Airport hosting Fly-In

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 11, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Visitors to this weekend’s third annual Suffolk Fly-In can experience the legacy of the historic Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949.

The highlight of the Suffolk Executive Airport’s fly-in will be Saturday’s visit by a restored Douglas C-54E, the transport aircraft typically used to make what many consider the greatest humanitarian/aviation event in history. Owned by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation, the restored aircraft, named &uot;Spirit of Freedom,&uot; is a mobile museum filled with artifacts and displays dedicated to the airlift.

Email newsletter signup

The fly-in is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Other activities planned for the weekend include Skydive Suffolk’s flag jump and sky-diving stunts; biplane and war bird rides; model aircraft demonstrations; and exhibits of antique aircraft, classic cars and World War II military vehicles.

People will be coming by car and, weather permitting, by plane, said Kent Marshall, the airport’s executive director. An open invitation has been issued to dozens of general aviation airports in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland and ads have been placed in aviation publications distributed on the East Coast.

Frequently, when weather is good, small plane owners will fly in for an organized event, Marshall said.

Saturday’s events will be capped off with an old-fashioned dinner and hangar dance featuring swing music. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.; the hangar dance will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the airport or from any member of the Suffolk Airport Commission.

The highlight of Sunday will be the Young Eagle flights, slated to run from 1 to 4 p.m. That event, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, will give youngsters ages 8 to 17 the chance to learn how an aircraft works, take a flight over the city in a private plane and receive a special endorsement certificate from the EAA. Participation in the Young Eagle program is free.