Georgetown, S.C. (WPDE) — Dozens of aviation enthusiasts got a first hand look at over 20 different types of planes and helicopters in Georgetown, Saturday.
Airport officials at Georgetown County Airport host the event each year to celebrate South Carolina Aviation Week.
“It’s a great time, great way to spend a Saturday,” said Ethan Anderson, a Young Eagle, who lives in Georgetown.
Officials said Saturday’s event was all about community.
“We try to go to a lot of the community events, try to support the community and this looked like a fun thing for them to do,” said Georgetown resident Christy Anderson.
From getting an inside look of the massive C-17 Globemaster out of Charleston to a hands on experience, some 1500 feet in the air from the pilot’s seat, it was quite the adrenaline rush for some.
“They had like the two, the two dual controls, and I got to sit in the front and pilot it for myself for a little bit,” said Ethan.
Airport officials said with a national pilot shortage impacting the aviation industry showcases like the one on Saturday are intended to encourage young kids and educate them on careers in aviation.
“They bring the community together for starters and then its good to expose the children to different people different jobs, different experiences,” said Christy.
For Ethan, after Saturday’s big rush through the clouds, he said a change in career paths could potentially be in the works.
“I didn’t think it would be, then, until I got up there and actually started doing it for myself first hand and I thought you know what this is pretty cool I might wanna look at this for the future,” said Ethan.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were nearly 827,000 pilots in the United States in 1987, and over the past three decades that number has dropped 30 percent.