Things are looking up, if you ask the Astoria Air Fair Association. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24, the Port of Astoria and the U.S. Coast Guard will host the combined annual air fair and open house at the Astoria Regional Airport.

The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast served from 7 a.m. until the air fair begins. This year, the air fair features aviation-related demonstrations including radio controlled aircraft and Blackjack Squadron formation flights. In addition to a "secret" aerial demonstration put on by the Coast Guard, members of Air Station Astoria will stage a boarding team exercise, used when it is necessary to board a boat in emergency circumstances. Coast Guard members will rappel from a hovering helicopter - sure to delight onlookers.

Of special interest to area youth is the opportunity to take a free aircraft ride, courtesy of the Mt. Hood chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), in cooperation with the Astoria EAA chapter. This offer is for children between the ages of 8 and 17.

Static aircraft displays will be available for viewing, as will tours of the Coast Guard hangars. The Coast Guard Spouses Association will host a crafters' bazaar, and food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Blackjack Squadron, comprised of former military pilots flying RV-6 high performance aircraft, will conduct a "missing man" flight formation. Capt. Mike Farrell, Commanding Officer of Air Station Astoria, will provide a brief address on the subject to the audience.

As it did last year, the Astoria Air Fair Association, a volunteer group comprised of area pilots and others with an aviation interest, has conducted the lion's share of the coordinating and planning for the day's events. U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Bill Seward and Port of Astoria's Airport Manager Ron Larsen said they are thrilled to have help with the annual air show.

"It would be difficult to pull this all off with only our existing resources. We appreciate all the time event chairman Ron Mason, Air Fair Association President Gary Kobes and the other enthusiastic folks in the association put into making this a successful event," Larsen said.

For more information, visit the airport section of the Port's Web site at (www.portofastoria.com), call (503) 861-1222 or contact Ron Larsen at the Port of Astoria at 325-4521.

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