Sunday, May 14, 2017

Quincy University Aviation Club Fly-In draws record crowd: Quincy Regional Airport (KUIN), Adams County, Illinois

Matt Gierstorf and his daughter, Rebekah, look at planes during Quincy University Aviation Club's Fly-In on Saturday at the Great River Aviation Hangar. Aircraft were on display, and airplane rides were offered at the event. 

QUINCY -- One of the things Trevor Daggs will always remember about his first flight on an airplane is that he could see "straight down" when the pilot banked the plane.

The 9-year-old was among 377 people who turned out for the 14th annual Quincy University Aviation Club Fly-In at Quincy Regional Airport. Trevor and his parents also were among more than 170 who took rides in small airplanes.

Trevor's parents, Jason and Candy Daggs of Ewing, Mo., found themselves looking for landmarks that were sometimes hard to recognize from above. Jason Daggs saw Tim's Machine Shop, where he works. Candy Daggs found a landmark that was much easier to spot -- Blessing Hospital, where she works.

"It was exhilarating; I would recommend it as a great thing for the family," Candy Daggs said.

Andy Dow, QU aviation instructor and organizer of the fly-in, said turnout for Saturday's event was attended by "probably 100 more people than we've ever had before." Beautiful weather likely contributed to the turnout.

For Dow, and pilots who took passengers up in the small craft, it was a chance to share their love of flying.

"If we can inspire a little girl or boy -- that's why we're here," Dow said.

Jackson Tenhouse, 12, already has been bitten by the aviation bug. He was waiting his turn for a small plane ride.

"I've always wanted to be a pilot. I went to military camp ... and did simulated plane flights," Tenhouse said.

He also has done 4-H aviation projects, launching one rocket 1,200 feet into the air.

Kyle Hannel and 3-year-old Tyson Hannel were planning to take a plane ride as well. Kyle Hannel saw the first flight for his son more as a form of entertainment, rather than mapping out his son's future career.

"He has asked about planes when he sees them," Hannel said.

The Aviation Club served breakfast at a hangar. Many attendees also were excited about looking closely at an Air Evac helicopter that was on display for a couple of hours.

Dow has about 25 students in QU aviation classes. The university is one of five in Illinois that has a full compliment of aviation courses. Dow said the sequence is meant to take four years, but in some cases people have transferred to QU after two years elsewhere and could complete the full training in two and a half years.

"That's one of the things about being willing to work with our students. We can customize things," Dow said.

Students in the classes vary from ages 16 to their 40s. Some are interested in making a career of flying and others see it as recreation. A few are back to refresh their training after years as a pilot.

Wearing aviator-style sun glasses, Trevor Daggs said he enjoyed his first flight. But it wasn't enough to make him change his life goal of becoming an engineer.

His father seemed more excited about the flight, but didn't think it would be a life-changing experience.

"I'm just a big kid," Jason Daggs said.

Original article can be found here:

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