National Aviation Day Brings Flight to Wright Memorial

Stinson Flying Staton Wagon, 1947.

Today was National Aviation Day. It started back in 1939 when FDR proclaimed August 19 as a day to celebrate flight, although it never has been one of the better known national celebrations. However, since it also commemorates Orville Wright’s 1871 birthday, the Wright Brothers Memorial is here on the Outer Banks and this is where flight began, the day has added meaning locally.

There weren’t a lot aircraft on the ground at the Memorial this year. There was a 1947 Stinson Flying Station Wagon that was beautifully restored. Mark Roberts flew it in for the day from Elizabeth City.

Dare County had a brand new Airbus Helicopter EC145 T2 for their Med Evac service and that was grabbing a lot of attention.The new helicopter is considered state of the art for this type of service.

The old Med Evac helicopter was also there-the county is trying to sell it, hoping to get about $1 million for it. Smaller and less powerful than the EC145, the pilot mentioned it was like going from a 30 year old pickup to a brand new one.

Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City brought a Jayhawk rescue helicopter to the grounds. Just looking at it on the ground, it’s apparent it’s a larger more powerful version of anything civilian.

We did get a flyover late in the afternoon, with what looked like an F16 flying low and slow over the Memorial grounds.

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