Plane rides, museum tours and fun planned at airport

The sound of the engines on passenger airplanes will be buzzing around Freeman Municipal Airport this weekend.

The Freeman Army Airfield Museum’s annual Airplane Ride Day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the airport.

The day will feature plane rides for $20 per person, tours of the museum, food and more. The $20 fee goes to the museum to offset day-to-day expenses and is tax-deductible.

Waivers from each passenger are required to be signed before every ride. Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Reservations are not required and the event will be conducted rain or shine.

New this year is aerobatic rides from Cliff Robinson of Madison in his 500 horsepower "Steamin Stearman" biplane. One person at a time is able to participate in the rides, which feature loops and rolls. The cost is $100, but a portion of each donation will go to the museum.

Museum curator Larry Bothe said there will be 12 pilots among eight planes for rides. Each pilot has at least 500 hours of flight time as required by the Federal Aviation Administration, Bothe said.

"Most of the pilots have thousands of hours of experience," he said. "No beginners here."

Most of the plans have four seats, so pilots can only take three passengers at a time.

The weight limit for any one passenger is about 250 pounds, and the combined weight of the three passengers cannot exceed about 450 pounds, Bothe said. That means one adult and two children is ideal for each ride, he added. For heavier adults, only two passengers may ride.

Bothe said there also are age restrictions for the plane rides. Passengers must be at least 6 years old.

Bothe said it’s not because the rides are not safe for smaller children, but because they cannot see over the windows. None of the planes Saturday are equipped with latches for car seats.

Lucille’s On the Go will have food for purchase during the event from its food truck.

Volunteers also will give tours of the museum, which includes two rooms of history when the area operated as a training base for pilots to fly twin-engine advance aircraft during World War II. More than 4,220 pilots, including some of the Tuskegee Airmen, trained here between 1942 and 1945.

The museum, 1035 A Ave. at Freeman Field, also includes a three-screen airplane simulator constructed by Xander Good. He built the simulator as part of his Eagle Scout project. The simulator allows users to simulate flying multiple aircraft.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Freeman Army Airfield Museum’s Airplane Ride Day

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Freeman Municipal Airport, 1025 A Ave., Seymour

Information: $20 donation per person per ride, $100 for aerobatic (loops) ride, food from Lucille’s On the Go and tours of the Freeman Army Airfield Museum