When pilots reach out to their local communities, count on an enthusiastic response.
That’s especially so in Alaska, where aviation plays an important role in everyday life, and where the public turned out June 9 to attend the Kenai Peninsula Air Fair, organized by the cities of Kenai and Soldotna in cooperation with Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 975.
The day’s flying events began at the Soldotna Airport, where EAA volunteers dished up a pancake breakfast and signed in pilots of 34 aircraft for a poker run to their choices of 13 airports or water landing locations.
AOPA was an exhibitor at the event that featured a barbecue, music, displays, and community members soaking up the sights and sounds a participating aircraft landing at the Kenai Airport. Fourteen EAA Young Eagles flights were conducted, giving young people a taste of general aviation under the always popular program.
Visitors could also inspect a static display that included an Air National Guard KC-135 tanker, an Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport, and a number of civil aircraft.
Participants were treated to sounds of the Air Force Band of the Pacific’s Alaska Brass ensemble. An appreciation event for all branches of the U.S. armed forces was held.
“It was great to see the poker run as part of an event that gave the public a chance to see, hear, and touch real aircraft,” said Tom George, AOPA Alaska regional manager. “Sharing our enthusiasm is critical to public support, as well as generating new pilots, mechanics, and airport managers of the future.”
If sharing the joys of aviation seems like a good idea to you, consider volunteering your time and talents for an aviation event in your area soon.