Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Learning about aviation, animal rescue at Paws and Planes Day

Conor Greenfield, 4, makes a paper airplane at Paws and Planes Day.
Conor Greenfield, 4, makes a paper airplane at Paws and Planes Day.

In spite of a snowstorm this past weekend, children from the Frederick, Maryland, area got a chance to climb into an airplane, fly a simulator, and meet a flying dog.

That would be Turbo the Flying Dog—a mixed-breed pooch whose owners, Victoria and Bob Zajko, adopted him from an animal rescue in West Virginia. The Zajkos flew Turbo to his new home in their Glasair in 2012, and he has been a constant aerial companion ever since. Turbo’s adventures inspired Zajko further, and she and friend Kelly Kennedy collaborated on a children’s book, Turbo the Flying Dog.

At Paws and Planes Day on Feb. 21, Turbo and his canine friend Olive held court in the AOPA National Aviation Community Center at Frederick Municipal Airport. The dogs posed for photos with their young fans. Meanwhile, children built airplanes with representatives from the College Park Aviation Museum, learned about the phonetic alphabet, and tried on headphones to practice radio-speak with the members of the Sugarloaf Chapter of The Ninety-Nines (International Organization of Women Pilots).

Warm and dry inside the National Aviation Community Center, visitors also got an opportunity to climb inside one of AOPA’s Cessna Skyhawks and fly a Redbird full-motion simulator or an AOPA Jay simulator. Some aspiring young Sean Tuckers and Patty Wagstaffs whooped with excitement as they attempted to fly virtual airplanes upside down on the Jays.

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