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Aviation Day

The St. Clair County Airport will have vintage aircraft and other flying machines displayed for its fourth Aviation Career Day on Saturday.

From learning about careers in aviation to taking a quick jaunt via helicopter, the lineup of just about anything airplane is a sure thing Saturday at the St. Clair County Airport in Pell City.

Career seminars and aerial exhibits, military displays and pursuits, the day promises to be full one for all who stop in.

Last year’s Career Day and Open House brought a crowd of close to 2,000 to the airport, located just off Alabama 34 in Pell City on Mays Bend Road.

In its fourth year now, airport Manager Wendy Watson said the event has grown yearly, and showcasing aviation is a strong interest for the facility.

“It was great,” she said. “So many came and learned about what’s going on in the field of aviation.”

That’s one of the key goals, Watson said, to offer information on career paths for those interested in the flight industry.

“This is a growing career field opportunity, and our hope is to help provide information and contacts for our youth.”

But Saturday’s plans for airport guests have been made with all interest levels and ages in mind. Those who enjoy a trip through a bit of history in aviation will find featured aircraft displays, local aircraft owners, visiting exhibitors and more.

Military specialists and flight schools, avionics vendors and maintenance displays, members of the Civil Air Patrol and those in the know about aviation degree and training paths will share in these areas as well.

All who visit Saturday are invited to start the day at 7 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast in the airport parking lot, served with extras such as orange juice and hot coffee, a side of sausage and trimmings from Jumbo’s of Pell City. Breakfast will be served until 9 a.m.

Lunch will be offered at no charge, too, from noon until 1 p.m. and includes hotdogs and chips, along with soft drinks and water. Aerial demonstrations will continue during this time.

Meanwhile, the display of a variety of aircraft will be on site through 4 p.m., along with ongoing helicopter rides for $100 each. Exhibitors and representatives from universities, flight schools, and others will also remain through 4 p.m.

Specialized seminars begin at 9 a.m. with “Careers With the Airlines-Flying the Heavy Iron,” from retired Delta Airlines Captain Gary Lowe, and conclude at 9:30 a.m.

“Careers in Corporate Flying” with Rick Chandler, principle of IC Aviation LLC and a retired corporate pilot, will be offered from 9:40 a.m. until 10:10 a.m.

Nick Sauls, from Alabama Aviation College, speaks from 10:20 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. featuring “Careers in Aviation Maintenance-Keep Them Flying.”

Representing the 117th Air Refueling Wing of Alabama Air National Guard, Allison Thomas speaks on careers in military aviation from 11 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

The seminars resume at 1 p.m. with presenter and retired corporate pilot Holly Roe, with “Careers for Women in Aviation.”

“Careers in Aviation Electronics” begins at 1:40 p.m. with presenter Lewis Holder, owner of Holder Aviation.

Mark Etheredge, owner of Etheredge Aviation and Flight Training addresses “Why Become a Pilot?” from 2:20 p.m. until 2:40 p .m. and Pat Grogan, presenter for the Commemorative Air Force speaks from 3 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

For additional information on events and exhibitors’ information, contact Watson at wendy@plrairport.com.