A T6 Texan, a WWII fighter trainer, will be among the planes on display at St. Louis Regional Airport’s annual Open House and Fly In from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.
EAST ALTON — St. Louis Regional Airport will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its annual Open House and Fly In from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.
The event has grown since it was restarted in 1994. Last year, 100 airplanes and more than 300 automobiles from six states participated. This year a hovercraft and radio-controlled planes will join the festivities.
The car show was added to the event in 2009 and has quickly become one of the largest shows in the Midwest, attracting entries from as far away as Tennessee, Iowa and Wisconsin. The Jersey County Street Machine Association (JCSMA) coordinates both the show and a swap meet for car enthusiasts. New technology will be showcased as well as antique autos, hot rods, custom cars and motorcycles.
Last year SIUE’s solar race car was on display and this year a hovercraft will be operating on the circle around the F-4 in front of the airport’s Highflyers Grille. The East Side RC Club will show off its radio-controlled model airplanes and helicopters, including a half-scale Edge 540 powered by a 275-cc gasoline engine. There will be demonstrations as allowed by weather and the control tower.
Fly Ins were originally big events in the airport’s early days. In the 1950s Cessna’s largest dealership in the world, Walston Aviation, was located at the airport, then called Civic Memorial. Walston would display their planes and showcase World War II aircraft.
“This year will be a special one for us as we pay a tribute to Joe Meyer, who was instrumental in restarting the Fly In tradition,” airport manager David Miller said. “Both Joe and fellow pilot Allen Cassens, who also died on Friday, June 13, of this year, were active leaders in airport activities.”
Miller says in honor of Meyer and Cassens, everyone is working hard to make this the best event in history. There are already a number of planes signed up, as well as an OH58 military helicopter. Pilots are encouraged to do advance registration by calling St. Louis Regional at (618) 259-2531.
Food and drink will be on sale and families are welcome to bring picnic baskets. There will be activities for children and a multi-national firearms display that will give adults and children alike a close-up view of historical weapons. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service will have a demonstration station on-the-air.
Though the planes and cars will be gone on Sunday, Sept. 28, children ages 8-17 can return with their parents for free flights sponsored by the EAA Chapter 864 Young Eagles. Youth are encouraged to do advance registration for the free flights Saturday during the Fly In.
Admission and parking are free. Parking is located just off of Illinois 111 directly in front of the airport. A map and event details are available at www.stlouisregional.com.