Special flight day at Kildare airport

Pilots and volunteer helps work for children with special needs

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Special flight day at Kildare airport

Weston Airport

 THE annual  Special Day of Flying will take place tomorrow, Saturday, July 1,  at Weston Airport.

A group of pilots and other volunteers will take around 160 children with special needs for a short flight and other events at the north Kildare airport tomorrow.

This will be the fourth year the event has been run, said one of the organisers, Noel Connolly.

Apart from being taken up in the air, many other events and activities have been organised for the participants, known as VIP’s for the occasion.

The firsts event was run for the Sports Club in Blanchardstown in Dublin 15, said Noel.

They had 80 people signed up that day. The numbers rose to 100 the following year, to 135 in 2016 and this year they expect 160.

Five helicopters, over twenty other planes piloted by forty pilots, are involved. In addition, the Irish Historical Flight’s beautifully restored De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft will open the show with some formation flying and Irish aerobatic pilot Eddie Goggins will close the show with a display.

Unfortunately, due to weather, Noel got a call this morning (Friday, June 30) to say that some planes from the UK, to cater for people with special disabilities could not make it over.

A marquee will be erected to cater for the events because there is not enough room at Weston in the main building complex.

Noel said he expected the first flights to start at 10.30am and the last at 2.10pm.

Among the attractions is DJ, Andrew Walker, who just happens to have Down’s Syndrome. “He is one of the best DJ’s you can get,” said Noel.

Speaking about the special aspect of the day, Noel told the Leader: “One man said to me that his child was accepted. It is not always the case,” he said.

Apart from the flying, they will have Order of Malta, fire engines from Weston based fire training service FAST, a New York City fire engine, a mobile animal farm, the  Honda Goldwing Trikes (these are as popular as the flights, said Noel), skill games, Face painting or a tattoo, funny photo stands, a magician, a balloon shapers and a carousel