For the first time in more than 20 years, the Bismarck Memorial Airport-H57, located at 410 Airport Rd. in Bismarck, will be hosting a fly-in on May 6. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is encouraged to visit the airport to learn more about aviation. A rain-out date, if needed, is set for May 7.
Bismarck native Justin Kitchell of Crosswind Aviation Services took over the airport in 2022 and has a lease from the city of Bismarck for five years. He is currently the airport manager.
Kitchell described a fly-in as a “car show with wings.” Pilots will fly into the airport and show off the planes, allowing the general public to get a close-up look at the different styles of aircraft and what it takes to put them in the sky — and back on the ground. There will be various planes and aviation groups visiting the airport for the event, including representatives from the U.S. Air Force and Air Evac.
“They’re a great way to get your airport out there. They’re a great way to mesh the community and the airport together,” said Kitchell as to why he’s organizing the fly-in. “We’re wanting the entire community to be involved and would like for them to bring their kids out when there’s airplanes flying, so that way they can watch them and see them taken off and landing.”
As visitors get to learn more about the magic of flight, they will also have the chance to take rides in an airplane and gyrocopter, which is a two-seat airplane-like rotorcraft that uses a rotor to keep the craft up. The rides are $40 each. Interested riders can sign up on the day of the fly-in. All proceeds raised will aid in the restoration of the airport. There will be remote control and drone demonstrations throughout the day, as well.
Anyone with an interest in browsing for bargains will be able to look through craft and vendor booths.
Kitchell is still taking reservations for booths from crafters and vendors. Anyone wanting to set up a table should reach out to Kitchell by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for an application. According to Kitchell, there will be roughly 25 to 28 spots available overall, and so far, they’re filling up. It costs $25 per 10’x10′ area up to four areas. The spots will not have electricity or water.
Kitchell’s wife Brittney is also setting up a Kid’s Zone which will include a bounce house, playground, a paper-plane contest, and more. A cornhole tournament is set for registration at 11 a.m., and it’s $20 to play, with half of the proceeds awarded.
For more information and updates about the event are posted to the airport’s Facebook page, Bismarck Memorial Airport-H57.
Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at email@example.com or 573-518-3616.