Pilots try their 'hand' at fun run in the air

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2001

Aviators from all around are flocking to Kenai Peninsula airports this weekend.

"We hope to draw aviators from the peninsula and perhaps Anchorage and the valley," said Mike Tarr, air traffic manager at the Kenai Automated Flight Service Station. "We are looking to make this an annual event."

The Kenai Municipal and Soldotna airports are hosting the first Central Peninsula Air Fair throughout the weekend at several area airports.

In an event similar to the annual Palmer Fly-in where 500 pilots converged this year, the air fair is a partnership between Kenai and Soldotna involving the airport commission to promote aviation on the peninsula.

Pilots are invited to participate in a fun run including the Kenai, McGahan Industrial, Quartz Creek, Kasilof, Ninilchik, Homer and Soldotna airports. It entails collecting at least five cards from the different airports to be turned in at Soldotna in the afternoon. The run begins at the Kenai Municipal Airport, where there also will be a pancake breakfast. Both start at 7 a.m.

There will be a barbecue in Soldotna from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and pilots will play their hands in Soldotna at 4 p.m. Prizes such as a year's free tie down at the Kenai Municipal Airport or fishing trips will be presented at 4:30 p.m.

With or without wings, everyone is invited to stop by the barbecue. There also will be displays of noteworthy aircraft and educational activities.

FAA flight safety standard counselors also are offering courtesy safety evaluations of planes.

They are trying to emphasize the safety aspect of aviation, especially this close to hunting season, Tarr said.

For more information on participation or vending opportunities, call Mike Tarr or Stan Gerlitz at 283-3557 or e-mail to 9-AAL-ENAPCC@faa.gov or visiting the Kenai Automated Flight Service Station Web site at www.alaska. faa.gov/enaafss.

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