Another year, and another collection of smiles from the thousands that attended this year’s Kiwanis Club Kids’ Day event at La Guardia Airport.
From 12pm-4pm, Children from the Kiwanis Club and the public got to enjoy and explore the wonders of aviation for free. Some airlines brought over some of their aircraft and we received visitors in the form of the New York Skytypers, some World War II birds, helicopters, and more.
American Airlines offered an MD-82 (N7539A), giving out keychains and other gifts to those who boarded and Delta rolled one of their Shuttle MD-88s over (N914DE). As with all attending aircraft, self-tours allowed attendees to sit in the cockpit, talk with crew, take a rest in comfy seats and enjoy the excitement of flight without leaving the crowd.
US Airways’ contribution was an Airbus A319 (N750UW). Many were hoping US Airways would display an aircraft bearing one of the new heritage paint schemes that they have. But due to some people being confused by the Star Alliance scheme as last year’s event, they decided to use a plane with the now-merged airline’s new scheme.
War Birds Over Long Island shared with everyone an immaculate P-51 Mustang and a Curtiss-Wright P-40 WarHawk, both pilot by a father and son duo. The two first flew down runway 4/22 and broke formation with a tight turn and climb and let everyone hear the sounds of aviation from yesteryear before landing. Once the propellers stopped, children swarmed the aircraft, probably filling the ultra-shiny P-51 with their tiny fingerprints.
The regular visit from the New York Skytypers included four of their T-4 Texans, a flyby dropping smoky trails before landing ooh-ed and aah-ed the children and their families.
Photo by Phil Derner, Jr.
Held in the back of transient parking on the northern end of the airport, people were able to also enjoy watching airline activity on runway 4/22 throughout the day, though clouds rolled in around 1pm and put only a slight damper on photographs.
An NYPD Agusta A-119 Koala Helicopter (N319PD), a military Blackhawk Helicopter, a PAPD Sikorsky-76 (N116PD) and a display from the nearby Rikers Island Department of Corrections also helped out by showing the crowd what they do.
Rumors of efforts to bring more military traffic, including two A-10s, A KC-10 and more, could not happen due to deployment requirements.
An annual event coordinated by the local chapter of Kiwanis Club and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Kids’ Day lets the public and children see close-up various forms of aviation. Food and drink are supplied at no cost (with mustard being served this year to all by Queens Borough President Claire K. Shulman).
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