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Ford Airport Day Saturday

September 18, 2009
By LISA HOFFMANN, Staff Writer

KINGSFORD - Helicopter rides, aircraft displays, remote control aircraft demonstrations and a car show are featured at the eighth annual Ford Airport Day on Saturday.

The event, hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 439, will be held at the Ford Airport in Kingsford.

The day will start off with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and continue with lunch items through the day's activities.

Article Photos

Don Giackino pilots his Schweizer 300 C helicopter. The Marquette resident will offer rides during Ford Airport Day this Saturday. Ford Airport Day begins at 8 a.m.

Marquette resident Don Giackino will provide helicopter rides in his Schweizer 300 C for $35 per person for a 10-minute ride. Two average-sized people can fly at the same time.

The event officially starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

Cost of admission is $3 per person and $10 per family maximum. Children under 12 are free as is parking.

Tom Sullivan, president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 439, said this event is the one time a year residents can actually get out on the airport - a secure place.

"They can get an airplane ride, watch airplanes, get a helicopter ride, there is a simulator and a car show," he said. "Any special cars that would be show quality coming to the show have free access to the event."

There will be trophies for the cars, Sullivan added.

The simulator is an enclosed cockpit designed by David Vandenberg.

Due to changes in the EAA national policy concerning air shows by individual chapters and current economic conditions, there will not be an air show with aerobatic acts this year.

Instead, there will be many aircraft on the field to view, as well as some local amateur built aircraft and their builders available to discuss these aircraft.

As always, the event will have free Young Eagles rides.

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 to 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

Since 1992, more than 1.4 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by more than 41,000 volunteer pilots.

During the day, there will be remote control aircraft providing flight demonstrations, and a powered parachute display is expected.

A kid-sized World War I Snoopy aircraft flight simulator will be on the grounds for the children to fly in pursuit of the Red Baron, along with a t3-4 Pedal Airplanes for the younger kids to pedal in a designated area.

In addition, there will also be rides available on a "Breezy" aircraft.

Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day. Winners must be present.

The first 400 children under the age of 12 will receive a free door prize.

Lisa Hoffmann's e-mail address is



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