International military planes and a variety of private aircraft, including experimental and home-built, will be featured at the 2009 Payson Aero Fair, which will open at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, May 16 with a pancake breakfast at the Payson Airport. Those interested can take airplane rides around the Rim Country for $25 per person.
With an early morning pancake breakfast, afternoon airplane flights, a kids hangar and a slew of top-notch and historical planes on display all day, Payson’s 2009 Aero Fair promises highflying fun for all.
The free event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Payson Airport, Saturday, May 16.
“The May 16 Payson Aero Fair promises to be a fun day, full of the wonder of aviation with plenty of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy,” said media representative for the Aero Fair, Marie A. Fasano.
Last year’s theme was “Honoring our Military” and was commemorated with a flag ceremony and display of a Blackhawk helicopter and a Hummer.
This year’s theme, “Youth and Aviation” focuses on children of all ages in the hopes of stirring the imagination and possibly inspiring a younger generation to consider careers in aviation.
Among the activities planned for children, include meeting Captain Eric and learning more about being a pilot and discovering how to talk like a pilot using the phonetic alphabet. If you have ever wondered what your name would sound like up in a plane, experts will be on hand to translate and demonstrate. Children can also ride a model plane and try on a pilot’s headset and coat.
“We want to bring the community out to the airport to show off the services provided by the airport and for kids to have a good time,” Fasano said.
On top of all the fun activities for kids, scenic flights over the Mogollon Rim will be offered in single-engine aircraft.
Pilots with the Experimental Aircraft Association #810 will give flights that go up to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, along the Mogollon Rim and back. Pilots will also accept different routes, if for example, you want to fly over Star Valley and point out your home.
Prices for the flights run $25 per person, including adults and children. All of the pilots are donating their time and planes for the trips and are covered by insurance.
The Payson Pilots Association is offering a pancake, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children under 10.
Other Aero Fair highlights include:
• The Rim Country Classic Car Club and other organizations will have new and classic cars on display as well as antique cars and tractors.
• Displays of local vintage and experimental aircraft. Visitors can walk right out on the tarmac to view, touch and photograph the aircraft.
Some of the fabulous planes that will be on display include a Chinese Haiyan, the only one in the world owned by a civilian, a World War II B25 Mitchell Bomber and English Spitfire, a Short Caravan for paratroopers, a Chinese J6’ and the Italian fighter plane Marchetti, Fasano said.
• See how the U.S. Forest Service puts out fires. A Forest Service helicopter will dump water next to the runway to simulate a real water drop over a forest fire.
• Talk to the Native Air Ambulance crew about saving lives in the Rim Country.
• Mill through rows of food and craft vendors and the booths of community clubs and local organizations.
Admission is free and the event is handicap accessible. For more information, visit www.paysonairport.com or www.paysonrimcountry.com.
The following people make the Aero Fair possible every year:
Co-chairs Dick Garmon and Suzie Strickland
Air Boss Hawkeye Matthews
Operations Jim Garner
Payson Pilots Association Pancake Breakfast planners Mike Wallace and Paul Pitkin
Robert Henley with the Experimental Aircraft Association #810 airplane rides
Suzie Strickland and Cheryl Dolby with vendors
Holly Sanders and Sandra Butler with the kids program
Bob Walker with classic and antique cars
Denis and Barbara Parish with auto transportation and parking
Representatives Nancy Ward and Richard Nunn with the Payson Regional Airport Authority
“It takes a committed group of volunteers to put on the Aero Fair,” Fasano said. “All of these folks love the world of aviation and want our community, especially the young people in Payson, to learn about airport activities and how it benefits our town and the Rim Country.