From World War II era planes to cutting edge business and modern military aircraft, the Georgetown Airport will be the place to see them all on Aug. 24 and 25. A free static aircraft display will be at the center of the county’s biggest National Aviation Week Celebration ever.
The airport will also be site of Young Eagle Flights that weekend, where children can experience their first plane ride, free of charge, on a first come basis with proper paperwork submitted in advance. For teens and adults 14 and up, they can actually have their first piloting experience, taking an introductory flying lesson from Seven Rivers Aviation for $99. There will also be seminars for pilots, fire truck rides for kids, and a festival environment with food and lots of fun. Admission will be free.
Aviation Week is recognized and celebrated in Georgetown County every year. But with a new airport manager and a new long-range strategic plan in place for growing the Georgetown Airport, staff decided a bigger celebration was merited.
“This is all about getting kids and families out to the airport to see and learn,” said Jim Taylor, who was hired this spring as the airport’s new manager. “I’ve driven past the airport back home so many times and seen kids lined up along the fence, looking in. They’re already excited about aviation. Kids love airplanes. I want to get them inside the fence and let them experience it.”
It’s a mission that falls in line with a large component of the airport’s long-range plan, which calls for increased public outreach and education about careers in aviation. There is a huge pilot shortage right now, Taylor said. Kids need to know there are ample opportunities right here for good paying jobs in the aviation field – many that don’t require a four-year college degree.
Among the planes on display for kids and families to see during the celebration will be a P-51 called the Swampfox, a T-35, a tree-cutting helicopter from RotorBlade, an Air Methods ship and a Bristol light sport aircraft. More aircraft will be announced in August.
“All the stuff that excites kids will be right here, and most of it will be free,” Taylor said.