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Aviation Day 2009

Who would believe that we could top Aviation Day 2008! On Saturday February 7, 2009, more than 4000 people took advantage of the near-perfect weather to check out the aircraft on display, chat with pilots and aircraft builders, take an airplane or helicopter ride, or just watch the air traffic.
Here is a slide show of the event (
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In the Terminal Building lobby, visitors could check out the Piper Aircraft pilot shop, try their hand at the Chapter 99 Flight Simulator, and get the latest on safe flying from the FAA Safety Team. The terminal yard featured displays of radio-control model aircraft, scale plastic model aircraft and model rockets. The aircraft display area featured 51 aircraft, including new production aircraft represented by Piper, Mooney and Diamond, several Light Sport and amateur-built aircraft, and more classic aircraft such as a 1928 Travelair 4000 biplane, two 1943 Stearman biplanes, and a DeHavilland Tiger Moth. Missionary Flights International of Fort Pierce brought their flagship Douglas DC-3, a 1940s classic airliner reengined with turboprop engines replacing the piston radial engines.

The military aircraft participating included a Navy MH-53E Helicopter, the second larges helicopter ever built, and a Navy SH-60 Sea Hawk Helicopter. Both helicopter were open for tours. A flight of four Navy T-45 Goshawk Jet Trainers flew in and treated the crowd to several fly-bys when they departed around mid-afternoon. Also on hand for the day was a Coast Guard Dolphin Helicopter. Aviation Day 2009 was not entirely static displays, though. Anyone wanting to leave the ground for a few minutes had their choice of a ride in a North American SNJ, a classic Waco UPF-7 Biplane or a Robinson Helicopter. A group of pilots flying civilian T-34 trainers demonstrated their formation flying abilities, arriving overhead the airport in a formation fly-over prior to landing, and performing a formation departure later in the day. The Coast Guard Dolphin Helicopter demonstrated the winch rescue ability while hovering in front of the crowd, prior to departing for home base.

With the success of this latest Aviation Day event, organizers are already putting plans on paper for Aviation Day 2010.

The local newspaper reported on Aviation Day 2009: Press Journal, Feb. 8, 2009

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