Fly-in will provide glimpse at sky-high possibilities

From Local Sources

The Huntingburg Airport will host its first remote control plane fly-in Saturday.

The inaugural fly-in — which is officially called a Radio Control Aviation Appreciation Fly In and will be launched in collaboration with Jasper R/C Flyers Club — will allow people to watch remote control airplanes cruise around the airport and even let guests bring their own remote control airplane to fly.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and last throughout the day until 5 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well as breakfast from Old School Café of Huntingburg. Admission to watch is free.

“It’s an opportunity to get young individuals interested in aviation and it kind of goes along with the theme of what we’ve been working on at the airport for a long time,” Huntingburg Airport Manager Travis McQueen said.

All pilots of radio control crafts will be required to register with their Academy of Model Aeronautics license and will also incur a $10 landing fee. McQueen said there’s a pilot shortage and that events like the fly-in are one of the best ways to bolster pilot numbers. The airport already has a Pathways to Flight class, which allows young folks the chance to build an airplane. And the airport also has Civil Air Patrol, a youth coordinated, aviation-themed organization.

Those types of opportunities expose the aviation world to children at a younger age so they are better prepared to enter aviation schooling and the industry. Indiana ranked in the top 15 for the 2015 Aircraft Manufacturing Attractiveness Index put together by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network out of London.

McQueen mentioned that Rolls Royce employs a number of engineers in Indianapolis who produce helicopter and aircraft engines.

“It’s an opportunity for young kids to get involved in aviation … for folks to think about a career outside of typically what we think about here in Dubois County,” McQueen said. “The sky is very high.”