Oakland County International Airport Open House & Air Show turns 30

The Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) Open House & Air Show soars to new heights as it marks its 30th year Sunday, Aug. 23. This family-friendly event, which runs 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., will coincide with the grand opening of the World Heritage Air Museum (WHAM) at the airport. The museum will display several rare Cold War-era jets at the open house.

“Whether you’re an aviation buff or just a kid deep down inside, the Open House & Air Show has something for everyone,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “This truly is an event the whole family can enjoy.”

According to the press statement, leading up to the open house’s 30th anniversary weekend, the historic Ford Tri-Motor – known as the “Tin Goose” – will offer flights at Pentastar Aviation at the airport Thursday, Aug. 20 – Sunday, Aug. 23. Flights are $70 per adult in advance, $75 per adult walk-up, and $50 for children 17 and under.

Dacy Air Shows pilots return this year to dazzle the crowds with aerobatic maneuvers from 2 – 3 p.m. Sunday. Susan Dacy, one of only a few women performing airshows in a biplane, will fly her Super Stearman which she calls “Big Red.” Michael Vaknin will have spectators on the edge of their seats with gyroscopic and high-g maneuvers in his Extra 300 airplane. And Doug Dodge will make the crowd “oooh” and “aaah” as he flips his one-of-a-kind stunt biplane Machaira end-over-end in midair. Machaira means two-edged sword in Greek.

Detroit Pistons fans will be able to get up close to Roundball One, the team’s jet. Plus, Beaumont One, Beaumont Health’s air medical transportation service, will demonstrate a mock accident rescue with the Waterford Township Fire Department. The American Eurocopter EC-135, equipped with the latest in ventilator and patient monitoring technology, has a highly trained crew of flight nurses and paramedics each with at least five years of critical care and emergency experience.

Aviation enthusiasts will be able to explore about 50 aircraft at the open house including the Yankee Air Force’s B-25 and C-47 airplanes, Tuskegee Motor Gliders, other warbirds and vintage jets. World War II military vehicles will also be on display. Remote control giant scale aircraft operators will fly demonstrations as well.

In addition, individuals can take-off in a helicopter for $35 or an airplane for $25 per adult, $20 for kids under 12, and $55 for one adult and two kids.

For children there will be a play area equipped with bounce houses and a rock wall. Bill Crell, “The NASA Guy,” will show off his latest experiments and demonstrations. Plus, there will be a health and safety fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. including the Michigan Child ID Program, which informs families about abduction prevention and provides fingerprinting for children.

The OCIA Open House & Airshow Committee continues its annual tradition of hosting a pancake breakfast from 8 – 11 a.m. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.

Attendees also may tour the nation’s first LEED-Gold certified general aviation terminal. Open since 2011, the new eco-friendly terminal features solar panels and wind turbines, solar hot water heater, and a geothermal field all designed to reduce energy consumption. Today, the terminal has reduced its energy consumption by 44 percent.

OCIA Open House & Air Show general admission is free; but parking is $5 per vehicle. For more information, go to www.OakGov.com/aviation. The airport is located at 6500 Highland Road in Waterford. Like the Open House & Air Show on Facebook @OCIAOpenHouse.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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