Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

May 15, 2014

Fly-in and car show: A positive step for the airport

— — An air show is finally returning to the Mercer County Airport. We applaud members of the Mercer County Airport Authority and airport manager Clint Ransom for helping to make this long-requested fly-in and car show a reality.

This a step in the right direction and a great way to showcase this general aviation airport while also providing a fun day for local residents.

We must use every opportunity to put the spotlight on our airport — not only to the community but also to prospective business leaders who may utilize the facility in the future. A robust airport is key to a community’s success when it comes to economic development and growth.

The fly-in and car show will be held Saturday, May 24. Ransom estimates that at least 25 planes will participate in the fly-in, including general aviation planes, private planes and several private jets.

As part of the show, children ages 6 to 17 will have the chance to take free airplane rides courtesy of local pilots. The current plan is to offer rides lasting approximately 15 minutes and fly over nearby areas, such as the city of Bluefield, to the first 50 kids who line up, but more rides may be possible depending on weather and other conditions, according to Ransom. Local pilots are generously donating the necessary aviation fuel and their time to offer the rides.

Along with the aircraft rides, the event will feature the car show, food vendors and live music by George Whittaker, who appeared on “Nashville Star Search” and “used to open for some pretty big bands in the ’90s,” Ransom says.

Car owners can begin registering their entries at 9 a.m.  on the morning of May 24, and awards will be presented at 4 p.m. that same day. Prizes donated by area businesses will be awarded throughout the day.

Ransom correctly notes that it is typical for airports to host fly-in events during the summer and invite pilots from other airports to visit and socialize.

Airport authority members are hoping to make the community more aware of what the airport has to offer, according to board member Charlie Cole, who is also one of the local pilots who will be providing free rides to area children.

“A lot of people will come to the car show and see what the airport’s all about,” Cole says. “Basically, we’re raising awareness.”

And that’s exactly what an air show and related activities will do.

We are pleased to learn that the fly-in and car show will be held at our community airport, and hope that families across Mercer County will come out and participate in the event.

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