UPDATE: Airport fly-in postponed
UPDATE: Sunday's fly-in has been called off due to low ceilings and gusty winds. The Nebraska Pilots are currently planning on trying again on Sunday, May 31.
As with all things aviation, weather permitting, the Wayne Municipal Airport will be a hopping place on Sunday, May 17. Around 15 to 25 pilots, belonging to the Nebraska Pilots Facebook group will be flying into Wayne’s airport. Mitch Schneringer, a member of the group, said members of the group are looking forward to visiting.
“Earlier this year we did a poll on where people wanted to do a fly-in event and our members voted on Wayne as their top choice for a variety of reasons. Number one, there’s three runways in Wayne so that has a big part to do with it,” Schneringer said.
Schneringer, who has been to Wayne’s airport before, said the well-kept terminal and good fuel prices also helped put Wayne as a top destination. Many members are from areas like Fremont, Millard and Columbus, so even though they’re all in the same state, a trip to Wayne can count as a cross-country flight for those in flight training.
The public is encouraged to come out and interact with the pilots. This is not one of Wayne Municipal Airport’s traditional fly-ins where tables would be set out and breakfast would be served. Social distancing guidelines will still be in place at the airport, especially at the airport’s flight simulator, used by aviation club Northeast Nebraska Aviators.
“We’re limiting that to four people at a time,” Wayne Airport Authority Chairman Travis Meyer said.
Even with social distancing in place, Meyer is encouraging anyone young or old, with an interest in aviation to stop at the airport between 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
“We’re excited to see (the turnout), and in turn as our flying club gets going, and we are in the process of purchasing a plane, then we can join in and do the same thing at other airports,” Meyer said. “One of our big things about the flying club is promoting aviation. It is for everybody.”
Pilots of multiple types of planes are expected as long as the weather permits good flying conditions, including at least one World War II-era plane. Visitors are asked to maintain social distancing practices and Meyer said for those who may be uncomfortable with being out among a group, the airport’s parking lot should allow great views of the action from a vehicle.
Both Meyer and Schneringer encourage those with an interest in aviation to talk to a pilot during the fly-in.
“Pilots are just really passionate about aviation, and when they see the interest in someone from the general public, they’re usually very welcome and open to talk about it and share their passion about it, and there’s really no question that it's out of bounds for the public to ask,” Schneringer said.
The fly-in is expected to start around 9 a.m.
For more information about Northeast Nebraska Aviators, find them on Facebook or visit their website at flywayne.com