This was my second year as an exhibitor at Kansas Aviation Day. I and a fellow Advocate Wing member participated on the behalf of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) to showcase yet another way Kansas Aviation is employed. Since a majority of MAF’s fleet of almost 50 aircraft based in 17 countries are Cessna Aircraft from TEXTRON Aviation, it is quite fitting to do so.
This event, one of two hosted by the aviation division of the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Commission of Aviation Education, bring all aspects of Kansas aviation to our legislative decision makers. It encompasses:
Airports and Airstrips
…and a host of other facets of the aviation world. In Kansas, this sector’s economic impact is worth over $20.6 Billion!
You Can Be An Aviator Working Or Off-Hours
For some, its is a job/career making parts, supplying parts, developing systems, flying, assembling or marketing. In other cases, its is an avocation, serving as search and rescue, building and/or flying their own aircraft or simply flying on their off-time. For many it is serving as a volunteer with aviation attached. For all it is a passion.
Personally, I am a member of several aviation organizations, most of which had a presence at Kansas Aviation Day, so it was like old home week. Also an opportunity to network both personally and on behalf of MAF, the events is a connector to folks you might not otherwise meet.
A side bonus: I found some resources to have the analog instruments in my Aircoupe worked on!
My fellow International 99s were there as an exhibitor for the Amelia Earhart museum and home, also in Kansas.
Of course, the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 88, of which I am a member, had a great presence receiving recognition for its very active work with aviation education.
The exhibit just happened to include a mention of the chapter project, the building of the EAA Biplane I inherited from my dad. I could sense Daddy smiling from the great beyond.
The Wichita Aero Club, a group of aviation movers and shakers in the Wichita area, presented as well. Although not a member, I regularly attend their local events. The programs are top notch.
Natural, Normal And Magical
This day was a reminder of how integrated aviation is in the Kansas landscape, a way to touch base with that landscape, both old and new. Aviation is not the only thing in my life, as you can tell if you have read other posts in the THE STONEBRDIGE, but is is a significant facet.
As the owner a 1961 Forney Aircoupe, the same airplane I was introduced to aviation in as a child by my father, aviation served as a natural, normal, yet magical part of my life. Yes, it is another mode of transport, but with more smiles.
You see as a native Kansan, open skies, expansive sunrises and sunsets along with patchwork landscapes from above make my soul sing. Do I make you jealous? I hope so!
I have lived in the crowded cities of the world, where life, including flying is a chore. So, shhhhhh, don’t let the best kept secret out: If You Are In Kansas, You Can Be An Aviator!
Do you Fly? Where? In what? Would you like to? Please share in the comments below!