated flights without reimbursement.

Local pilots spent the event taking kids up in their planes for scenics flights around Sheridan. Civin said the group was hoping to encourage more interest in flying among kids as there is currently a shortage of pilots.

“We try to encourage aviation as much as we possibly can,” Civin said. “We’re always hoping to bring more pilots into the community.”

Members of the Sheridan Pilots Association offer ground school training and flight lessons out of Sheridan County Airport. Civin also said Sheridan County Airport has an extremely active, and welcoming, community of pilots. Currently, Sheridan’s airport is the home-base to the most air crafts in the state.

“Sheridan has probably the best airport in the state,” Civin said.

Sheridan KARZ Club

KARZ Club president Bob Gates said the group has more than 100 members who have a variety of cars they restore, collect and maintain. The club hosts a number of events throughout the year, most notably a car show on Main Street in July, but Gates said it is primarily a way for local car enthusiasts to share and indulge their hobby.

Many of the cars members of the KARZ Club work on are either vintage or in need of restoration, and the club is a way for members to share resources and exchange techniques for repairing and maintaining cars.

For instance, some of the parts for the older vehicles are no longer manufactured, and car owners have to find vendors who still sell them or build the parts themselves.

“That’s part of the fun of the hobby, is figuring out how to do it,” Gates said. 

Classic car owners looking to learn how to work on an old vehicle or find parts for it have far more resources available to them now through the internet, Gates said. There are communities of car owners worldwide exchanging information, schematics and parts that have grown in recent years.

“There is so much more communication that can take place,” Gates said. “You can learn and share and search for things that you never could before.”

The club also organizes garage tours where members visit one another’s shops and look at the projects they are working on, which gives them a chance to exchange advice and learn from one another. As with the Pilot’s Association, Sheridan’s KARZ Club is both a resource and a welcoming community for locals interested in exploring the hobby.