PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — If you ever wondered what it was like to fly in the first airplane designed to carry multiple passengers, then you’re in luck.
The Experimental Aviation Association, Chapter 915 in Parkersburg is hosting a fly-in event at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport this Saturday. It’s part of their Ford Tri-Motor Tour at the airport through Sunday.
It will cost $75 for adults or $50 for kids, but pilot Ashley Messenger said it’s worth it.
“It’s very historic. We want to take people back to what it was like to be an airline passenger in 1929,” he said.
Messenger is one of the pilots that will be flying the 1928 Ford Tri-Motor over Parkersburg this weekend.
“We’ll take off from the Mid-Ohio Valley Airport and we will most likely circle over Parkersburg and Marietta and then come back into land. It’s about a 15-20 minute airborne flight,” he said.
The plane was considered “huge” back in the late 1920s. The plane only sat up to 17 passengers.
“It was considered to be a monster of an airplane. Today, it looks pretty small, but in those days, it was quite comfortable,” he said.
The aircraft has large windows, so Messenger said passengers can get a great view of the outside.
“The view out of the airplane is extraordinary. It’s just an experience that really can’t be described,” he said.
The fly-ins take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition, EAA will have various aircraft on static display. Fairmont State University will be displaying their new Cessna Skyhawk Trainer and Ohio University will be bringing their DC-3 for display. Both universities will be promoting their flight programs. The local civil air patrol will also be onsite to promote their program for recruiting purposes.
There will be a pancake breakfast Saturday morning at the airport’s restaurant, Jerry’s Fly-Away Kitchen, and a car show by the Rollin’ Oldies Car Club.
Joshua Wilson, vice president of EAA Chapter 915, said the event is meant to promote general aviation in the area.
“The main purpose of the Ford Tri-Motor is showing a piece of history, number one, but also it helps the EAA’s cause of promoting aviation and keeping the spirit of aviation alive,” Wilson said.
Most fly-in event are for the pilots, but Wilson said they wanted to open it up to the public this time.
The event itself is free and open to the public. All proceeds go to help maintain the Tri-Motor for the national EAA Chapter and remaining proceeds will go to the local EAA Chapter to help facilitate future fly-ins, safety seminars and their Young Eagles program which provides free flights for children to build enthusiasm for aviation.
For more information, visit flytheford.org or call 1-877-952-5395.