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June 21, 2013

Aircraft theme Saturday at airport, museum events

Cass airport to hold fourth annual open house.

The Logansport-Cass County Airport open house is adding aircraft this year.

Saturday’s fourth annual event at the airport — which is open to the public — is bringing in three aircraft for display and rides that are new to the open house, said airport manager Tim Dalton. One, the Purdue University Phenom jet, will be flown in by Logansport native and third-generation pilot Braxton Baker, grandson of airport board member Bob Barr and student in Purdue University’s professional pilot program.

The others are an American Huey 369 helicopter from Peru and an World War II-era training plane. The Huey was assigned in 1971 to a medical company that had deployed to Vietnam and returned to the U.S. the next year. The helicopter was retired in 2001 to make way for a new Blackhawk helicopter and was acquired by Peru brothers John and Alan Walker in 2005, according to the website for the helicopter.

It’s now being maintained by a nonprofit organization with more than 60 core volunteers and air crew members.

“There’s a real big following among Vietnam veterans,” said Dalton. “Whenever it’s out and about, they’ll come.”

The third plane, an AT-6 Texan from the World War II era, is being brought in from Kokomo for display and rides. Some items from Grissom Air Museum in Bunker Hill will be on loan as well, Dalton said.

He’s expecting a few pilots to fly their own planes in for impromptu additions to the sights.

“You’ll see some things that you were like, ‘Wow, I didn’t think I was going to see that,’” said Dalton.

The open house is run by the local chapter 1471 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Four EAA chapter planes will be offering $10 rides to children. Chapter members will also serve up pork chops and hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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