Aviator enthusiasts who enjoy promoting the Palestine Municipal Airport have formed a local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

“We recognized a need, due to the growing number of local enthusiasts, to form a local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association,” EAA Chapter 1549, Dogwood Flyers President Ron Jarrett told the Herald-Press. “Our goal is to promote and attract users of the local airport and support the Palestine community.”

The chapter’s first planned event is a “Fly-In” to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Palestine Municipal Airport on Sept. 28.

“Our fly-in is to run simultaneously with the celebration being sponsored by the Palestine Airport User Group and the City of Palestine Economic Development Group in an Air Expo,” Jarrett said. “We plan to host experimental, antique, classic, aerobatic and ‘Warbird’ aircraft and their owners/operators from around the country for our portion of the event.”

A feature event of the Air Expo will be an appearance by the remaining “Air Combat Aces” of World War II, Korean Conflict and Vietnam era during the event. A dinner in their honor will be held at Sabor Pasion Country House & Bistro the evening before the Air Expo, Jarrett said.

“Additionally, we will hold monthly meetings for members and guests, tentatively scheduled for the first Tuesday each month at the Palestine Municipal Airport,” Jarrett said. “Numerous social and technical weekend events will be scheduled through out the year.”

There are approximately 920 chapters around the world with 175,000 members. The local chapter is the backbone of the organization whose purpose is to foster an interest and participation in aviation.

Chapter activities will include pancake breakfasts, airport open house events, Fly-Ins and other activities that will generate interest in the community. Other activities include Young Eagle Rallies that share the wonders of flight with the younger generation.

Many EAA members are pilots but non-flying aviation enthusiasts are welcome to join and participate as well.

“We will attract visitors and interest to augment Palestine’s economics with our events,” Jarrett said. “Lodging, eating, shopping and service establishments will benefit from our promotion of one of Palestine’s leading assets, the Municipal Airport.”

The chapter meets at the terminal building at Palestine Municipal Airport, located at 1278 CR 421 off U.S. 287 North.

Contact Ron Jarrett at jarrettron@embarqmail.com, Billy Brice at winglead@aol.com or Toni Graser at tiger@dctexas.net for membership information and meeting times.

For more information about the airport, call 903-723-0111.

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