Paine Field Aviation Day is May 17

By Sara Bruestle | May 14, 2014
Courtesy of: Les Smith Alma Thurmer, volunteer and staff member with Historic Flight Foundation, invokes the spirit of Rosie the Riveter at last year’s Aviation Day.

Airplane aficionados, get ready for take off: The 19th annual Paine Field Aviation Day is this weekend.

The event hosted by the Washington Pilots Association and Paine Field will be held Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Snohomish County Airport to celebrate general aviation, with airplanes in the air and on the ground.

Throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to take a flight, meet the pilots, view one-of-a-kind aircraft, talk with flight schools and watch flying demonstrations. An estimated 60 airplanes will be participating in the event.

“We decided we needed to do something to talk about aviation and share that with the general public, the neighbors of Paine Field,” said Les Smith, president of the Washington Pilots Association.

“We’re trying to take the mystery out of what those little planes overhead are doing and talk about what a good neighbor and what an asset to the community that Paine Field is.”

The Experimental Aircraft Association will host free 20-minute Young Eagles flights over Snohomish County for kids 8-17. First come, first served. Space is limited.

“It’s a great program,” Smith said. “Some of our pilots who will be flying this weekend were themselves introduced to flying through Young Eagles.”

Scenic helicopter and bi-plane rides also will be available throughout the day for a fee.

Planes will take flight from noon to 1:30 p.m., with formation flying by the Flying Heritage Collection, Historic Flight Foundation, Cascade Warbirds and The Blackjack Squadron.

To kick off the day, Paine Field firefighters are hosting their annual Firefighters Fly Day Pancake Breakfast for $5 a plate. Proceeds go to the North Counties Relief Fund, benefiting those affected by the Oso slide.

“It’s a tradition to throw a pancake breakfast if you want a bunch of pilots to come to your airport,” Smith said.

The 2014 Firefighters Fly Day 5K Run/Walk has been canceled.

In addition to static aircraft displays, see also car collections and fire engines on exhibit.

Children’s activities include bouncy houses, robotics teams demonstrations and a build-a-robot challenge. There will also be live music from local bands.

A food court will open at 10 a.m. and feature familiar vendors from in and around Mukilteo.

Flight schools Regal Air and Northwest Helicopters of Everett will also be on hand to offer guidance on how to earn a pilot certificate.

“It is truly a family event, and there is something for all ages,” Smith said.

Never been to Aviation Day? Smith has some recommendations for new visitors.

“I’d get there early so my kid gets a chance to do the Young Eagle flight and then walk around the static displays,” he said. “Then, when it’s time for them to take flight, I’d photograph the Warbirds.”

In 18 years, Aviation Day has grown from 200 to more than 8,000 visitors.

Admission is $10. Youths 17 and under get in free. Admission includes entrance into the Flying Heritage Collection and Historic Flight Foundation.

Aviation Day will be held at Paine Field, 3407 109th St. S.W., Everett. Parking and shuttle are free.

For more information, call the event hotline at 425-353-2110 ext. 5, or visit

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