Fly-In lands at WAAAM this weekend

Fifth annual event honors ‘revered’ Waco airplanes of the 1920s and 1930s

Two hundred or more visiting aircraft are expected this weekend at the fifth annual Fly-In at Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. Fly-In hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and fair weather is in the forecast.

This year there are added events on Sunday. Both days, visitors can purchase rides in an open-cockpit 1928 Stearman.

Fly-in brings together the visiting aircraft and the hundreds of planes and cars in the WAAAM collection, in the hangars and the field, located next to Ken Jernstedt Airfield.

WAAAM is located at 1600 Air Museum Road, a mile south of Hood River, just off Tucker Road. Fly-In admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-18. Parking for the event is free.

In the spotlight this weekend are three Waco (wah-co) planes that were restored by WAAAM board member Jerry Wenger, of Powell, Colo.

“Waco is a name that is revered in aviation. In the 1920s Waco built more planes than all other makers combined,” said Ken Olsson, Fly-In coordinator.

Other highlights include Saturday’s 2 p.m. birthday celebration, with museum founder Terry Bryant and WAAAM director Judy Newman cutting the cake, and a retirement party for pilot and preservationist Tom Murphy, Sunday at 2 p.m.

At noon Sunday, pilot and curator Ben Davidson will talk about the Waco planes restored by Jerry Wenger.

New this year:

n An M-29 Weasel, track vehicle used for supply and reconnaissance.

“It’s a curious-looking little thing; think of it as a Jeep with tracks instead of wheels,” Olsson said.

n 1928 Velie Monotroupe 70, made by Willard Velie, grandson of John Deere. Velie also built tractors and cars, and Bryant is currently arranging to acquire a Velie automobile.

This year the museum honors the Piper J-3 Cub, the yellow plane depicted on the 2012 event poster.

WAAAM has two 75-year-old Cubs to share; these planes were used in recreation, aerial application and military liaisons.

FLY-IN SCHEDULE

Both days:

7-11 a.m. — Lions breakfast (admission required)

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — lunch served

1 p.m. — Stearman Model 70 rollout (restoration in progress)

1 p.m. — Meet daredevil pilot Tom Murphy, who flew off Portland’s Multnomah Hotel roof in 1995

2 p.m. — Cake is cut for five-year birthday celebration

6 p.m. — Silent auction dinner, tri-tip steak catered by West Side Fire Department; $20 per ticket

Sunday:

Noon — Jerry Wenger plane restoration talk by Ben Davidson

1 p.m. — See the 1908 Russell steam tractor drive

2 p.m. — Retirement party for Tom Murphy

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