DeKALB – Ever wanted a bird’s-eye view of DeKalb? Better yet, how about from one of the first passenger planes?
Thursday through Sunday, that can happen. On Monday, a 1929 Ford Trimotor NC8407 arrived at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, 3232 Pleasant St. in DeKalb. Passenger rides will be offered from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Tickets for children ages 17 and younger is $50. Pricing for adults is $75 if purchased in person or $70 if purchased online in advance at www.flytheford.org.
Walk-ups are accepted, but the airport’s manager, Tom Cleveland, said you can book a specific time slot online.
“Taking a ride on an antique aircraft is pretty neat,” Cleveland said. “It’ll be noisy, but a great experience.”
He called the plane’s visit a great opportunity for the community, as well as specifically for the airport, which has helped with advertising but otherwise hasn’t had to spend a dime to bring the nation-touring plane to town.
“We’ve been looking to try to get it here for many, many years,” Cleveland said.
All the proceeds will go to to the Experimental Aircraft Association, which owns the plane.
Each flight experience is 30 minutes, which includes about 15 minutes in the air. Passengers can bring cameras, phones and video recorders, but food and beverages are not allowed.
Cleveland said the Trimotor model was the first to land at the airport.
“A ride on the Trimotor is quite literally, a time machine that takes passengers back to the days of early commercial aviation,” said Steve Klopfenstein, an EAA member and event planner.