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Youth Aviation Display Premiers at Annual Pumpkin Drop Event

The Annual Open House and Pumpkin Drop was held October 30 at St. Charles County (Smartt Field) Airport. The event, sponsored by St. Charles Flying Service, the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 32, drew a record crowd despite the cold and overcast conditions that prevailed until the early afternoon. This year's event provided the expected flying excitement along with the EAA's food tent and new youth aviation activities provided by the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation.

A new feature of the Smartt Field Open House was the Youth Aviation Area display from the Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation. Based at nearby Creve Coeur Airport, the Foundation's mission is to inspire youth interest in aviation by providing an aviation experience that impacts a young person's life. In the display area, visitors boarded a fully-restored F-4 Phantom jet cockpit to view for themselves what a fighter pilot sees through the canopy. Young children had their own pumpkin drop game, throwing foam pumpkins from their pedal planes at a target before collecting their bag of candy. A lucky raffle ticket holder won a beautiful mahogany model aircraft, and many young people went home with a renewed interest in pursuing aviation.

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