BETHALTO — If anyone has ever dreamed of taking a ride on the wings of a goose — a Tin Goose, that is — then St. Louis Regional Airport’s 22nd annual Open House is the place to be.
The open house, which will run the weekend of Sept. 24-25, will include a chance for visitors to take a ride on the Ford Tri-Motor plane, nicknamed the Tin Goose. The aircraft, first produced in the 1920s, was the largest civilian passenger aircraft of its time.
The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 864 will host the plane, just one of a number of attractions at the open house. Chapter 864 President Gene Helmkamp said the opportunity to take a ride on the three-engine plane is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’s a unique experience,” Helmkamp said. “It’s history.”
Plane rides will cost $70 for adults and $50 for children 17 and younger when paid in advance, and $75 on the day of the event. The aircraft will be at the Bethalto airport from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Sept. 23-25.
Along with the plane, the local EAA chapter will also take part in the Wings & Wheels Car Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coordinated by the Bethalto Jaycees, this year’s event will feature new technology, antique autos, hot rods, custom cars and motorcycles.
Helmkamp made sure to note the event is not an air show, but rather a chance for visitors to see a number of planes up close and personal. A radio-controlled aircraft demo and food stand also will be part of the event.
New this year is the Southwestern Illinois Fall Home Builder’s Association Home Show. The show, featuring the newest home products and techniques, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, the EAA’s Young Eagles program will provide free flights for children age 8-17. Helmkamp said 250 to 350 children were given rides at last year’s event.
The family-friendly event will also have a bounce house, food and drink, among other attractions. Admission and parking is free all weekend.
More information: stlouisregional.com