WAYNESBURG – Even though a dense fog delayed the start of the event, everyone agreed the Sept. 15 Aviation Day at the Greene County Airport was a big success.
The event was presented by S.O.A.R. (Saving our Aviation Resources) and Experimental Aircraft Association Chapters 978 and 842. Chairman of the event was pilot Vince Palone of Kirby.
In all, 183 people got to experience the thrill of riding in a small aircraft, including 60 youth who received a free ride courtesy of the EAA Young Eagles Program coordinated by Rich and Eric Judy.
The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.
Since 1992, 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.
Each child received a certificate and an acrylic medallion after riding. The medallions were made by Doug Galbraith of Separation Design Group. Planes were donated by EAA Chapter 842 of Morgantown, Aero National of Washington, and several private pilots from Greene, Washington, and Monongalia counties.
Except for the Young Eagles, participants were asked to make a donation for a ride. A portion of the proceeds was donated to the Greene County American Cancer Society through Patriot’s Dream Riders Association and the Waynesburg Volunteer Fire Department, both of which were present at the event.
Food for the event was provided by Dan Wagner and his class at the Greene County Career and Technology Center and the Airport Restaurant. The food tent and picnic tables were donated by the county.
Several raffles were held throughout the day for aviation posters, model planes donated by Brodak’s, and airplane rides in Larry Grimm’s 1941 Taylorcraft.
Several types of aircraft were on display that were popular with the crowd. They included a helicopter, experimental Acrosport II, gliders from the Pittsburgh Soaring Club, a T-34, a Baby Great Lakes bi-plane, a Rockwell Commander 112, a Piper Cub, Aeronca Champ and several Cessnas and ultralights.
Assisting at the event were the youth of the Civil Air Patrol, Morgantown and Washington Composite Squadrons and Boy Scout Troop 1280 of Waynesburg.
The next Aviation Day is scheduled for September 2013.