Thomasville Fly-In takes off - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville Fly-In takes off

October 14, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia-- The annual Thomasville Fly-In aviation event is kicking off this weekend.

"I'm about to do a pre-flight on a Cessna 172. It needs to be done methodically, and it's not something you want to overlook," says pilot, Matt Nesmith.

A lot of work for a bird's eye view of a lot of fun at the fly-in. An effort that's a labor of love for Nesmith. "I grew up around airplanes. I've been flying in and out of airplanes my whole life. I got my pilot's license when I was 21," says Nesmith.

Now 33, Nesmith turned his hobby into a job. He's a corporate pilot. "It's this feeling of freedom and control, just getting away from everything, being able to float around in the sky and go where you want to go," he says.

People can also go where they want at the fly-in. It's the only time the public is allowed in the airport's secure areas. "On a good year, attendance of visiting aircraft will range from 300 to 500 airplanes, helicopters, military, home builts, a lot of antique aircraft, biplanes," says event organizer, Ronnie Bozeman.

As they say, what goes up must come down. And that includes a special treat for the kids who attend the air show on Saturday. "We will drop probably one hundred pounds of candy from an aircraft and let them have at it, says Bozeman.

Don't worry, there's plenty for adults too, including aviation contests, food, and of course, aircraft displays. "We have a tremendous following. It's just like a big family reunion," says Bozeman. "A pilot would love to sit there and talk to you about his airplane for hours, if you will let him," adds Nesmith.

After all, pilots were the ones who started the fly-in 38 years ago. And you've got until Sunday to meet them.

Admission to the fly-in is free, but you have to pay for food, souvenirs, and rides in aircraft.

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