EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Chapter 1635 will be hosting its first Fly-In from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the A. Paul Vance Regional Airport in Fredericktown.
The free event invites the public to come out and enjoy gyroplane and powered paraglider demos, food and displays. We can expect a variety of aircraft to fly into the airport for the event as well.
"As a special display, we will have a corporate charter aircraft and the Air Evac helicopter with the Air Evac team," President of EAA Chapter 1635 Larry Gregory said. "We expect to have an airplane component building display, as well as some local vendors."
Gregory said unlike a helicopter which uses an engine to power its spinning rotor blades, a gyroplane's upper rotor blades are not powered by an engine. He said instead the engine powers a back propeller that pushes the gyrocopter forward and as the aircraft moves, air passes naturally through its rotor blades, creating lift.
"It is highly maneuverable, quickly lifts off, can fly slow or fast, has great visibility and is generally open to the airflow," Gregory said. "For the average person it (gyroplane) looks like a cross between an airplane and a helicopter."
Gregory said the powered paraglider consists of a foot launched flying wing where the pilot wears a motor on his/her back. He said both the paraglider and the gyroplane are expected to be at the Fly-In.
While the powered paragliders do not require a license and the gyroplanes require a minimum of a FAA Sport Plane license, the majority of pilots participating in the event have a FAA Private Pilot License and several are FAA certified flight instructors.
Food trucks plan to be at the event including Ghee Ghee’s Kitchen and Lalo’s Mexican Grill.
The event will be fun for all ages with aerial demonstrations, food trucks, airplanes that fly in and the displays. Plus there will be free popcorn and organizers are working on getting a sound system to play the movie "Planes" for all the little ones.
Gregory said he hopes those in attendance take away that aviation is multi-faceted.
"We have aviation which is a business, like the charter aircraft on display," Gregory said. "We have service aviation like the Air Evac Team and the military."
Gregory said there are so many different areas in aviation that there is a little something for everyone to explore and learn about.
"We also want the community to know that their local airport is a place where fun and learning happens," Gregory said.
In addition, there will be a sign-up table for the Young Eagles Rally scheduled for Oct. 9 at the A. Paul Vance Regional Airport where youth 8-17 years of age can take a free airplane ride.
"This will be the third year we have flown youth and it has proven to be an exciting day for the youth, their families and the pilots," Gregory said. "So come for an hour or stay all day but come see how much fun aviation can be."
Gregory said the need for pilots and technicians is growing. He said, according to statistics, between 2020 and 2039 the world needs 763,000 new pilots and for every pilot there are multiple technicians required as well.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org