Now is the time to see the beautiful Mogollon Rim Country from the air on Saturday, May 17 at the Payson Aero Fair. Starting at 7:30 a.m., until the winds come up early afternoon, the members of the Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA Chapter #810 will offer airplane rides. For a donation of $25 each, people can take a scenic flight around Payson.
To participate in this "air lift" experience, the pilot in command must be qualified with a certain number of flight hours. These pilots volunteer use of their airplanes and their flying time because they enjoy introducing folks to the wonders of aviation. The EAA uses the donations to support nonprofit organizations in Payson.
Pay attention to the young Civil Air Patrol Cadets (CAP) from Payson and Show Low who spent time in training to assist as ground marshals directing the airplanes as they taxi.
Someone gets to fly right seat next to the pilot in the reliable Cessna single engine planes.
Listen as the pilot calls on the radio to announce his position over the town. Observe him as he gently banks the airplane so the passengers get a good look at the Tonto Natural Bridge.
After all the rain this winter, the mountains of Rim Country and the Colorado plateau show off their vibrant green foliage. It's a sight not to be missed. Notice the sparkling water in the creeks and rivers, marvel at the rocky brown and red cliffs of the canyons. How can anyone resist this opportunity to fly?
As pilots, whenever they fly folks, especially the children, they enjoy watching their passengers with faces pressed against the window of the plane, necks stretching to see all the beauty of this land.
Three lucky people will win a free ride in the 1943 Beech Staggerwing bi-plane. A pilot survey in AOPA magazine voted it "The most beautiful plane." The Payson Village Shopping Center is sponsoring a chance to win this ride in a beautiful vintage 1943 Beech Staggerwing airplane. Free tickets will be available at any store in the shopping center through May 15.
Your captain for this experience, Larry Perkins, is a former airline pilot with America West (now US Air), Federal Aviation Administration examiner, instructor in numerous different types of planes and helicopters and many antique warbirds. You will be in excellent hands with Larry.
Wander around the airport to view airplanes on display. Pilots enjoy showing their Piper Super Cub, RV 6, Bonanza, Taylorcraft, Citabria, T6, classic Cessnas, and homebuilts. New Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond and Mooney airplane dealers display the latest in aviation.
Learn about camping gear pilots take along in their airplane. See Paul Pitkin's display of tent camping, next to his shiny, aluminum Cessna 180 airplane at Payson's friendly fly-in campground.
Awesome radio-controlled model airplanes from the Rim Country Flyers are so real in flight, they look like regular airplanes. Always a hit with folks, the polished classic cars from the Rim Country Classic Auto Club open their hoods for viewing, and for nostalgia. Listen to the roar of the tractors from the Rim Country Antique Tractor Club.
The Payson Aero Fair is the place to be on Saturday, May 17.