Airplane Ride Day planned at airport

The public will have the opportunity to enjoy views of Seymour from the air during the Freeman Army Airfield Museum’s annual Airplane Ride Day.

The event, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4, will give adults, children and families a chance to ride in planes with pilots who will fly them over the city.

A tax-deductible donation of $25 per person will be accepted with proceeds benefiting the museum. The airplane rides will be across the street from the museum, 1035 A Ave., at the big white tent.

The event is popular for children, and the pilots can even help them locate their house from the air during the flight.

Museum curator Larry Bothe said kids love the event and suggested attendees bring a camera and take photos.

Waivers from each passenger are required to be signed before every ride. Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them. Reservations are not necessary.

Bothe said there will be about a dozen pilots on hand for plane rides. Each pilot has at least 500 hours of flight time as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Most of the pilots have over 1,000 hours of experience,” he said.

“Also, most of the planes have four seats, so pilots can only take three passengers at a time.”

The weight limit for any one passenger is about 250 pounds, the combined weight of the three passengers cannot exceed 450 pounds and children must be 5 or older to ride the planes, Bothe said.

“There will also be 20 ground volunteers to help with the event and give tours at the museum because you also have to maintain safety on the ground, not just safety in the air,” he said. “About two-thirds of the people here for the event are kids, and sometimes, they run around unsupervised, so we need to maintain their safety.”

Passengers will be escorted to and from the planes for added safety by volunteers called loaders.

The Seymour Fire Department will be sending out a firetruck to have onsite along with a couple of firefighters who also are emergency medical technicians in case someone should need emergency help.

Attendees will be able to ride in the Robinson Aerobatic 500 horsepower Steamin Stearman biplane for an additional fee. One person at a time can participate in this plane ride.

A glider and other airplanes and military vehicles are scheduled to be on display at the airport during Saturday’s event, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Rides are contingent on good weather, not excessively windy and no hard rain.

While attending Airplane Ride Day, the public also may tour the museum’s two buildings for free. They include items from when the Freeman Army Airfield was in operation.

There are multiple rooms of history when the area operated as a training base for pilots to fly twin-engine advanced aircraft during World War II.

The airfield was primarily built to train pilots for twin engine advanced aircraft, including some of the Tuskegee Airmen, between 1942 and 1945.

If you go 

What: Freeman Army Airfield Museum’s Airplane Ride Day

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

Where: Across the street from the Freeman Army Airfield Museum, 1035 A Ave., Seymour, at the big white tent (Airport Road will be closed for construction)

Cost: Airplane rides for a $25 tax-deductible donation per person; an additional fee is required for the aerobatic biplane ride; food and drinks will be available for purchase

Free activities: Tours of the Freeman Army Airfield Museum and a display of gliders, airplanes and more

Information: Larry Bothe at 812-521-7400