Aircraft fly-in set for today

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

VIDALIA — The sky’s not just for the birds today.

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 912’s annual experimental aircraft fly-in will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Concordia Parish Airport.

The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available.

While their name may sound exotic, experimental aircraft are really just another class of airplane, Concordia Parish Airport Authority President Carl Sayers said.

“Experimental Aircraft Association is a nationwide association of pilots and builders who like to build their own aircraft — (the planes) are available in kit form — and most people buy a kit and construct it themselves.”

The planes also have to meet the same safety standards as other aircraft.

“They are licensed just like regular licensed aircraft, they are subject to annual inspections and the same rules and regulations that apply to most general aviation aircraft, Sayers said.

EAA Chapter 912 President Donna Maroon said this weekend’s event is just one of several fly-ins that will be hosted around the state between the months of March and October, and the pilots get points for participating with winners awarded at the end of the season.

“Mainly the fly-in is to raise awareness of small aircraft, to let people get familiar with it, and maybe there are some people out there who are interested in learning how to fly,” Maroon said.

As part of the fly-in, the pilots participate in the Young Eagles program, which allows young children who have never flown in an airplane to take to the skies.

“It is a good experience for them, and sometimes we have as many adults who want to go up as children,” Maroon said.

Sayers said he expects between 50 and 60 pilots to participate, depending on the weather.

The Concordia Parish Airport is located at 359 National Guard Road.