WARRENSBURG — As part of a weekend “Celebrating 50 Years of Aviation Excellence” at the University of Central Missouri, the School of Aviation has announced activities Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26.
An open house is planned for 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Gaines Technology Building followed by a social event at 6 p.m. at Fitter’s Pub, 131 W. Pine St.
The open house will be an opportunity to walk through classrooms and meet instructors who are part of the aviation program.
Saturday festivities begin with an all-you-can-eat breakfast with pancakes, sausage and orange drink served by Chris Cakes Pancakes of Kansas City at the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport, 160 N.W. 251 Road.
The cost is $7 per person and serving takes place from 8 to 10:30 a.m.
The “Fly-In Drive-In” and vintage aircraft displays will be 8 to 11:30 a.m.
The “Fly-In Drive-In” will feature vintage and new cars, as well as emergency vehicles from local police, fire and ambulance units.
Visitors can test drive new vehicles available at the event and enjoy a UCM alumni flight competition.
There also will be vintage aircraft displays, a free bounce house and games for children, as well as sightseeing and simulator flights.
Tethered hot air balloon rides also will be available, weather permitting.
Saturday afternoon and evening activities take place at the maintenance hangar at Skyhaven Airport, starting at 5 p.m. with a social, silent auction and flight demos, followed by a welcome from UCM President Roger Best and School of Aviation Chair Terry Hunt.
The Aviation Fundraising Banquet at 7 p.m. provides insight into UCM’s aviation program history and a remembrance ceremony for one of the program’s pioneers, John “Jack” Horine.
Open to the community, the festivities call attention to a significant milestone in the history of UCM aviation and provide an opportunity for families and local aviation enthusiasts to enjoy the facilities while seeing and experiencing aircraft and training resources at the state’s only university-owned public airport.
Pre-registration for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon events is required.
To register, visit ucmfoundation.org/aviation.
During the past five decades, UCM aviation has grown from a program with only 25 students to a comprehensive aviation education program that serves nearly 500 students and has a reputation for quality while seeking to provide qualified aviation professionals who can fill a global shortage of pilots.
The program has grown from a fleet of only four Cessna 150s to more than 24 aircraft ranging from the Cessna 172 Skyhawk to the high-performance Beechcraft B58 Baron and includes a state-of-the art flight simulation program.
To meet the needs of the present and future, the school has developed a multiphase renovation plan, which includes construction of an aviation center at Skyhaven Airport to house the UCM flight school, FBO/terminal as well as offices, instructional spaces, a dispatch area, a flight planning room and accommodations for public use.
For more information about the renovation, visit ucmfoundation.org/airport-renovation.
For more information about UCM’s “Fly-In Drive-In,” contact Ashley Windsor, assistant chief flight instructor in the UCM School of Aviation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (660) 543-4557.