Monday, September 15, 2014

Bethel, Berks County, Pennsylvania: Golden Age Air Museum hosts Barnstormers Day and open house

Attendees follow the plane during a fly-by as it soars through the beautiful Berks sky on Sept. 14. 
Photo by Shea Singley — Berks-Mont Newspapers 

Old engines could be heard as airplanes from the golden age of aviation soared through the beautiful Berks County sky on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel for the Barnstormer Day as well as open house.

“Sit back and enjoy the sounds of the old engines,” said the announcer. “You may even be able to hear the whisper of the wind over the wings.”

The event was an “original non-air show air show” focused on planes from the 1920s to 1930s as well as radio controlled airplanes. Fitting the golden age feel of the airfield and museum, the pilots dressed appropriately and fit right in with the roaring 20s and jazz music played over the speakers between commentary and plane engines roaring as they passed by. As promised the barnstorming pilots had plenty of tricks up their sleeves to entertain the audience all day with aircraft presentations, fly-bys and aerial competitions.

“We’d like to thank you for your resilience in coming today as we had to postpone the air show yesterday because of Mother Nature,” said the announcer. “We’re going to do a little bit of our flying circus work.”

He continued, “We’re going to do a series of flying acts all day long here. It’s not going to be as fast-paced as our circus but we’re going to have a lot more surprises and a lot of stuff for you.”

The audience congregated by the planes preparing to take off and all heads turned as the planes took to the sky and circled the field flying past multiple times. Along with the sounds of the engines, clicks from cameras were heard capturing the golden age aircraft in motion.

As the planes passed by and prepared to take off, the announcer explained the various aircraft by providing a brief history and interesting tidbits and commentary.

Attendees were treated to planes that usually do not take part in the fly-bys or perform at the open house event. Various planes were on the ground for attendees to look at up close as well as vintage cars.

As per tradition, the event officially started with the playing of the National Anthem, which due to the postponement the event ended up on the same day as a special anniversary for the song. Sunday, Sept. 14, marked the 200th anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem.

“Air shows are traditionally patriotic and we certainly feel that way here at Golden Age Air Museum,” said the announcer.

Not only were the attendees treated to presentations, fly-bys, aerial competitions, World War II aircraft flight, radio controlled aircraft, antique autos, live music, comedy and action, but also the chance to go up into the sky in Golden Age Air Museum’s biplane which was offering rides throughout the day. One rider even said, “That was the best ride of my life,” as she exited the plane.

All ages took a seat in the grass and followed the planes as they soared through the sky and enjoyed a gorgeous day at the air field.

“This airplane, like all the others, would not be flying without your wonderful support,” said the announcer.

Coming up at the Golden Age Air Museum is the Great Pumpkin Fly-In on Oct. 18 and 19. For more information on Golden Age Air Museum, visit

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