By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
Kids fly free.
Wait, don’t pack your bags yet.
It’s only about a 15-minute flight, and adults can’t go.
The free rides, for ages 8 through 17, will be offered at Paine Field Aviation Day on May 17.
This is the 19th year for Aviation Day, which begins at 9 a.m. with a Charity Firefighters Pancake Breakfast ($5 donation) and ends at 3 p.m.
Meet pilots. View historic aircraft. Talk with flight schools.
“It’s intended to draw in the community and expose them to aviation,” said Frank Hummel, volunteer coordinator. “You can get up front and personal with the planes.”
There will be a bunch of vintage planes rumbling overhead.
The first Aviation Day was initiated by the Washington Pilots Association to educate the public about aviation and has grown in popularity.
About 8,000 people showed up last year. Shuttles are available.
Activities include bouncy houses, classic car displays, photo booth, robotic displays, model airplanes and the opportunity to build a robot.
Space is limited to first-come for the free plane rides for youth.
Translation: Get there early. Bring an adult to sign a waiver.
“People line up before the gates open to get a sequence number,” Hummel said. “It is highly organized and orchestrated.”
The flights follow a set route: No aerobatics or unusual attitudes.
At last year’s event, about 275 kids took a plane ride. Pilots volunteer their time, aircraft and fuel.
Volunteers are needed on the ground. No aviation experience needed.
Last year about 370 people, teens to seniors, volunteered. “Everything from static displays to parking lot attendants,” Hummel said. “Some volunteers help with volunteer check-in.”
There’s still time to sign up. To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers get a T-shirt, free admission and an invite to the appreciation party.
And free pancakes.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com.
If you go
Admission is $10. Free for those under 17.
Flying demonstrations from noon to 1:30 p.m. from Flying Heritage Collection, Historic Flight Foundation and the Cascade Warbirds.
Aircraft on display include: North American B-25, North American P-51, Republic P-47, DC-3, Spitfire, Cessna 182, Cessna 172, Tri-pacer, Navion and Long-EZ.
Biplane and helicopter rides are an additional fee.
The two designated lots are the blue lot at 9801 27th Place W., Everett, and the red lot, 10719 Bernie Webber Drive, Mukilteo. Shuttles will pick up and drop visitors off at the entrances, and there will also be a cross-field shuttle to all Paine Field attractions.
For more information go to www.painefield.com.
Flying Heritage Collection
Flying Heritage Collection is at Paine Field, 3407 109th St. SW, Everett.
Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; and every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Regular admission is $14; seniors and military are $12; ages 6 to 17 are $10. Free for ages 5 and younger.
Tankfest Northwest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day, May 26. Restored tanks, military vehicles and artillery weapons. Driving and firing demonstrations. Puget Sound Military Vehicle Collectors Club parade. Free admission for veterans.
Ace Makers Day: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Father’s Day, June 14. Learn about classic aviation. Warbirds take flight at noon. Ed Saylor, a Doolittle Raider veteran, will share his combat experiences.
For more information go to www.flyingheritage.com.
Historic Flight Foundation
Historic Flight Foundation is at 10719 Bernie Webber Drive, Mukilteo.
Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Regular admission is $12; seniors and military are $10; ages 6 to 15 are $8. Free for ages 5 and younger.
70th anniversary of D-Day: June 6: “Diamond Four” formation of P-51 Mustangs to visit 20 cities and towns in Western Washington will launch at 10 a.m. and land at 3 p.m., with a noontime tour of downtown Seattle.
June 7: About 100 living historians in authentic D-Day attire and military vehicle enthusiasts. Veterans will be asked to recall their experiences. B-25 and P-51B planes will show off invasion stripes in a tribute to the surviving veterans.
Father’s Day Weekend: June 14 and 15.
Mukilteo Car Show: June 22.
For more information: call 425-348-3200 or go to www.historicflight.org.