M-Mountain Fly-in brings info to visitors

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Approximately 75 youth turned out for the Aviation Career Day on Sept. 27, and an unknown number attended the M-Mountain Fly-in the next day. Both days were packed with information about aviation careers and opportunities, including everything from retired military personnel, now volunteers, telling their stories and explaining how their aircraft work, to hot air balloonists with their balloons, to skydivers.

The wind conditions were not conducive to flying for some of the craft. Dave Phillips, former Air Force and private industry pilot from Henderson, Nev., and a fourth-year invitee of Mayor Ravi Bhasker, provided rides in his small plane Sept. 28 during the fly-in. He gave 52 rides in two days last year.

Former Air Force pilot Mike Rice brought in a commemorative Air Force Restoration PT-26 from the CAF Restoration Center in Moriarity to show off and use for educational purposes. The PT-26 is similar to the PT-19, but was build for and bought by the Canadian military, whereas the PT-19 was built for and purchased by the U.S. military. The planes were used to train 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds entering the military.

“Many of the kids entering the military in those days, unless they came from farms or ranches, had never driven a vehicle,” Rice said. “There were a lot of ground accidents. These planes are lightweight and not expensive to build or replace.”

Budget restrictions prohibited the Department of Defense from participating in the Aviation Career Day or M-Mountain Fly-in, but others present represented many career opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industry. Information was disbursed about recreational opportunities, such as hot air ballooning and skydiving for sport, as well.
For more information and photos, visit the M-Mountain Fly-in Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MMountainFlyIn.