BULLHEAD CITY — Alan Bowman does not fly. 

So while his wife, a licensed pilot, took to the air from the couple’s Boulder City, Nev., home, he rode his motorcycle to Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport for Saturday’s celebration of National Aviation Day.

His dislike of being in planes notwithstanding, Bowman said he still enjoys events like the open house hosted by the airport and Signature Flight Support.

“I look at airplanes just like old cars,” he said. “Beautiful pieces of equipment.”

He also said that the pilots and plane owners were friendly.

“Plus, you get a free burrito,” Bowman said.

Airport director Jeremy Keating said National Aviation Day is in its 79th year. 

Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, he said, has been recognizing it for five or six years.

Keating said the event is an opportunity to show off the airport and bring information to community members about careers in aviation.

For the first time, flight school representatives were on hand to talk to visitors about learning to fly.

Ron Jeter, of Bullhead City, said he brought his family because he would like to see his children develop an interest in becoming pilots. He said that as more people take lessons, the cost should drop.

“Hopefully, this can be something my kids can afford, instead of buying a car,” he said. “Maybe take the grandparents up.”

More than 200 people came out to see the 24 aircraft on display, Keating said. They ranged from pre-World War II models to current specimens.

David Rickwalt, of Paradise Aviation, said the company was invited to participate and asked to show off a unique plane.

It brought two, including a 1946 North American L-17A, a model once used by Army generals George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur.

Don Shoop’s two great-grandchildren were visiting from Las Vegas.

“I thought they might enjoy the chance to look at some planes and maybe touch them,” the Bullhead City resident said. “I think they’re most impressed with the rescue helicopter.”

Also available for view were two airport fire trucks.

A trio of planes from the Commemorative Air Force performed a few flyovers.

Keating said that he would like to bring an air show back to National Aviation Day here.

It’s not just the planes that are interesting, he said, but also the people who brought them.

“Some of the pilots were in the military,” he said. “They have stories to tell that are just amazing.”

(1) comment


I love airplanes, but every time I hear about an air show or being able to go see airplanes up close , it's been too late. Always hear about them after the fact. Judy from Bullhead City, Az.

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