The skies above Scottsbluff early Saturday morning will be filled with aircraft arriving for the annual Airport Appreciation Day and Fly-In event at Western Nebraska Regional Airport.
Organizers are expecting the largest number of military aircraft in many years, including the KC-135 tanker, and the C-130 Hercules from the Nebraska and Wyoming Air Guards respectively. They are also expecting Blackhawk and Huey helicopters from the Air Force Base in Cheyenne.
Gary Hashley explains that because of construction on the east end of the tarmac where the event is usually held, the entrance will be close to the main terminal building. Parking will be in the main terminal parking lot with overflow parking to the west.
Hashley says they will also be doing Young Eagles flights for kids, but they will need to get there early to get signed in. Launched in 1992, the EAA Young Eagles program gives interested young people ages 8-17 an opportunity fly in a general aviation airplane. These flights are free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA volunteer pilots.
Special Olympics Nebraska and the Law Enforcement Torch Run will be hosting a Rescue Truck pull event, “Pulling for a Purpose.” 10-person teams will match up to see who can pull the 48,800 pound airport crash rescue truck 15 feet the quickest. The team that pulls the truck in the shortest time is the event champion.
This year’s free event is scheduled to include a spot landing contest and a short field take off contest.
The annual Kiwanis breakfast will kick things off when the gates open at 7 a.m. Hashley said the event will only run until noon, so he encourages people to come out early.