School of Aeronautics to take part in upcoming community events
|The Miss Virginia C-47 will be one of a multitude of aircraft on display during this Saturday's FreedomFest.|
This Saturday, May 30, the public is invited to the first FreedomFest, a tribute to local veterans and military aviation history, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then, on Saturday, June 13, Liberty’s SOA will host the third annual Women Can Fly event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
FreedomFest will feature flights for ages 8-17, courtesy of the Young Eagles, and a variety of aircraft on display, including Liberty School of Aeronautics aircraft, as well as a Virginia State Police helicopter, C-46 Tinker Belle, and the Miss Virginia C-47. Military equipment and vehicles will be on display, along with living history stations and plenty of children’s activities, including photo opportunities in certain aircraft.
“Liberty’s School of Aeronautics is going to be very involved,” said Jennifer Fritschle, FreedomFest’s marketing coordinator. “Staff, faculty, and students provide the largest volunteer pool in all facets of the event. It’s going to be a big recruiting event and a great opportunity to showcase all programs, including commercial, military, and missionary aviation, (Unmanned Aerial Systems) UAS and (Aviation Maintenance Technician School) AMTS.”
Fundraising activities will benefit the National D-Day Memorial in nearby Bedford, Va. Area WWII veterans will receive a special welcome reception when they arrive at 11 a.m., escorted by the Rolling Thunder and Patriot Guard motorcycle riders. At noon there will be a brief presentation by Dave Young, president of Freedom Aviation and Liberty’s associate provost for aeronautics education, as well as members of the National D-Day Memorial staff.
Attendees from across the region, including Roanoke, the Tidewater area, and Richmond, are expected to come out for the event. Parking will be available in the field directly across from the air traffic control tower on Airport Road. Shuttle service — provided by Liberty’s Transit Services, including ADA-equipped vehicles — will run between the parking area and Freedom Aviation throughout the day.
Representatives of the Lynchburg Regional Air Show will also be on hand. A team is already lining up aerial acts for May 21-22, 2016, when the airport will host another show. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have committed to return after first appearing in the summer of 2011.
|A Liberty School of Aeronautics student introduces herself to a possible future aviator at a recent Women Can Fly event.|
Women Can Fly is a unique event designed to introduce women and girls to aviation.
Liberty flight instructors will offer free flights and this year, eight out of the 10 pilots will be female. Go to the Women Can Fly website to register. Tower tours and simulator rides will also be available.
Several vendors, including Cessna and Piper will host displays. There will also be static displays of planes used by the SOA as well as a Beechcraft King Air from the Virginia Department of Aviation, which is sponsoring the event along with The Ninety-Nines Inc. (the International Organization of Women Pilots), Freedom Aviation, and Lynchburg Regional Airport.
SOA students and flight instructors from Liberty’s NIFA team, which placed 10th in the nation at this month’s SAFECON 2015, and female pilots from the two teams competing in the June 22-25 Air Race Classic will be among the volunteers. Call (717) 826-3045 for more information.