LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Evening friend!
Airport ready for Family Fun Day
May 31, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen
Brent Townsend and his daughter Dayna, an incoming senior at Mitchell High School, have been working on the tail section of his custom built plane. Brent plans to have it airborne in 2013 and Dayna said she looks forward to taking it up.


Brent Townsend and his daughter Dayna, an incoming senior at Mitchell High School, have been working on the tail section of his custom built plane. Brent plans to have it airborne in 2013 and Dayna said she looks forward to taking it up.

Since the early 1990s, Western Nebraska Regional Airport hasmarked the first Saturday of June to celebrate Family Fun Day – and it rolls around again this weekend on June 2.

Some of the exhibits will feature the history of aviation. Included will be a replica of a World War I era French Neiuport 17, a P-51 Mustang from World War II and an F-16 fighter jet, which are still being flown in the Middle East.

A squadron of F-16 fighter jets will make a flyover of the airport at 10:30 a.m. and one of their pilots, James Edwards, who grew up in the Lyman area, will bring his plane down for inspection.
Airport Family Fun Day is sponsored by the local Chapter 608 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), dedicated to growing aviation through participation.

EAA member Neal Smith said that since the chapter was founded in 1977, it has sponsored more than 1,700 Young Eagle flights. The program offers free airplane rides to youth age 8 – 17 that have not had a Young Eagle ride in the past.

Young Eagle flights will be offered, with parental permission, on Saturday with the hope of getting young people interested in flying as a recreational activity.

EAA member Brent Townsend is custom building a Venterra S-19, an LSA class light sport plane. His daughter, Dayna, helps out when she isn’t busy with school. The engine will be delivered this December, and they plan to have the plane ready for flight in the fall of next year.

“I’m a building contractor and love to build things,” Townsend said. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to fly, so this was a perfect match. I think a great full-time job would be to build airplanes and help others with their projects.”

Currently, Townsend flies a Cherokee 180 and is building the two-passenger Venterra. And he’ll be in attendance for Family Fun Day.

Another event will be “target practice” as a plane with a tail hook swoops down to pick up a banner on the ground. There will also be RC (radio controlled) plane demonstrations and numerous other aircraft for public inspection.

Airport Family Fun Day starts at 7 a.m. as aircraft enthusiast fly in for breakfast. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Home-built airplanes make up about half of the general aviation models built today, which makes flying more affordable to people who have an interest.

“I’ve always wanted to fly but never thought it was possible,” Townsend said, “but it is affordable to fly. We’ve enjoyed it as a family.”


Login to leave a comment

Comments