By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- On March 2 at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport it will be time to get up close and personal with 50 aircraft.
Aviation Day returns once again to the local airport from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 2. This fly-in event, hosted in part by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 99 in Vero Beach, is a family-friendly opportunity to engage with those in the aviation industry.
The cost for individual entry is $5 and families are $10, said Keith Gordon, vice president of the EAA Chapter 99.
"One of the most eagerly anticipated aircraft zooming into the airport for the day is the Flagship Detroit, a restored 1937 Douglas DC-3, formerly flown by American Airlines," said Mr. Gordon. "The color scheme of the plane reflects an older color scheme of the airline, polished metal and an orange lightning bolt."
General aviation planes will make up the bulk of the aircraft in the show, although a few military planes may make an appearance.
Experimental aircraft and the pilots that have built them will be on hand to answer questions about them, as will pilots for the other aircraft.
Several bi-planes and even a helicopter will be on site offering rides throughout the day for an extra fee.
"In the lobby of the airport there will be radio-controlled aircraft, as well as a simulator, further engaging the public with aviation at all levels," Mr. Gordon said. "So many people are fascinated by aviation, but feel they can't afford it or have enough time to spend with it."
In this new millennium, technology and security measures have changed how people can interact with the aviation industry. No longer is it common for people to walk onto the tarmac and approach the planes, he said.
"Here they can go inside, touch, walk around the planes and there are plenty of people to answer any questions," Mr. Gordon said.
This is the event's 10th consecutive year, although it had occurred prior to 10 years ago.
"Thousands of people come out from around the county and surrounding counties to see the aircraft," said Eric Menger, Vero Beach Municipal Airport director. "February is aviation month in Vero Beach."
For more information about the event, visit www.eaa99.com/aviationdayverobeach.html.