It will be a day for families to check out airplanes, talk to pilots and spark an interest in aviation in children.
The Wellington Airport, 441 N. West Road, is holding its second annual open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
There will be a handful of small single engine four to six-seater airplanes - such planes as World War II trainers, some homebuilts and Cessnas and Pipers.
“There’s not going to be big commercial jets,” said Katie Church, marketing person at Air Plains Services, located near the airport. “It’ll be pretty much small puddle jumpers.”
Pilots will give free rides to kids ages 8 to 17. Parents and guardians will be required to sign their children up for the rides and fill out a form. These introductory flights for children, tweens and teens will be provided by volunteers with the Young Eagles EAA program. Wellington’s chapter, which is only about a year old, is the EAA Chisholm Trail 1631.
“It’ll give young kids a chance to interact with aviators, get an airplane ride and get excited about aviation,” airport manager Matt Wiebe said.
Young people with an interest in aviation can join the Young Eagles club, Wiebe said.
Church said, “It’s kind of to plant a seed of interest. Most kids have never been in an airplane.”
Aviators will stand by their planes and talk about them to anyone who is interested. “Most pilots are awesome,” Wiebe said.
There will be plenty of children’s activities. The Wellington Public Library will have a table where kids can make paper airplanes. Wichita children’s author Carol Ysidro will read and sign her book, “Robby Learns to Fly.” A bounce house will be on sight for kids to burn off energy.
Nieve’s will have a food truck there as well as Travelin’ Smoke. Pilots who fly in will receive vouchers for the food trucks. A snow cone vendor will also be on hand.
Wiebe and Church are hoping for good weather like they had last year. “It was the perfect day,” Church said. “We were thrilled with the turnout.”
“It’s always been my goal since taking over the airport to have one fly-in,” Wiebe said.