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Town's heritage of flight

Fly-in helps raise funds for Hagerstown Aviation Museum

Fly-in helps raise funds for Hagerstown Aviation Museum

October 03, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Vintage airplanes that were built decades ago at the Fairchild Aircraft plant in Hagerstown made their way home Saturday to be placed on public display at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The showing was part of the 11th annual Hagerstown Aircraft Services and Hagerstown EAA Chapter 36 Fly-in and Drive-in. The event continues today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to the array of antique airplanes, children had a chance to take free flights over the Tri-State area in privately owned planes.

Tracey Potter, president/owner of Hagerstown Aircraft Services, said the event is held, in part, to raise money to provide a permanent home for the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.

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Everything at the fly-in is free except for food and merchandise.

"It's a nice thing to do to open the airport to the public," Potter said. "This allows them to see airplanes in a different light."

Potter said the goal is to acquire a building big enough to house every plane in the collection, which ranges from the PT-19 trainer to the C-119, a behemoth that was used by the U.S. Air Force primarily during the 1950s to haul everything from supplies to paratroopers.

Rachel Reno of Greencastle, Pa., said she came the fly-in to let her 1 1/2-year-old son, Stephen, see the planes.

"He's just started to recognize airplanes," Reno said. "We decided to bring him and let him see them up close."

People who attended the event were permitted to look in the cockpits of the planes and walk through the fuselages. Some participants wore military uniforms from World War II as Big Band music played in the background.

Herb Taylor, 81, said he attended the fly-in because he likes airplanes and used to work off and on at the Fairchild plant during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

He said he had a hand in building parts for 747s and the A-10, which experienced great success as a tank killer during the Persian Gulf War.

Taylor said events like the fly-in give the public a chance to recognize the area's place in aviation history.

"I appreciate the fact it will do something for the community," he said. "I hope the community will respond."

If you go



What: 11th annual Hagerstown Aircraft Services and Hagerstown EAA Chapter 36 Fly-in and Drive-in

When: Today, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown Aircraft Services at Hagerstown Regional Airport

Cost: Free

For more information, go to www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org

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