By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — For experimental aircraft builders, World War II history buffs and kids who love jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, Arlington’s annual Fly-In is a must.
The Fly-In, which attracts pilots from around the country and families from around the region, continues today and Saturday at Arlington Municipal Airport. In addition, the annual Arlington Street Fair is today until 6 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday along Olympic Avenue. For easy travel, a free shuttle runs between the downtown fair and the airport show.
On Thursday, Rob Herndon and his son, TJ, made a nearly three-hour flight from Caldwell, Idaho, in Herndon’s RV-6, a kit plane he built in his garage. The flight to Arlington has been a birthday present each year for TJ, who turns 13 on Monday.
Once landed and parked, the Herndons set up their tent next to their two-seater plane and set out to visit other pilots.
“We get to see a lot of unusual aircraft here in Arlington,” said TJ, who hopes to earn his pilot’s license by age 16.
Thursday was Kids Day at the Fly-In and the air show was packed with children from YMCAs and Boys &Girls clubs running from one display to the next. Especially popular with the kids was the NASCAR simulation vehicle.
Vintage airplanes and old cars displayed at the Barnstormer’s Barn also drew a crowd of all ages.
Walking down an airport runway, Lauren Hansen, from Arlington, let her 16-month-old son, Andrew, get out of his stroller and check out one of the golf carts used by Fly-In volunteers to get around. Among those volunteers are legions of local Civil Air Patrol Cadets, Naval Sea Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Force Cadets.
“It’s my first time here, but it’s a great event,” Hansen said. “Andrew seems to having a good time looking at everything.”
Also on Thursday, in the popular military history section called Camp Adams, two authors shared books about their World War II veteran fathers.
Jim Keeffe, from Fall City, wrote “Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a WWII Bomber Pilot, Evader and POW” about his father, a co-pilot in a B-24 bomber shot down over the Netherlands in 1944.
Ron Miner from Salem, Ore., wrote “Sketches of a Black Cat,” detailing some of his father’s experiences as a combat aviator in the Pacific. The book is illustrated with drawings and paintings his father did during the war.
Keeffe and Miner plan to talk about their books and their dads again today and Saturday.
Their presentations are just some of the many forums, exhibits and how-to workshops scheduled during the Fly-In.
People also can take rides in a biplane and enjoy the dramatic air shows at 2 p.m. Among the pilots planning to fly are the favorite father-son duo Bud Granley, of Bellevue, and Ross Granley, of Mill Creek, who perform their Yak 18T and Yak 55 act throughout North America.
Today’s events include a lighted hot air balloon show at dusk. At 9:30 Saturday evening, the night air show includes pyrotechnics and aerial acrobatics.
Also at the Fly-In, military veterans can get free help finding civilian jobs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday. The Hero 2 Hired mobile jobs program offers people the chance to do a comprehensive online job search, write a resume and figure out how their military skills translate to civilian job qualifications.
Meanwhile, at the street fair, people can browse through about 100 vendor booths and participate in the Arlington Idol singing contest or youth art projects.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.