First Manila ultra-light fly-in successful
The first ultra-light/small aircraft fly-in at the Manila Airport on Saturday, May 18, was successful once the fog lifted and allowed the planes to fly.
Benny Marr, organizer of the fly-in, and was pleased with the turnout.
"I want to thank everyone for participating," Marr said. "We had a lot of people here and had to double stack the plane parking. We can't control the weather, but it turned out to be a beautiful day."
In addition to over 20 planes, three helicopters were at the airport for visitors to view and visit with the pilots.
Manila Lions Club held a pancake breakfast during the morning and the senior citizens group cooked hamburgers and hot dogs during the lunch hours.
Members of the Manila Business Women made and sold 500 fried pies.
The Manila Band Boosters held a face painting booth for the children to enjoy.
Among the pilots flying in was former Manila resident Michael Piercy of Little Rock. Michael was flying a SportAir aircraft. He works for Barrett Aviation and SportAir. He said the little planes are great to fly, but it does take some transition flying for the pilots to adjust to the smaller aircraft.
Another pilot on hand for the fly-in was Wes Minear of Jonesboro. He pilots corporate jets for a living and smaller aircraft as a hobby. He said he enjoys stunt flying. He is an experienced pilot but said he is still learning in the aerobatics world.
Jim Creecy served as air boss for the event and the FAA had an information booth.
Marr is already thinking next year and hopes to make the ultra light fly-in an annual event at the Manila Airport.
"We are fortunate to have the airport here and the fly-in gives us the opportunity to show it off," Marr said. "I want to personally thank the women at the community center, the Lions Club, the Manila Business Women, Manila High School Band Boosters, Mayor Wayne Wagner and the city administration for their trementdous help and cooperation. The FAA representative was very impressed with our airport. Several out of town visitors complimented the event and said they enjoyed the day. It turned out just like I had planned."