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Young Eagles flights start the day. Concessions, program, free concert. 

By Jan Rahn

Managing Editor

A full day of activity on Sunday, June 27 will target each age group, providing an opportunity to celebrate the American spirit with song, memories and food at the Grant Municipal Airport.

The public is invited to share in the special event sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 562. 

The highlight of the day is a free concert by The Avi8ors who will be performing  music from the Greatest Generation era. 

Local Master Pilot Leon Kumor, organizer of the event, has put together an itinerary that involves all age groups. 

The day begins with Young Eagles flights at 9 a.m. 

A concession stand will be on site for food and drink purchase from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

At l:15, a short program will lead into the introduction of the stars of the day, the Avi8ors who will perform from 2-3 p.m. 

There will be military aircraft and memorabilia on display, and fly-ins are welcome. 

The Nebraska National Guard has been invited to bring one of their aircraft to the event.

Because the program and concert are scheduled to take place inside the airport hangar, the show will go on regardless of weather. 

Program at l:15 p.m.

A welcome by Mayor Mike Wyatt will be followed by a flag presentation and pledge led by Troop 160. 

Father Mark Pfeiffer will lead a prayer followed by introduction of guests and recognition of workers by emcee Ted Tietjen.

Ron Kumor will deliver a history of the flying experience of his father, Leon Kumor. 

EAA members Bob Bounds l and Dana Cornelius will present Master Pilot requirements and an award. 

Introduction of The Avi8ors will be done by Kumor’s daughter, Maureen Johnson. 

Veterans will be recognized by American Legion Commander Ron Krause.

Presenting the story behind the musical selection of Taps will be Gerry Pankonin.

The Concert

The Avi8ors concert begins at 2 p.m. 

The ensemble is a high quality act that blends subtle choreography, humor and dialog with the music to give the performance a “USO show” feel. 

They don WWII style uniforms and stay as true to the period as possible. 

To honor veterans, they strive to recreate the original sounds, styles, rhythms and harmonies of the groups whose music dominated the charts in the 30s and 40s. 

A few years ago The Avi8ors performed for the dedication ceremony at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The ensemble was founded in 1999 by Bob Moser of Omaha who conceived the idea in the 1980s with the desire to preserve the music of the World War II era and remember the sacrifices made by the entire country during that period.

Youth Invited to Fly

Youth are invited to enjoy free flights beginning at 9 a.m.  

With parental consent, boys and girls ages 8-18 can take part in the Young Eagles program and experience the thrill of flight up close in a plane flown by a licensed local pilot.

The EAA’s Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 and thus far has provided 1.5 million free flights to young people in hopes of inspiring them to explore the world of flight. 

EAA members volunteer their time and aircraft to make these flights possible. 

Over 2,000 youth have taken part in the EAA Chapter 562 Young Eagles program in Southwest Nebraska, said Kumor. 

“There are very stringent requirements regarding pilots, aircraft and weather conditions,” he said. 

Registration form and waiver will be available on site for parents to sign, allowing a “Young Eagle” to take flight.  

Co-chairing the Young Eagles organization are Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles, who are the pilots who successfully carried out the emergency ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, saving the lives of all 155 passengers on board.

Actor Harrison Ford had formerly held the position for five years. 

EAA is an international aviation association with over 170,000 members and 1,000 local chapters.