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Free kids flights offered at open house

Marie Havenga • Jul 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Grand Haven Memorial Airport is hosting a first-ever open house from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday on the airport grounds, 16446 Comstock St.

The event will include free Young Eagles flights for children ages 8-15, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 211; a free hot dog lunch from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.; and airplane displays.

“This is the first year we've done this,” said the airport’s manager, Earl Bares. “We decided to do it to promote the airport.”

The Young Eagles flights will allow youngsters to get a taste of flying. Children can register for the free flight, go through a briefing, watch a pilot go through the airplane to explain all the parts, then embark on a 15-minute flight.

After the flight, kids will receive a log book and a certificate they can redeem for a free ground school and introductory flight lesson.

“Everything is free on Saturday,” Bares said. “Our hope is to get people out here at the airport. We want to get more people interested in flying. Flying gives you a great deal of freedom. It's a great learning experience.”

The airport's annual Dawn Patrol event is scheduled for 7 a.m to 1 p.m. Aug. 12. Events then will include a pancake breakfast, fly-in and hot dog lunch.

“We will also have Young Eagles flights that day,” Bares said.

The Dawn Patrol event will also include a bounce house and other kids' activities, toy airplane building, airplane displays, and a possible appearance by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

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