Bush plane: Airport Days has plane flown by former president
KINGSFORD — A N2S-1 Stearman, an airplane once flown by former President George H.W. Bush, will be the highlight of this year’s Ford Airport Day this weekend.
“George H.W. Bush flew this airplane when he was training for the war. It’s a pretty rare tribute to have an airplane flown by a president of the United States,” said Tom Sullivan, president, and treasurer of EAA Chapter 439.
Ford Airport, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 439, U.P. Truck Center and Kubick Aviation and Northern Airways will host its 17th annual event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Kingsford airport.
“The neat thing about Ford Airport Days is that it’s the one time a year that people can get up close and look at planes at our airport,” Sullivan said. “With the security the way it is today, it is rare for a normal person to be able to get out and look at aircraft and the runway. One of the reasons we do this is to help entice interest in aviation and another is awareness of the importance of Ford Airport to the community. We have a lot of planes flying in and out of our airport. We have freight air flight, Valley Medical, Kubick Aviation, Northwoods Airlifeline and Major commercial flights, all in this one little airport.”
The EAA B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Berlin Express” also will be featured during the event. “The Berlin Express is a fresh restoration by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and, as far as I know, this will be the first public exposition of the plane,” Sullivan said.
The Tribute to Veterans program will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in the Dickinson County hangar at Ford Airport. Veterans also will be treated to a free lunch, as well as a tour of the B-25.
Other attractions and activities include numerous aircraft on display, including Tom Sullivan’s homebuilt Lancair plane, artifacts from the Menominee Range Historical Foundation the Dickinson County Pilots Association, and model airplane club. An automobile show will take place on the grounds as well, with many classic makes and models.
Children again will be able to enjoy the kids’ pedal airplane corral and the Snoopy flight simulator, where they can try to shoot down the Red Baron.
A pancake breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m., as well as lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hanger.
Free Young Eagle Flights for youth 8 to 17 will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m. Adult airplane rides will also be offered for $25.
Civil Air Patrol members will have a booth for those interested.
Admission is $7 per person, with no charge for children younger than 8. The maximum a family will pay is $20.
This show relies on sponsorships. Major sponsors include Bacco Construction and Kubick Aviation; golden sponsors are ProTech Lub Center, CSA Air, Tourism Association of Dickinson County Area and MJ Electric.