Isabelle Stokes wore a shirt that read “future pilot” Saturday as she watched planes takeoff and land on the runway at the Pineville Municipal Airport adjacent to Buhlow Lake.
She’s one of the biannual fly-in’s target audiences.
The fall event, which began Friday evening and continues until Sunday at noon, was hosted by the Cenla Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 614 (Cenla Escadrille).
All the activities were free to the public.
Chapter President David Cohran said on Saturday morning he expected as many as 100 pilots to fly in, show off their planes and answer questions about what it takes to be a pilot or what it’s like to fly.
Cohran said pilots from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, comprised that number.
“We just want to get people interested in aviation,” Cohran said
Shari Drerup, a professional pilot and aviation instructor from Alexandria, brought her 2-years-old granddaughter for that reason.
“We’re going to make a pilot out of Isabelle,” Drerup said confidently.
The toddler waved at planes as they flew away, clapped when they landed and covered her ears as they came close.
“She’s already loving it,” Drerup concluded.
Drerup said Saturday was the perfect opportunity to get her granddaughter accustomed to the noisiness of flying before her first ride.
“I think it’s gonna be soon,” Drerup said.
Bob Bash, a 614 chapter member of Alexandria, was among those who came to share a wealth of information about flying.
He joked that pilots are the kind of people who like to share their stories with anyone who will listen, and that is why they love coming to events like the one on Saturday.
Of course three free meals, a flight seminar and demonstrations, live music and a showing of Saturday’s Louisiana State University football game were attractions, too.
But mostly, they came in for the thrill of the ride.
“Pilots will use most any excuse to fly somewhere,” Bash said.