Payson Aero Fair Moves To Fall

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Helicopter and airplane scenic flights are among the highlights of the 2005 Payson Aero Fair, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

The annual event, typically held the weekend of Spring Rodeo, has moved to the fall.

"It looks like we're going to have a perfect day weather-wise," Payson Municipal Airport Manager Ted Anderson said. "We're looking for a fun time."

The scenic flights go up to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, along the Mogollon Rim to about Milk Ranch Point and back, although other routes can be taken upon request, according to local pilot Paul Pitkin, a member of both the Payson Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

"They could do another flight that goes down over, say, Ox Bow Estates, Gisela, Round Valley and back in that way and see the town," Pitkin said.

Prices for the scenic flights have increased slightly since the 2004 Aero Fair.

"We had to raise the price a bit because the fuel prices have gone out of sight," Pitkin said.

Helicopter flights cost $35 per person and are flown by Sedona-based Arizona Helicopter Adventures Company.

Airplane flights cost $25 for adults and $20 for children flying with an adult. Members of the Experimental Aircraft Association will be conducting the airplane flights, but only conventional aircraft will be used.

The Experimental Aircraft Association will also hold a pancake breakfast at the airport from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost is $5.

Other Aero Fair highlights include:

  • The Rim Country Classic Car Club, Old Ford Club, and Rim Country 4-Wheelers will be displaying vehicles.

"We're going to have a large contingency of cars from different groups," Anderson said.

  • Specialty aircraft fly-ins, including a float plane.

"They're sort of a plane with a fuselage standing on stilts, and at the bottom of stilts are floats like the old pontoons," Anderson said. "We also hope to have some older aircraft from different European countries."

  • Displays of local vintage and experimental aircraft.

Visitors can walk right out on the tarmac to view and photograph the aircraft.

"It's a great opportunity to visit your airport, watch the airplanes fly, and talk to the pilots," Pitkin said.

  • The Payson Fire Department will display some of its fire engines and other equipment.
  • The fire department will also be selling hot dogs and drinks, and other food vendors will be there as well.
  • Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter will serve as the event DJ, offering his special blend of wit and repartee.

"We're asking that everyone park on the south side of Airport Road and enter through the gate on the west side of Crosswinds Restaurant," Anderson said. "The gate on the east side of the restaurant and the main gate to the airport will be closed during the Aero Fair."

Admission is free to the town-sponsored event. Call (928) 472-4748 for more information.

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