|Forty planes and fifty pilots participated in the 3-day Fly Kansas Air Tour.|
Amelia Earhart once said, “…The lure of flying is the lure of beauty, and I need no other flight to convince me that the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying.”
More than 1,200 students and members of the public had the opportunity to view 40 planes that participated in the 2017 Fly Kansas Air Tour.
|A Pilot demonstrates the controls to a student during the Fly Kansas Air Tour.|
At least 50 pilots and their planes began their 10-stop journey on Sept. 28 in Wellington. The tour, which was presented by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education (KCAE) and KDOT focused on encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and highlighted the benefits of local airports to smaller communities.
|Students react to the various aircraft that took part in the Fly Kansas Air Tour.|
This is the fourth consecutive year for the revived Fly Kansas Air Tour. The first incarnation of the tour took place in 1928, and its goal was to promote the fledgling aviation industry in Kansas. While this year’s tour still promoted the aviation industry in the state; Ed Young, President of the KCAE and the Fly Kansas Foundation, said that it also helped spread the message that aviation is for everyone.
Merrill Atwater, KDOT’s Director of Aviation, said that it’s important to recognize the important role aviation plays in Kansas.
“Aviation generates over $20 billion to the state’s gross domestic product,” Atwater said. “Kansas has such a rich history of aviation and it is important for us to celebrate this industry and who we are as Kansans.”
Atwater said it is important that local communities with airports understand the asset that they have and that aviation is a career path.
|A row of planes that flew in the Fly Kansas Air Tour.|
“Each community should know what role aviation plays locally and how it helps drive the state’s economy,” Atwater said.
The tour made stops in several communities in Kansas: Wellington, Liberal, Dodge City, Hays, Concordia, Atchison, Olathe, Pittsburg, Independence and it wrapped up in Benton on Sept. 30.
Check out our recap video of the Fly Kansas Air Tour!