Fair for flight

Lindsay Ridinger

Aviation fair links university and community, promotes education

Aircraft displays, demonstrations, food and more will provide Kent State students and local families with entertainment at this weekend’s Aviation Heritage Fair.

The fair, also referred to as Aviation Day, will take place from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Kent State University Airport on Kent Road in Stow. Kent State’s College of Technology Aeronautics program is hosting the event with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls.

Maureen McFarland, academic program director of aeronautics and assistant professor at Kent State, said this is the third year the College of Technology has been involved with the event.

“(The fair is) basically a partnership between the community and the university to promote aviation education,” she said. The event attracts families and their children, and both the young and old can attend to see what aviation is like, she said.

McFarland said the program puts a lot of focus into bringing the aircraft to the fair, which “is what people want to see.”

The fair generally showcases static displays of aircraft, McFarland said, but this year there will be two flight demonstrations. Kent State graduates who are now serving in the Armed Forces will pilot one flight in a C-130 and the second in a KC-135.

McFarland said the aircraft comes from all over the area, including Mansfield and the Commemorative Air Force, which contributes to the event every year.

“A lot of people who bring in their aircraft for display have some affiliation with the university or the community,” McFarland said.

The crew will also give airplane rides to the public, McFarland said. In addition to the displays and a children’s tent, the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls will serve food throughout the day.

“(The fair) is a true community event,” Faith Cook, Kiwanis co-chair of the Aviation Heritage fair, said. The Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls and Key Club, as well as Kent State Circle K, will set up tables and chairs this afternoon and continue to help out during the fair.

“(The preparations) are extremely labor intensive,” Cook said. Kiwanis members will also cook and serve pancakes from 7 a.m. until about noon, and then serve nachos, cheese and beverages until the fair ends, Cook said.

Both McFarland and Cook encourage Kent State students to attend the fair.

Although sophomore flight technology major Brian Adams didn’t attend last year, he said he would like to see the displays at the airport Saturday.

“(The fair) might inspire some kids to become pilots,” Adams said. “I’ve always wanted to be a pilot since I was young. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”

President Lester Lefton and Verna Fitzsimmons, interim dean of the College of Technology, will be present at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to present an aviations studies student with a scholarship.

Contact College of Technology reporter Lindsay Ridinger at [email protected].