Blaine’s Discover Aviation Days draws large crowds

Discover Aviation Days was a popular place during a weather-friendly weekend.

A T-6 Texan breaks away from the missing man formation during Saturday’s Discover Aviation Days opening ceremony, which featured a commemorative flyover. Photo by Tim Hennagir

A T-6 Texan breaks away from the missing man formation during Saturday’s Discover Aviation Days opening ceremony, which featured a commemorative flyover. Photo by Tim Hennagir

Preliminary estimated attendance for the two-day annual event at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport topped 12,000, said Craig Schiller, lead organizer.

“We think we had 7,500 on Saturday and about 5,000 people Sunday based on our car flyer handout,” he said. “We also placed data boxes to count cars.”

An 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., placed at the south end of the airport was this year’s special attraction.

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) opened Friday, June 1, after a special ceremony at noon featuring federal, state and local political dignitaries.

The memorial was fully lit at night and the members of Civil Air Patrol’s Anoka County Composite Squadron provided around-the-clock security, Schiller said.

Military hardware exhibits from the American Wings Air Museum were another popular attraction.

“They worked very hard on their historical exhibit layout,” Schiller said

Discover Aviation Days featured two days filled with flying demonstrations, kids’ activities, numerous exhibits, paid aircraft and helicopter rides, food booths.

General aviation and corporate aircraft, experimental, World War II fighters, trainers and bombers and modern military planes were displayed for public view.

Tim Hennagir is at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

  • http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com Maj Steven Solomon

    Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com or http://www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

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