The view from up there

Published 10:32 am Friday, June 3, 2011

Pilots offering group plane rides

For anyone wanting a different view of things, the Tri-State Pilots Association is hosting a day of community plane rides at the Lawrence County Airpark on County Road 1 in South Point on Saturday.

The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., with a plane ride costing $25 for an adult and $5 for children 7 and younger with a paying adult.

The flight will give the riders a bird’s eye view of the Tri-State.

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“It’s basically a tour,” said Russ Daniels, flight instructor. “If the weather is good, which it’s supposed to be, we tour people on the West Virginia side toward Lesage, passing over Marshall, and bring them back on the Ohio side.”

Daniels said the flight can last around 10 to 15 minutes, though there is no exact time. He said the event is something the association puts on twice a year, and it is popular with the public.

“It does get pretty busy, even with 8 or 10 planes flying,” Daniels said. “We had an hour wait last year… It’s pretty popular.”

But during the wait, the South Point Cub Scouts and the Lawrence County International Order of the Rainbow for Girls will sell food to benefit their organizations.

Daniels said anyone can ride.

“We don’t go up to any altitude where it’s going to be hazardous,” he said. He added that minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

He said the pilots manning the planes are all rated in the aircraft and meet the minimum standards, having to fly more than 500 hours to be qualified.

The number of people allowed on board at one time varies, as it’s dependent on total weight of the passengers.

“These are four-seater aircrafts. It’s all weight limits,” Daniels said.

He said the organization is very involved in the community, from helping people with medical needs to events with grade schools and daycares, and hopes to get the community involved with flying.

“We try to get the community involved and educate them about aviation,” Daniels said. “There’s only one safer way than aviation, and that’s commercial cruise liner.”

For anyone on the fence about whether to attend the event Saturday, Daniels would like them to stop by and check it out.

“Just to come out and educate themselves,” Daniels said. “The comfort is usually built by getting familiar with the pilot and educating yourself about aviation in general. It’s a great form of transportation.”

For more information, you can call 740-894-4414.