HOT SPRINGS – Henderson State University’s aviation department will provide airplanes and pilots for the Young Eagle Program, which gives youth ages 8 through 17 an opportunity to fly in a general aviation airplane free of charge during Hot Springs Memorial Field’s Aerospace Day on Saturday, April 19. The airport is located at 525 Airport Road. No advance registration is necessary, but youth must be accompanied by an adult at the Henderson State information booth.
Along with the returning B-25 “Show Me” Mitchell Bomber and the TBM-3 Avenger Torpedo Bomber will be a newcomer -- the Missouri Wing's 1941 US Army Aeronca L-3E "Defender" observation aircraft, nicknamed "Lil Show-Me." It fulfilled various roles throughout World War II, including observation of enemy troop movements, directing artillery fire and liaison duties. Because of its ability to land and take-off on rough terrain, the pilots and plane became known as "Grasshoppers."
The L-3E and TBM-3 will be on static display only, while the B-25 will also be offered for “living history” rides Thursday afternoon through Sunday morning. A fee is charged for the rides, which can be reserved in advance by calling the CAF at 314-486-1205.
During Aerospace Day, a free event, representatives from various companies and educational institutions will be on hand to discuss local career opportunities in the aerospace industry. High school students considering a future occupation, as well as those thinking of switching to a new career, are encouraged to attend.
Henderson State University plans to bring its mobile flight simulator. National Park Community College, various airframe and power plant (A&P) schools, and military recruiters will be on hand with applications and additional information. Aviation art by the Hot Springs Traditional Arts Guild will be on display April 19 in the airport’s terminal building. AAR will provide facility tours, and Western Pilot, Inc. will give an air tanker water drop demonstration. Other vintage airplanes will also be on static display.
Headquartered in Midland, Texas, the Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization whose primary mission has been to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition historic U.S. combat aircraft for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans. For more information, visit www.cafmo.org .