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Airport Appreciation Day set for Aug. 26

Free airplane rides, other fun aviation activities will be available for kids


August 23, 2017 | View PDF

File Photo

James Heaviland in the cockpit of a plane as he prepares for a flight at last year's Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 27, 2016.

Free airplane rides for kids and other aviation family fun will be available at the annual Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 26.

This year's event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arlington Municipal Airport. Most of the event is free to the public.

"It's a fun event for the entire family," said Lorene Robinson, airport operations specialist at the Arlington Municipal Airport.

"The families can learn about aviation," she said.

The day serves as a way to connect the airport with the broader Arlington community.

"There's a lot of people that don't really know much about the airport and they come down and see it during the event," said Arlington Airport operations manager Marty Wray. "This is a way to make sure we don't lose touch with the community."

Community events also help kids become interested in aviation, said Wray

"It really inspires people to get involved in aviation, and sometimes people will leave and go out and start getting their pilots license because of events like these. I know that was the case for me," he said.

The most popular part of the event is usually the EAA Young Eagles free airplane rides.

Local pilots will take kids age 8 to 17 up in their planes and into the sky above the Arlington Airport.

Last year about 170 kids got rides at the event, according to Robinson.

"Children love getting their flights," said Robinson. "It could be the first time they have flown," she added, and many children return year after year for the free rides.

There are also many other activities for kids at the Airport Appreciation Day.

Biringer Farms will also provide tractor rides around the airport. Helicopter tours will be available for purchase.

Kids can paint a toy wooden glider that they will be able to take home.

Face painting, food, bouncy houses, and Arlington police and fire officials will also be at the event.

Many local pilots will also have their planes on display for families to see.

"There are quite a number of our static displays that are from our local tenants who have interesting aircraft," said Wray.

"These are not your typical warbirds you might see in a museum," he said.

There are many local sponsors who help support the event, including Arlington Municipal Airport, the Arlington Fly-In, Castle and Cooke, Arlington Flight Services, Biringer Farms, Universal Aerospace, Global Machine Works, Civil Air Patrol, Jersey Mike's, Costco, EAA and local pilots.

"They all contribute to make this event happen," said Wray. Many local pilots donate their time to help fly children at the event and many of the sponsors help pay for the airplane fuel for those rides.

More information about Airport Appreciation Day is available on the city of Arlington's website at


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