North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Airport Appreciation Day introduces kids to aviation

 

Christopher Andersson

James Heaviland in the cockpit of a plane as he prepares for a flight at the Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 27.

Kids went into the air in free airplane rides and participated in other activities at Arlington Municipal Airport's annual Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 27.

The EAA Young Eagles and volunteer pilots provided free airplane rides to kids and the airport hosted other activities like airplane displays, wood airplane painting, face painting and tractor rides.

"What I like is that it brings the family together and gets them involved in the community, and they get to see what our airport is all about," said Arlington Airport coordinator Lorene Parker.

She said families like coming out and looking at the planes, painting gliders and enjoying some food.

The airplane rides for kids are one of the highlights of the day.

"We love to see the community get involved and have a good time, and we love to see the smiles on the kids returning from their first flight," said Parker.

"We always have returning kids who want to come and fly again," she said.

Local parent Olga Chuprim said this is their second year at the event and they had good memories from last year.

"It's really fun, the kids love it," she said. "As soon as we found out about it we knew we wanted to go again."

Local parent Mark Heaviland said that "the fact that he gets to go up in a plane is incredible."

"We just like the opportunity for our kids to be up close and next to planes. It's a hands-on experience they don't normally get," he said.

"It's a dream come true for him," said local parent Jessie Heaviland.

Parker hopes the Airport Appreciation Day helps introduce kids to aviation in general.

"This event gives everyone an opportunity to come down to the airport and see what we're all about and just have a good time," she said.

The aviation industry needs more people interested in it, she said.

Christopher Andersson

Elisha Chuprim rides one of the small flight simulators available at the Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 27.

"We want to get the younger generation involved in aviation. That's our main focus. We need more pilots. The whole U.S. needs more pilots," she said.

She hopes that providing kids a good time, like the aviation experiences she herself had as a kid, will inspire a few of them to continue with aviation.

"We want them to come out and enjoy it. I remember activities I participated in as a kid, so hopefully they will remember this," she said.

Parker also wanted to thank everyone who made the event possible.

"Thank you to all our sponsors for helping put on this event, and all the volunteers," she said.

The EAA Young Eagles program is meant to help young people experience flight and they provide the free flights at the event. Parker said many local pilots volunteer their time with the program to help put on the event.

"We appreciate their time and energy," she said.

 

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