Submitted by Vicki Lewis
Tonasket Airport Improvement Club
The 27th Annual Tonasket Fathers’ Day Fly-in is scheduled for June 18th and 19th. This Fly-In has become one of the events in the Tonasket area that the general public looks forward to every year. The main activities are a Saturday evening steak BBQ and a Sunday morning breakfast organized and staffed by members of the Tonasket Airport Improvement Club and other volunteers. The meals always receive compliments, but the connections and conversations between friends and neighbors make the time together special.
Sunday morning, local pilots give rides to children ages 8 to 15. This event has always been a good opportunity to talk about aspects of safety around airplanes, use of seatbelts (just like you buckle up EVERY time in the car) and trying something new in a protected environment. The fuel for the rides is provided by the Tonasket Airport Improvement Club, but the pilots donate their airplanes and their time. Younger children are given rides in a motorized go-plane on the ground.
The Father’s Day Fly-In involves many man hours of volunteer time and donations from local business and individual members of our community. Any profits from the Fly-in are channeled back into the airport for maintenance and improvements. This year Airport Improvement Club funds were used to build a Pavilion that currently shelters the courtesy car, but can also be used for events and shelter for people camping at the airport.
Our airport is important to our community as a resource for: emergency services including MedStar/LifeFlight, a staging area for wildfire crews/equipment, and a training site for law enforcement. It is also a destination point for pilots who use the courtesy car for business and/or pleasure in the community.