Sunday, September 22, 2019

Day at the Airport

We had seen a Facebook post and a sign at the post office about Day at the Airport in Ely, Nevada on the first Saturday of September. There were a lot of other events going on the same day, but Desert Boy loves airplanes, so we decided to go. The event was from 6 am to 2 pm, with tethered hot air balloon rides from 6 am to 8 am. That sounded so tempting, but the kids have to get up so early for school during the week (5:25 am for Desert Boy), that we decided we would forego the hot air balloon ride for some sleep.

So we arrived at the airport about 9 am, and to our amazement, they were just putting the hot air balloon up. Apparently it had been too windy earlier. Wow, what luck!
We signed up for a ride and observed the test flight.

It was cool looking up into the balloon.

Soon it was our turn!

It was a cool feeling as we left the ground.

We didn't go super high in the air, but it was still exciting.

I would love to go for another hot air balloon ride! It's also impressive how many people it takes to get one up in the air and help put one away (we helped a tiny bit last year during the Ely Air Races).

The we walked around the airplanes that were out. Desert Boy was very interested in this ultralight airplane. He keeps saying he wants to make one, which makes me shudder. He's still a little on the young side, but with proper instruction, he would probably be safe. His grandpa, uncles, and dad all love airplanes a lot, so it might be in his blood.

Sitting in one on the ground got his imagination going.

Desert Girl had a turn and had fun being silly.

Then we headed over to Utah Valley University's plane. UVU has a School of Aviation Sciences that is very popular. Apparently Boeing estimates a need for 60,000 pilots over the next few years, so it's a great career field for those who like to fly.

One of their promotional items was a cool pen that had wings and folding wheels.

Next we went over to a hangar and looked at a beautiful Super Cub. The kids were invited to get in.

A helitack crew from St. George was returning from assignment in Elko and stopped by. It was great checking out their helicopter.

Next up was checking out the medical plane, used to take patients from Ely to Salt Lake City for more advanced medical care.

Here's what the instrument panel looks like.

And here's the stretcher for the patient.

An eye catcher was this older plane that was used as a trainer. They were giving rides, and after a lot of deliberation, Desert Boy decided he wanted to spend his own money to go up for a ride. Unfortunately, the plane got a flat tire before he had the opportunity. So maybe next year!

Day at the Airport was a lot of fun. We spent a couple hours there and enjoyed seeing some other planes and also learning more about drones. Desert Boy was so excited to show off his knowledge of planes (he knows far more than me), and he also learned a lot. Hopefully they'll do it again!

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