On September 8th, 2018 “about 1200 to 1500 people braved the pouring rain to come see some of East Hampton’s finest aircraft and enjoy amazing food,” stated Kathryn Slye Allen, Vice President of the East Hampton Aviation Association, the organization sponsoring the event. This will be the third time this highly anticipated event took place at the Airport in East Hampton located in Wainscott, NY attracting adoring local enthusiasts of all ages as well as pilots from around the world. The annual event is planned just after National Aviation Day which has been taking place since 1939 (the beginning of WWII).
The event provided an exclusive behind the scenes look at the inner workings of our airport showing firsthand the significance in regards to i.e. emergency evacuations and animal rescues to name just a few and in general the support it brings to our local businesses. “The community came out to enjoy a great day of fun and show its support to our airport, including making almost three times the donations as last year in order to help us to put the show on again next year,” summarized Kathryn the success of the initiative which manifests the perceived importance of the East Hampton Airport to our East End community.
“Many of us only know of the stories our grandparents told about their heroic efforts during WWII. We’re thrilled to showcase their important work with a group of young enthusiasts whose passion for aviation may eventually lead them to careers up in the air as well,” said Evan Catarelli, recapturing the event as the manager of operations for Sound Aircraft Services.
“Charlie Lynch, for example, flew in with his unique two-seater P-51 ‘Never Miss’, whose low pass on a knives’ edge was a big hit with the crowds.” continued Evan, “My son is still too young to appreciate this but my three year old daughter definitely walked away very impressed about her dad’s workplace.”
The North American P-51 Mustang is a long-range single-seat fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War.
Other highlights of the event were the generously donated seaplanes by Shoreline Aviation for the day which made a dramatic exit to please the masses, the Suffolk County Police Department’s Aviation Division who brought in a medivac helicopter to show off their equipment which is so vital to our community, and the brave men and women of the USAF 106th Air Rescue Wing at Westhampton’s Gabreski Airport who did several low passes and steep climbs to demonstrate their HH-60G PaveHawk search and rescue helicopter.
One of the biggest surprises though was the interest in boarding one of the FlexJet aircraft with lines of up to twenty people wanting to take a peek inside. “We just wanted to see what it was like to fly in a plane like this,” said Joseph Parcero (9 years old), “I hope, one day, to pilot a plane like this. The pilots were really nice!”