Aviation Day draws a crowd

Karen DeRoss
Children are fascinated by home built airplanes, like this one built by Robert Kube, former president of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 644.

Colorful planes decorated the Montague Airport as hundreds of participants inspected the craftsmanship and learned about different instruments of flight during Saturday’s Aviation Day.

Chris Tyhurst, president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, chapter 654, said this year was one of the more successful Aviation Days. He was excited that many people from out of town attended.

“This was very very interesting, I love it. If I could, I would stay all day – for hours. Flying is my passion,” said Marco Milano, an aeronautical engineering student from Italy who attended the event during a visit with his family.

The crowd enjoyed the classic, experimental and World War II vintage planes parked for display, a pancake breakfast, flight demonstrations, aviation history displays and raffle prizes. “All the planes on display are privately owned and some are home built,” said Tyhurst.

A 10 a.m. flyby of F-15 fighters from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls captured the attention of all. Heads turned and cameras appeared instantaneously as the noise of the aircrafts reached a crescendo and quickly faded as the fighters disappeared over the hills.

Later, Cessnas, bi-planes, acrobat planes and many other small aircrafts took off from the runway, turning the skies into a canvas for the beauty of the colorful planes in flight.

A small solar 262 helicopter hovered above the ground, close to the gathered audience to display its abilities. The one-man aircraft that can stay in the air for about an hour and reach a speed of 100 miles per hour. “It makes a run to Raley’s much more exciting, folks,” said the announcer.

People filtered through the historical information display about plane crashes in Siskiyou County in the 1940s as well as other historical aviation information that was prepared by the EAA for the event.

“This is one of the best years we’ve had,” said Tyhurst

The F-15 fighters fly overhead