Iowa’s biggest statewide aviation event takes place this weekend in Washington. “Fly Iowa” begins tomorrow (Friday) in the town 30 miles south of Iowa City, and airport manager Mike Roe says the theme’s in tune with the holiday we just spent remembering our military.He says they chose this weekend because it’s the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Each day will begin with a “dawn patrol” of warbirds, vintage airplanes flying overheard. There’ll be a long row of food booths and other merchants and displays at the Washington airport.Some 30 vendors are coming with their wares, and warbirds coming in include a B-25, a couple P- 51s, helicopter rides and skydiving all day long and a big C-47 flying in that might take up divers. If you like the idea of getting out of a perfectly good airplane while it’s in mid-air, Roe says this could be your big chance:Some events are open to take partake in — like experiencing what paratroopers go through. You can take a 30-minute class, go up to 30-thousand feet, and jump. Re-enactors will be on hand to show visitors what military flight squadrons were like, and there will be displays on the ground of vintage military vehicles. Saturday night there’s a USO show staged by the local choral society, with someone performing as Jimmy Durante and some vocalists like the Andrews Sisters, and after that there’ll be a USO-style dance that’ll go into the night. For pilots arriving in their own planes, there will be a temporary air-traffic control tower at the Washington airport and a “published approach” procedure for arriving by air. This year’s “Fly Iowa” is being staged a month earlier than last year’s, so it would coincide with the anniversary of D-Day. It’s to honor veterans and Roe suggests you “Say ‘Hi’ to a veteran while you’re there, and thank ’em.” For visitors who fly in, there’ll be aircraft camping on-site with shuttles into town and showers at the YMCA and there’s vehicle camping and 15 acres of parking for the show. This is the twelfth “Fly Iowa” event and the first to specifically have a theme honoring veterans.
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