Whew! Time has flown by! Quite literally! Last weekend, Santa Claus arrived at Frederick Municipal Airport in a different kind of sleigh...a red and white Decathlon! Despite being a December day, the weather hit 70 degrees. The hangar doors of the AOPA National Aviation Community Center were wide open so children and adults alike could enjoy seeing machines take to the sky. At 1:30pm, a crowd of at least 150 filed through those doors and cheered and chanted as Santa did a fly by and then landed and taxied towards the crowd.
|Santa taxis in|
|Waiting for Santa!|
This was all a part of Paws & Planes: Holiday at the Airport. It was hosted by the Sugarloaf 99s with the help of Turbo the Flying Dog. Santa was sponsored by Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) and flown by my CFI, JJ. The event that saw over 200 people through its doors during three hours, taught children about aviation and animal rescue. Special guests included the College Park Aviation Museum teaching kids about aerodynamics, the Frederick County Animal Control with 4 rescue kittens, 1 bunny, and a dog named Rambo. Turbo the Flying Dog and his sidekick Olive greeted children and enjoyed many pets, photos with fans and pawtographing copies of their books. Other volunteers held activities on aviation weather, navigation, communication and crafts!
|Coloring pages for Santa & Mrs. Claus|
|College Park Aviation Museum & their paper plane launcher|
Everyone left the event on a high and excited for Christmas. I was so amazed at how well behaved the children were when watching Santa come in by plane. Despite their excitement, each one stayed behind the orange cones and then after the grand arrival, formed a patient line to tell Santa what was on their lists.
|Future powered parachute pilot?|
|Authors and stars of Turbo the Flying Dog with their fans|
The event was such a success, we have already booked next year's event for November 19th (because we know 70 degree weather is unlikely in December again!) I cannot wait to have Santa and his team (who came all the way from Minnesota and Wisconsin) crash at my house again!
|Future Cirrus owner?|
|Swapping stories with Santa|
And what did Santa say when he disembarked the red plane and greeted the crowd? "Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good FLIGHT!"