Nobody will be watching the weather more closely today than Shane Vande Voort of Pella. Vande Voort is the airport manager and this week he plans to pilot a tiny single-engine airplane all the way to the east coast where the Wright Brothers took off 100 years ago. He’ll be carrying an official Iowa flag — it flew over the state capitol one day earlier this month — and a proclamation from the governor declaring the day of arrival as Iowa’s “50 Flags to Kitty Hawk” day. Vande Voort’s flying his own plane, a 1947 Cessna-120. The aluminum aircraft has fabric wings, a small two-place airplane typical of those manufactured after World War Two for private pilots. But the weather may be cloudy and stormy, instrument-only flying conditions. He is, but the airplane is not — so it’ll be a VFR trip, under visual flight rules, meaning he has to be able to see, and navigate completely by visual reference. VandeVoort says once he gets off the ground the trip should take two days or less. The “50 Flags to Kitty Hawk” display will be completed by December and will remain in North Carolina permanently as part of the nation’s observation of the Centennial of Flight.
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