By Nancy McGill
The Hebron Airport Authority and Blue Valley Flying Club are bringing a two-day Fly-in event to the area March 18 and 19 at the Hebron Municipal Airport.
Students from Thayer County schools will be the first to experience the thrill of flight starting with an educational presentation from pilots, Doug Roth, Harry Barr and female trick pilot, Jessy Panzer, March 18 at 1:15 p.m.
“She is a great model for girls in aviation,” Dr. Stephen Bateman, an organizer of the event, said.
Roth’s plane is a Staudacher S300B; Barr owns a Hiberbipe SNS-7; and Panzer flies a Pitts S1S.
At least 300 students are expected March 18 to hear the pilots speak and watch them perform an aerobatic show at 2 p.m.
Bateman said the afternoon will be valuable for students.
“There is no reason they shouldn’t be learning to fly,” he said.
The minimum age to become a commercial pilot is 18. The stem of careers branching out from flight are many, including maintenance, mechanical jobs, electronics, chemical and air traffic control.
Even metereology is tied to flight, Bateman said.
He also tossed applied physics into the pool.
The Hebron Nebraska Fly-in event will be student-friendly throughout as it includes the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles, who will host Young Eagle Flights for ages eight to 17 to cap the schedule March 19.
Bateman said the Young Eagles program is designed to give children their first ride in an airplane free.
He said a couple of Young Eagles clubs are coordinating with event planners and all have passed background and safety checks.
Parents will need to complete a form and a waiver.
The Young Eagles take over at 1 p.m. The entire Fly-in ends at 5 p.m.
A 7 a.m., breakfast kicks off the day and the public is welcome. Freewill donations will be accepted.
At 9 a.m., the FAASTeam, a safety arm of the Federal Aviation Administration, will present on Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
At 10:30 a.m., Roth, Barr and Panzer take the floor to talk aerobatics before they perform in the air at 11 a.m.
“We’re expecting 30 airplanes to fly in besides the demonstration planes,” Bateman said. Pilots will be flying in from as far as 200 miles away.
Bateman, a scientist of engineering, said the authority works to keep the airport open and viable to its community through its collaboration with Thayer County Health Services, fuel sales, crop dusting and other privately-owned businesses.
“The airport is a huge asset. It will be good for the city to see this high level of activity,” Bateman said about the Fly-in.
He owns Chocks Away Aviation at the airport, a flight training service, and is a ground and flight instructor.
Last year’s event in June brought over 3,000 people to the Hebron Airport because it was the Nebraska Aviation Council’s annual. This year’s state Fly-in will be held in Cozad.
The March 18-19 Fly-in for Hebron is on a smaller scale than last year’s, and exactly what Bateman said the airport and the area needs – more flight activities to raise awareness, especially when it comes to aviation in the schools.
To keep up with activities at Hebron Municipal Airport, like it on Facebook.