National Aviation Day on OBX

Running with a parachute a the Wright Brothers Memorial.

Running with a parachute a the Wright Brothers Memorial.

Back in 1939 FDR proclaimed August 19 as National Aviation Day—which dovetailed quite nicely with Orville Wright’s birthday. It’s never been one of the larger, more acknowledged national days, but here on the Outer Banks, where the Wright Brothers first proved that mankind could indeed have the skies, it does take on a little more significance.

There weren’t a lot aircraft on the ground at the Wright Brothers Memorial this year, although the 1947 Stinson Flying Station Wagon that Mark Roberts brought down for Elizabeth City was a beautiful aircraft.

Dare County’s brand new Airbus EC145 T2 Med Evac helicopter was on the ground. The old Med Evac helicopter was there giving a great comparison between the two. Smaller and less powerful than the EC145, the pilot mentioned it was like going from a 30 year old pickup to a brand new one.

Kitty Hawk Kites was on hand as well to celebrate National Aviation Day. There was a kite making workshop where kids get to make sled kites that really fly.

One of the most fun things was the parachute race—well, not really a race this time since there was only the one parachute. A small ‘chute with a large vent in the middle, when we were out there, a group of little kids were having a great time just trying to run with it.

There was a flyover later in the afternoon, with what looked like an F16 low and slow over the the Memorial grounds.

OBX Pirate Week a Fun Time

Thrust, slash, parry. Instructions in pirate sword techniques.

Thrust, slash, parry. Instructions in pirate sword techniques.

“Thrust . . . slash . . . parry!” The pirate weapons instructor commanded his young charge. Over and over the boy practiced the commands, his arms tired, legs weary, but at the end of it, the lad was ready to step on board with his 18” saber made of the finest plastic to be found.

Then it was to the cannon drill, firing off the two pound falcon and it’s mate, then the eight pounder followed by the the booming 12 pounder putting the fear of any scalawag or pirate within hearing of Jockey’s Ridge.

The 8 pounder fires a shot.

The 8 pounder fires a shot.

Pirate Week at Kitty Hawk Kites was a great week of fun for everyone—Mom and Dad, the pirates . . . but mostly the kids. Filled with important information about how to be a scalawag and how to use a pirate sword and the fearful medical things that would happen if a pirate were to be cut by a sword or fall ill, it was a great reminder of the heritage of the Outer Banks.

For visitors coming next week, Pirate Week will be gone, but there’s still lots to do.

August 19 is National Aviation Day. Free admission all day at the Wright Brothers Memorial, with lots of aviation related activities . . . kite making, historic aircraft will be on hand and much more.