This year, the Aero Fair, on May 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., has an international flavor, and not just from the food vendors. Planes from across the globe will be on display, including from World War I and World War II, the USA, England, China, Italy and Germany.
• An aviation-filled day kicks off with a hearty breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Payson Pilots Association (PPA) will serve pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee. Cost for adults is $7, and $4 for kids under 10. The PPA uses all of the money raised to support nonprofit organizations.
After breakfast, wander around the airport to view all of the airplanes on display. Pilots enjoy showing off their planes, including the Piper Super Cub, RV 6, Bonanza, Taylorcraft, Citabria, T6 and classic Cessnas.
• At noon, the Tonto National Forest Helitack crew will demonstrate how they put out forest fires with a real water drop on the side of the runway.
The Omniflight Native Air ambulance helicopter crew will show you how they transport patients from the Rim Country to hospitals in the Phoenix area.
• Parking — The Payson Police Department volunteers will be directing visitors to parking outside the airport. Look for parking on Airport Road. Let a volunteer know about any special parking requests, as handicap parking is available. Shuttles will run to and from the parking lot throughout day.
• Airplane Activities — For a $25 donation, pilots from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter #810 will take passengers up in a single-engine airplane for a flight around the Rim Country.
Paul Pitkin will discuss the logistics of camping with an airplane. He will display his tent and camping gear next to his shiny, aluminum Cessna 180 airplane at Payson’s friendly fly-in campground, located next to the runway.
• Kids Programs — For children, a special hanger will be designated with games, activities and speakers. Kids can sport a pilot’s jacket and headset next to the English Spitfire and get their photo taken, and they can meet commercial pilots from Southwest Airlines and Virgin Air.
• At 8 a.m., Holly Sanders will direct a parachute drop, and at 9 a.m., Marie Fasano will teach how to talk like a pilot. At 10 a.m., Daren Du and Angela Cailliau will discuss aviation careers. At 11 a.m., Jeff Terry will discuss Native Air’s helicopter ambulance. At noon, the Tonto Helitack will do a water drop. At 1 p.m., Eric Ward will discuss flying for a living.
• And if food, fun and planes isn’t enough, take a stroll around the polished classic cars from the Rim Country Classic Auto Club, or listen to the roar of the tractors from the Rim Country Antique Tractor Club. The groups will have dozens of cars and tractors on display.
For more information, call (928) 468-0147, or visit www.paysonairport.com.